- JetBlue is expanding its JetBlue Scholars program to provide crew members with a way to earn a master's degree online, with total average costs projected at $13,000 to $30,000.
- Participants can seek degrees in topics such as leadership, business, information technology, aviation management and the liberal arts from the City University of New York School of Professional Studies, Louisiana State University Shreveport, Thomas Edison State University, University of Maryland University College and Western Governors University.
- The airline joins a growing number of companies to offer employees access to certificates and degrees online as a corporate benefit. To date, 185 JetBlue employees have earned a degree through the program.
The more training employees get, the more they want, a report from Cerego revealed. Employers appear to be taking this finding seriously. Papa John's, for example, announced its offering of free degrees to corporate employees in February. Other companies, like Walmart, are partnering with organizations such as Guild Education to offer financial assistance to employees seeking educational opportunities through a selection of accredited institutions.
The cost of degree programs and the prospect of taking on or growing their student loan debt may make securing advanced degrees an impossibility for many. Some companies are looking for ways to assist their workers in paying down what may be crushing debt; Chegg last week announced its Equity for Education program, which creates an equity pool from existing stock to help employees with education loans.
Colleges, for their part, are trying to carve out space in the market to offer education in partnership with employers. Arizona State University and the nonprofit National University System have each recently undertaken ventures dedicated to employee education.
And education providers expect companies' interest to continue.
"There's a real fundamental and important shift here in companies taking folks who are currently in business roles and helping upskill them into technology jobs and other roles for the future," Guild Education CEO and co-founder Rachel Carlson told Education Dive earlier this month.
Her comments were in relation to Walmart's expansion of its year-old, $1-a-day degree program to include more universities and degrees as well as a pathway for high school students.