Survey: Many Companies Paying for Employee Professional Development

As students gear up to go back to school this fall, those already in the workforce may want to consider continuing their education, a new survey suggests. Ninety-four percent of senior executives interviewed said their firms offer tuition benefits for their employees. Ninety-five percent of respondents said their companies also reimburse for other forms of professional development.

The survey was developed by Accountemps, a staffing services firm specializing in accounting and finance. It was conducted by an independent research firm and is based on telephone interviews with 150 senior executives from the nation's 1,000 largest companies.

Executives were asked, "Does your company offer college or university tuition reimbursement benefits for employees?" Their responses: 

  • Yes -- 94 percent
  • No  -- 5 percent
  • Don't know  -- 1 percent

Executives were also asked, "Does your company reimburse for other forms of professional development or training?" Their responses: 

  • Yes  -- 95 percent
  • No  -- 2 percent
  • Don't know  -- 3 percent

"Providing educational and professional development opportunities helps companies attract top performers, maximize productivity and boost retention efforts," said Max Messmer, chairman of Accountemps. "Employees who take full advantage of the resources available for learning remain intellectually challenged and increase their ability to take on greater responsibility at work."

Messmer noted that technical skills aren't the only ones that professionals should seek to acquire. "Interpersonal skills are vital as the workplace becomes increasingly collaborative," he said. "Classes that offer instruction on how to communicate more effectively can be especially useful for career advancement."

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