ATD research examined five areas of continuing education that employers may support; tuition assistance was offered by most of the organizations.
(Alexandria, VA), May 10, 2022—More than 85 percent of organizations offer some type of continuing education assistance, according to new research from the Association for Talent Development.
While more than nine in 10 respondents offered tuition assistance and 84 percent offered support for certification, slightly more than half of the respondents offered support for licensure, and close to 30 percent offered apprenticeships, according to Employer-Sponsored Continuing Education: Tuition Assistance, Apprenticeships, Certification, and Licensure, sponsored by OverDrive Professional.
Thirteen percent of respondents indicated that their organization did not offer any employer-sponsored continuing education. When asked why, two-thirds of respondents cited a lack of support by senior leadership as the top barrier. The second largest barrier, mentioned by slightly more than 60 percent of participants, was budgetary constraints.
Other key findings that emerged from this research include:
- Utilization rates of employer-sponsored continuing education were low. Most respondents indicated that fewer than 25 percent of employees took advantage of these benefits during their tenure at the organization.
- The most common ways organizations provided support for continuing education, aside from tuition benefits, were through flexible schedules, mentoring, and access to a library, publications, or digital resources. Organizations that offered mentoring were more likely to be high performers.
- The three most common ways organizations offered support for licensure and certification were through payment of application fees, payment of exam fees, and payment for continuing education courses.
- While some recent surveys from other researchers have found increased interest in employer payment of student loans, only 6 percent of respondents in this study currently offered student loan reimbursement, and only 2 percent planned to offer it within the next two years.
“Offering mentorship to employees pursuing employer-sponsored continuing education is one type of support associated with being a high performing organization. Research shows that mentorship benefits not only the employee being mentored, but also the mentor and the organization as a whole,” according to the report.
Only 41 percent of respondents indicated that their organizations offer formal career paths. “Organizations that used formal career paths specifying the knowledge and skills an employee needs for advancement in their current positions were more likely to be high performers.”
A free webinar on the report will take place on May 31 at 2 p.m. ET.
The Association for Talent Development (ATD) is the world’s largest professional membership organization supporting those who develop the knowledge and skills of employees, improve performance, and help to achieve results for the organizations they serve. Established in 1943, the association was previously known as the American Society for Training & Development (ASTD).
ATD’s members come from more than 100 countries and work in public and private organizations in every industry sector. ATD supports talent development professionals who gather locally in volunteer-led US chapters and international member networks and with international strategic partners.
For more information, visit td.org.