News

Starbucks baristas can get (almost) free degrees

Starbucks baristas can get (almost) free degrees

DO YOU WANT A DEGREE WITH THAT LATTE?:Starbucks plans to partly pay for online degree programs. Photo: Associated Press

(Reuters) – Starbucks Corp said it plans to partly pay for an online bachelor’s degree program for its employees in the United States, hoping to retain its workforce and save on hiring and training costs.

The world’s largest coffee chain is teaming up with Arizona State University to subsidize education for its U.S. employees who work an average of 20 hours a week.

As of September 2013, Starbucks had 137,000 employees, about three-fourths of its global workforce, in the United States.

Employees enrolling in the program, called the Starbucks College Achievement Plan, can choose among 40 subjects ranging from retail management to electrical engineering and will be under no obligation to remain with the company after graduation.

Employees admitted to the university as a junior or senior will earn full tuition reimbursement for each semester of full-time course work, while freshmen and sophomores will be eligible for a partial tuition scholarship, the company said in a statement on Sunday.

Starbucks declined to estimate how much it expects to spend on the program. “We will know more of what the investment will be once partners (employees) sign up over the next year,” Starbucks spokeswoman Laurel Harper said in an email.

Starbucks’ investment in its employees’ education comes as it grapples with higher dairy costs. The company has locked in coffee prices for the rest of this fiscal year.

Harper declined to comment on employee retention rate in the company, citing competitive reasons, but said Starbucks has achieved retention rates “well above the industry average.”

(Reporting by Sampad Patnaik in Bangalore and Lisa Baertlein in Los Angeles; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier)

Recently Played

Latest Headlines

in Trending, Viral Videos

TODAY’S MUST SEE: Spooky ‘Shining’ inspired IKEA commercial

Fresh
17-overlay2

You'll never aimlessly wander the floors of IKEA the same way again.

in Entertainment

Today in entertainment history: Oct. 24

jamesbrown

A look back on some of the Hollywood headlines that made history.

in Entertainment

‘Jersey Shore’ star heading to trial on tax evasion

sorrentino

Reality TV star Michael "The Situation" Sorrentino pleaded not guilty to federal tax fraud charges.

in Music

One Direction’s new video stars a chimp and Danny DeVito

14-overlay2

The pop stars will release the music video tomorrow for their latest single "Steal My Girl" and it looks ... interesting.

in Viral Videos

WATCH: Justin Bieber’s boxing lessons

25-overlay3

The pop star is reportedly taking boxing lessons from Floyd Mayweather ... and Conan O'Brien has the footage.