No degree? No need, if you want to start your career at Fidelity.
The company said Tuesday that it will pay for an undergraduate degree for its entry-level customer service phone more concentrated at its regional centers as a way to attract talent in an increasingly competitive labor market.
The benefit will apply to many workers at its Westlake campus, its largest office in the US with more than 7,300 employees. The company plans to hire an additional 1,500 client-facing roles for the campus by the end of this year.
Fidelity, which employs more than 60,000 people, is hoping the perk creates a talent pipeline, bringing in employees who might not have considered a financial services career.
“This new benefit will create growth opportunities for our associates and increase accessibility to higher education, something we’ve been focused on for years through our student-debt relief benefit,” said Megan Bourque, Fidelity head of benefits, in a statement.
The Boston-based financial services company said it will pay for tuition, books, fees and taxes for four- and two-year programs that “align with Fidelity’s business and the financial services industry.” Applicants who are accepted will receive free coaching to help them pick a school and degree.
Fidelity, which has $10.3 trillion in assets under administration, has been on a hiring spree due to increasing demand for customer service workers. It onboarded more than 16,000 new employees in 2021 and is on track to exceed that figure this year.
The company said it will also continue its debt repayment benefit, which has been around since 2016 and has eliminated $67 million in principal and $31 million in interest payments for its workers.
The average annual in-state college tuition in Texas for the 2020-21 academic year was $11,460, according to collegecalc.org. For adults between the ages of 18 and 29, 55% took on some debt to get their bachelor’s degree, according to data from the Federal Reserve.
Fidelity isn’t the only company to add education benefits to attract workers who don’t want to take on student debt but want a good career. Companies like Starbucks, Chipotle and Amazon have all announced similar programs to help young workers.
Last year, Walmart said it will offer free college tuition and books to its 1.5 million part-time and full-time employees, saying it would invest $1 billion over the next five years in career training and development.
In September, Amazon said it will pay college tuition for any of its more than 750,000 hourly operations employees in the US