How Online Classes Meet the Needs of Today’s Ready-for-Advancement Workforce

Pew Research Chart

The record-high number of Americans leaving their jobs continues. When The Great Resignation or Big Quit will end is anyone’s guess. But what’s driving the mass exodus is easier to pin down, thanks to extensive research by leading organizations, including a recent study conducted by Pew Research Center.

According to PRC, the nation’s “quit rate” hit a 20-year high in late 2021. PRC reports that low pay, dismal opportunities for advancement and feeling disrespected at work are the top drivers of why people quit.

Also cited in the survey: Americans collectively have a lot on their plates at home with childcare issues and work hours that limit how much personal time they get.

Employers Seize the Moment, Rethinking Retention

Because Americans’ pandemic fatigue is off the charts, employers are searching for ways to make the workplace more flexible and conducive to people’s wants and needs. And the need to reduce turnover has never been greater.

Some employers are focused on giving employees extra paid time off or new work schedules that can more easily meet their family demands. Others are choosing to extend the option for employees to work remotely full-time or at least part of the week.

Employers concerned their pay and benefit structures are behind the times are considering even more significant adjustments that will appeal to their restless, “ready to reshuffle” employees.

Employees Want to Learn, Grow, Advance

If your business is considering innovative ideas that could surprise and delight your workforce, keep the key themes from PRC’s study in mind — employees seek more advancement opportunities at work, value flexibility and want to earn more money and better benefits.

Does your organization offer professional development to employees, such as offsite events, workplace training or paid memberships to industry organizations? Doing so is a great way to help employees learn new hard and soft skills that benefit them at work. And when you help employees build their workplace and industry connections, it can generate an increased feeling of belonging and appreciation, knowing you care about them more holistically.

One area you know and may already have in place is tuition reimbursement (or assistance), where you pay a percentage of employees’ college or continuing education costs. This employee perk shows you’re interested in helping people grow their knowledge and skills, making them smarter, more confident in their abilities and potentially positioning them for a new role or higher pay.

New Educational Benefit for Employees

Tuition reimbursement has been around for decades now, but here’s a related educational benefit you may not have heard of: You partner with an online, accredited university that offers certificate programs and degrees that employees can take advantage of.

University of Cincinnati (UC) Online’s new university-to-business partnership program helps you provide a cutting-edge benefit to your employees and their families. Completing a certificate program online or earning an undergraduate or graduate degree can be more manageable than studying on-campus. It’s an option many working adults favor — in fact, a recent study shows a big jump in the number of college students who go the online route.

More than two dozen companies signed up for the business partnership program, which is open to employers in Ohio and across the nation.

Here’s how it works in a nutshell:

  • You can offer tuition scholarships to employees and their qualified family members as part of your employee benefits package — and there’s no cost to you to sign up for the program.
  • Employees can choose from more than 100 online programs, where they learn critical skills that aid in their professional and organizational development. Your employees don’t have to miss work for school or drive to and from campus, with 100% of the curriculum and instructor interaction being online.
  • Your employees pick the study schedule that best complements their work and lifestyle, and they set the pace for completing a program, full- or part-time.
  • Once an employee enrolls, we match them with a Student Success Coordinator — someone who’s by the student’s side virtually as they go through their program. (Meet one of our SSCs, Mallery Schulkers.)
  • And here’s more good news: You don’t have to wait until open enrollment season to introduce this employee benefit. It’s much easier to ramp up than, say, a new medical insurance benefits option and can be announced to employees at any time.

Our program complements whatever education reimbursement your company offers today. And if you don’t offer tuition reimbursement, your partnership with UC Online fills that gap nicely.

Business Meeting

Explore why more area businesses partner with UC Online to introduce
a unique professional development benefit to their workplace.

Employees Choose an Online Certificate or Degree Program

UC Online’s nationally accredited programs include a variety of associate and bachelor’s degrees. For employees who want to earn a master’s degree, they can find several to choose from.

We also offer a doctoral degree for nursing professionals and several certificate programs. (View every online program here.)

Enrolling in UC Online’s Program is Easy and Free

Employee satisfaction research shows that today’s collective workforce has gone on record to say they’re frustrated. They want more advancement opportunities at work, better pay and more flexibility in how they integrate their home and work lives. When you introduce this program to your workforce, you can easily position the new benefit to show how it addresses key employee concerns.

Contact us today to get started if you’re ready to introduce a new professional development benefit designed for people who want to grow and advance, with flexibility and a personal focus at the heart of it.


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Already an online student? UC Online has additional tips and tricks to ensure you are on the path to success. Check out our Student Resources section for what you need to maximize your learning.
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Helping You Build a Better Business Through Continuing Education
Employee recruitment and retention is crucial for the growth and profitability of an organization and should be a high priority for every business. At the University of Cincinnati Online, we want to help develop and retain your employees through our Business Partnership offering.

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