PepsiCo employees can now go to college or earn certifications debt-free

BY Sydney LakeMarch 03, 2022, 2:10 PM
Pepsi signage on a refrigerator case at a grocery store in Bagdad, Ky., as seen in April 2021. (Photographer: Luke Sharrett—Bloomberg/Getty Images)

It’s no secret that technology is changing the way we work—and what our jobs entail. To get ahead of these changes, major corporations are finding ways to upskill and reskill frontline and hourly workers to prepare them for future jobs. In fact, LinkedIn reports that 59% of learning and development professionals said that upskilling and reskilling were their top priority in 2021.

Take Fortune 500 company PepsiCo, for example, which just announced this week the launch of its debt-free education benefit program.

Through a partnership with Guild Education, PepsiCo employees will have access to more than 100 undergraduate, certification, and other upskilling programs—all at no cost to them. The program is called myeducation and is available to more than 100,0000 active part-time, full-time, hourly, and salaried U.S.-based PepsiCo employees.

“Our frontline employees are the driving force of PepsiCo, ensuring consumers always have the products they want, anywhere they shop,” Steven Williams, CEO of PepsiCo Foods North America, tells Fortune. “We want to provide employees with access and opportunities to further their careers by expanding their individual skill sets. Myeducation is one of many ways we are investing in our people, greatly impacting the communities we serve.”

How the debt-free education benefit works

The myeducation catalog includes programs ranging from high school completion to boot camps and certifications. Employees can also take college prep courses, English language learning classes, undergraduate degrees, trade upskilling programs, and boot camps. The program primarily covers degrees in “high-growth areas,” including business; operations and supply chain; data analytics; and technology, according to PepsiCo.

Some of the participating schools include Purdue University, eCornell, Louisiana State University Online & Continuing Education, and Penn Foster College. Employees can take advantage of the program starting six months into their employment. The company covers 100% of tuition, and it will reimburse students for some textbook and course fees. 

PepsiCo also offers a tuition reimbursement program for employees completing accredited programs that aren’t offered in the myeducation catalog. The company will cover up to $5,250 for select undergraduate degrees and up to $8,000 for graduate degrees and certificates that aren’t covered by the myeducation program.

“As the workforce changes, PepsiCo is committed to making sure our associates grow with it, not just for the benefit of our organization, but also to build and support the communities in which we operate,” Ronald Schellekens, chief human resources officer at PepsiCo, tells Fortune. “By investing in targeted upskilling programs for in-demand roles and providing access to opportunities for higher learning, we can help ensure a future ready workforce.”

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