The Working Learner Index


Intensive change; evolving skills; fears for the future. The nation’s largest study of tuition assistance participants shows what’s driving escalating demand for education benefits, and reveals untapped opportunities for employers willing to offer them. Key findings from the study of 31,000 include:

  • Underserved workforce segments ripe for development
  • New attitudes towards education from Gen Z
  • Resolvable obstacles to education  -- and how to fix them
  • Increasing demand and promising results from innovative education programs 
workers designing computer hovering over parts in office

Tech-Driven Change Fuels learning Demand

Employees are worried about the rapid pace of workplace change and it’s driving stronger interest in education benefits. The number one reason cited for going back to school was “to keep pace with or get ahead of changes in my position”.

  • 89% believe technology advancements will impact their industry or job
  • 30% increase since 2017 in the number of employees citing “changes in my position” as a reason for going back to school
  • 84% of tuition assistance participants say their education prepared them for the future of work

The Working Learner Index Report

Read the full report for more insight on how education benefits are shaping the future of work

Gen Z Stats

Gen Z: The Learning Generation

Gen Z – even more than most employees – prioritize education benefits and external learning. Perhaps that’s because they’ve grown up in the shadow of recession, and recognize ongoing education as the key to future-proof skills.

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The Working Learner Index shows distinct generational learning trends. Use these insights to create messaging that reflects concerns and aspirations — and to design a program that gets results.

Tapping Your Underserved Audiences

Talent gaps exist in all areas of the business. Yet traditional tuition programs skew toward advanced degrees, with the number of students in graduate programs a startling 60% higher than the national average. That suggests many learners left on the sidelines, and a need for more inclusive benefits that will be good for employees…and business.


of US adults do not yet have a degree – a substantial untapped talent pool


of participants said they could not go back to school without access to their tuition program


of frontline and entry-level employees are still struggling with paying off student debt

Affordable Solutions for Offering Education to All Employees

Read how companies are removing financial barriers to education

education assistance survey

Recognizing and Addressing Barriers to Learning

Time and money remain top hurdles for adult learners. But progressive employers are smartly designing programs to chip away at these obstacles. The rewards go beyond increased participation, delivering shorter, less expensive degrees that get employees up and running with skills faster.

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Learn new approaches to removing time, cost, and uncertainty barriers to employee education.

Education benefits programs support business objectives and employee well-being

Retention and skill development are essential litmus tests for an effective program. But data shows education delivers equally great impacts on employee engagement, translating to substantial added value for an organization.


of tuition program participants are more likely to recommend their employer


of tuition program participants are a more effective employee


of tuition program participants feel more fulfilled


of tuition program participants are happier at work

online learning stats

Online Learning is the New Normal

Online delivery and innovative education options give employees lots of choices for education at faster speeds and lower costs. But to benefit, they’ll need help navigating among these hundreds of new educational options.

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Read how education coaches helped State Farm employees navigate school choices

Need more data? Interested in applying these insights to your own education programs? Contact our team here

Working Learner Index Inquiries


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