• United States

Carrying out career planning

Mar 18, 20042 mins
Data Center

* Results from a survey of 119 high-tech organizations on their career planning programs

High-tech is a fast-paced industry in which required skills change often, making professional development of your people a priority for leaders. The most popular career planning programs offered by tech employers are paid conference attendance, professional memberships and tuition reimbursement.

Tech compensation researcher Culpepper and Associates’ March eBulletin shows the findings of a recent survey of 119 high-tech organizations on their career planning programs. According to the results, employers offer different programs to different employee levels.

For frontline managers, the most common career planning programs include conference attendance and professional memberships, which were offered by 89% of responding companies. Next is trade journal subscriptions at 82%, and tuition reimbursement at 78%.

Across all levels of employees, which includes managers, professionals, and non-exempt staff, tuition reimbursement is the most popular career planning option. Most companies require that the course be applicable to a worker’s job responsibilities (59%) or that it counts towards a degree or certification (54%). Nearly half (48%) of companies require that it relate to the employee’s career.

Of companies that offer tuition reimbursement, 69% cover the full tuition costs if employees meet a grade or performance requirement. For 11% of firms, reimbursement varies based on grade or performance; 5% offer between 60% to 90% reimbursement with a grade/performance requirement; 5% say reimbursement varies based on the cost of training/course, and 4% offer 100% reimbursement with no conditions. Finally, 6% of respondents offer some other type of conditions for reimbursement.

Overall, 11% of employees received tuition reimbursement during 2003, though the results vary according to company size. Smaller firms of 100 or fewer employees had 21% of staff taking advantage of the benefit, while results decreased to only 3% for firms with more than 1000 workers. Culpepper attributes the decrease in larger companies to the fact that these firms often provide their own internal training programs.

For more survey results, including a look at professional development programs and training budgets, go to