You Can Go to School for Free (If You Work at This Company)

You’ve probably heard of employers that provide tuition assistance, but have you heard of a program that foots the bill entirely–and even gives you time off to study?

I didn’t think so.

United Technologies Corp. is a high technology company that provides systems and services to the building and aerospace industries. That Otis elevator you took up to your office this morning? Otis is just one part of the UTC ecosystem.

But not every highly successful business invests more than $1.2 billion in the education of its employees. On its website, UTC says it wants to employ the best-educated workforce in the world. It’s investing in its own people to make that happen.

No Strings Attached

The generosity of UTC’s Employee Scholar Program–now in its 20th year–is pretty phenomenal. Nearly 7,000 employees are currently enrolled in it, which has supported the earning of 38,000 degrees.

This best-in-class program does the following:

  • Pays for tuition, fees, and books at schools around the world
  • Makes payments directly to educational institutions to minimize an employee’s out-of-pocket costs
  • Offers three hours in paid time off to study every week
  • Covers degrees in any field, including advanced degrees and credentials, whether or not they are related to an employee’s current job

More Than $1 Billion

“It’s the best $1.2 billion we’ve ever spent, because it’s made our people better and our company more innovative,” said Gregory Hayes, chairman and CEO of UTC, in a statement. “No company can guarantee lifelong employment, but we believe we can guarantee the opportunity for lifelong learning.”

And there is no requirement to stay with UTC after you’ve earned your degree.

Courtney Dornell started her career at UTC as an engineer 15 years ago. Today, she is director of sales and marketing for Otis Latin America. Through the Employer Scholar Program, Dornell is earning an M.B.A. at Columbia University.

“United Technologies is not just a company to me–it really is a family,” Dornell says in a video. “Ten years ago I set my sights on a new role with the company, and the Employee Scholar Program has helped me get to where I am today, and it will continue to help me go further in my career.”

To learn more and hear about the experiences of other participants in UTC’s Employee Scholar Program, visit