In Early September as part of Adobe’s “Adobe For All” summit celebrating employee diversity, a handful of new employee benefits were announced, including one that has me as excited as I’ve ever been over something at this great company.
Adobe officials announced the Learning Fund, an expansion of a benefit that already existed at Adobe, which allowed for tuition reimbursement of up to $10,000 a year in tuition expenses for accredited education programs.
The monumental change to the benefit is that a number of online certification programs, including courses through programs like EdX.org or IDEO, are now covered. Full details of the program can be found here.
The Learning Fund also includes reimbursement for up to $1,000 a year for attending conferences or workshops that further learning associated with your career goals.
My first reaction to these two new features of the program was “I can’t believe it”, but once I confirmed that I was understanding the benefits correctly, I was overjoyed. For the past couple of years, I have had a hunger to enroll in some sort of online graduate program (I’ve looked at Masters of Data Science, Masters of Legal Studies, and any number of other programs). I have a thirst for learning and prefer a more structured program than many of the free programs that are out there. Additionally, I felt like I was leaving money on the table by not taking advantage of Adobe’s tuition reimbursement benefit.
Meanwhile, increasingly high quality content was being generated and released through platforms like EdX, but it was hard to prioritize pulling the trigger on course fees knowing that the tuition reimbursement benefit for a more formal program was out there. I mentally wrapped myself into a small Catch-22 of my own making.
Those barriers are gone now, though. I feel like I now have a license to learn to improve myself academically that is much more empowering than the license that I held a few weeks ago. Although I suspect my opinion on my next statement would change if I were more heavily utilizing health insurance benefits to deal with health problems, this new learning benefit is the greatest thing of value that the company is providing me, and for that I am thankful.
Within 24 hours of learning of the new program, I did three things:
- I enrolled myself in the Harvard/EdX Data Science certificate program.
- I contacted my direct team with details about the program and encouraged them to take advantage of it as much as their time allowed.
- I contacted my manager to discuss how we could evangelize this benefit throughout this organization and encourage the broader team to take advantage.
I’m not a parent, so I haven’t highlighted the other major (and amazing) benefit change that was announced at the conference: paid family leave for new parents would be extended so that both mothers and fathers would receive 16 weeks of paid leave, with mother also receiving 10 weeks medical leave. This is another amazingly “woke” benefit of Adobe to lead the charge against the archaic and inhumane lack of paid parental leave laws that exist (or don’t exist) in this country.
The multi-faceted focus on employee well-being is truly a blessing at this company, and I am very thankful and happy to work here always, but especially when great news like last week’s is announced.