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Starbucks Offers Workers 2 Years of Free College 169

Posted by samzenpus
from the grande-school dept.
mpicpp writes Starbucks baristas working through college are about to get an extra boost from their employer. The company announced it will offer both full and part-time employees a generous tuition reimbursement benefit that covers two full years of classes. The benefit is through a partnership with Arizona State University's online studies program. Employees can choose from any of more than 40 undergraduate degrees, and aren't limited to only business classes.
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Starbucks Offers Workers 2 Years of Free College

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  • by nowsharing (2732637) on Monday June 16, 2014 @04:16PM (#47248625)

    In the field of anthropology, we typically get our degree first before moving on to Starbucks employment.

    • Why don't you put your degree to work and go work at Anthropologie?

    • Always remember that your barista responsibilites change based on your field. As a former archaeologist, I cannot tell you how many nazis I killed while working at Starbucks.
      • Always remember that your barista responsibilites change based on your field. As a former archaeologist, I cannot tell you how many nazis I killed while working at Starbucks.

        Did you recommend the Lost Ark blend, with room for scream? I hear that one is quite the face melter, it's so hot.

    • I know it's a joke but whenever I hear people rag on "burger flippers" I'm reminded that the CEO of McDonalds is a former burger flipper. Personally I'd much rather hire a kid who wasn't afraid to scrub toilets to pay for an education, than some upper class ponce breezing through life on their parents dime.
  • by McGruber (1417641)
    It is just a joint marketing ploy between Starbucks and ASU.
  • BSES (Score:5, Interesting)

    by MobyDisk (75490) on Monday June 16, 2014 @04:23PM (#47248689) Homepage

    By 2016, the average barista will need at least a 2 year degree to remain competitive. The best ones will have their BSES (Bachelor of science in espresso services)

    • by SQLGuru (980662)

      Is that more or less prestigious than a BA in art history or music theory or some such? I mean, sure, it has Science in it's name, but you might be better off with an Bachelors of Espresso Engineering. I hear Engineers make a lot of money.

      • No no no! What you really need for good coffee will be the mechanic or tech from trade school. The engineer won't listen to him/her and will put the lever on the wrong side due to a misplaced concept of efficiency. The scientist will complain that the engineer isn't doing it with appropriate reverence with the theoretical underpinnings (to which the engineer has comments on what the scientist can do with the real world non-ideological coffee processing device's lever) and the artist will be secretly wond
    • Re:BSES (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Dragonslicer (991472) on Monday June 16, 2014 @05:24PM (#47249215)
      Just tossing out a stray thought, but how much value would there be in having maybe one person at a Starbucks with some sort of culinary arts education/training? I'm sure it wouldn't be much, but it was an interesting thought I had.
      • Not much, I suspect. Starbucks are a lot like McDonalds in that uniformity will always take precedence over creativity. It may not be the best coffee/burger, but the customer always knows what to expect.
      • by NoKaOi (1415755)

        Just tossing out a stray thought, but how much value would there be in having maybe one person at a Starbucks with some sort of culinary arts education/training? I'm sure it wouldn't be much, but it was an interesting thought I had.

        Value? None. It breaks the Starbucks model. Starbucks is really just a fast-food place like McDonald's, the employees at their locations are not chefs and don't come up with the recipes. They are not supposed to make culinary decisions, they follow a specific set of procedures, and although those procedures may be more complex and require more skill than at other fast-food restaurants, they are still a set of procedures that somebody else came up with.

        • Jinx.
        • by geekoid (135745)

          "... require more skill than at other fast-food restaurants,.."
          no, no it doesn't. I could argue it's less skill.

          Everything is push button, and you never have to deal with grease.

      • by McGruber (1417641)

        Just tossing out a stray thought, but how much value would there be in having maybe one person at a Starbucks with some sort of culinary arts education/training?

        That would increase healthcare costs because Starbucks employees trained in culinary arts would need to consume a lot of antidepressants.

  • by Stormwatch (703920) <rodrigogirao@@@hotmail...com> on Monday June 16, 2014 @04:25PM (#47248705) Homepage

    In civilized countries, education is public and fully tax-paid anyway.

    • You used that trick on us for health care.

      I guess you plan to use that tactic on each program you think that everyone should be paying for.

      • The U.S.A. still doesn't have a real socialist health care system because you have private insurance companies in the mix.

      • by geekoid (135745)

        Let me know when we remove the insurance companies from the equation. Then we can begin to think about comparing the American Health care system to good health care systems

    • by alen (225700)

      and taxes are like 90% because the stupid kids decide they don't want to work in their 20's and go on mental vacations because college was so stressful

      • by digsbo (1292334)
        In fairness, part of the extraordinarily high young adult unemployment is due to labor laws that punish the crap out of any business that hires a crappy worker. They can't fire them.
      • I pay about 22% income tax on my PhD student salary of about $48000, my studies were paid by taxpayers from 1st grade all the way up to my masters degree and we get student grants which cover part of the living costs, student loans (from the state at low interest rate, not a bank) for the rest.. Tax is not high enough in my opinion, recent cuts by the current (but not for long now) right wing government have been catastrophic for our general welfare system.

    • by alen (225700)

      yeah, except that there are only a few universities in the country and only a minority of the kids go on to higher education
      in the USA every hick redneck town has a college and almost everyone goes to college now

    • Then why are American schools full of Europeans?

      • by HuguesT (84078)

        Only of those Europeans that have rich families. The European universities are full of European students too (and very few North Americans), usually the not-so-rich kind.

    • by mattack2 (1165421)

      It is here too, through high school.. But *college* education *shouldn't* be fully paid. Why should *I* pay for *your* education for a higher ed degree to get a better job? Why don't you pay for it yourself, or your parents pay for it (I personally think it's part of parents' duty to pay for their kids college)?

      (BTW, yes, I did go to a UC. So I realize you can claim hypocrisy.. but my taxes are already paying for part of that for others.. Just not "fully tax-paid".)

      • Because everyone should be granted the oppurtunity of higher studies, regardless of background and parents ability to pay. I don't come from a wealthy family by any means, if it wasn't for higher education being free, I would most likely have ended my education after high school, now I'm working on my PhD. A well educated populace is not only beneficial to the individuals who get the degrees, but to society as a whole.

  • Was this suppose to be a joke? Or would Starbucks want more B-School majors in their workforce?

    • by ScentCone (795499)

      Was this suppose to be a joke? Or would Starbucks want more B-School majors in their workforce?

      They, like most businesses that do better when the economy as a whole is doing better, have a vested interest in more people throughout the society having some sort of actual clue about how businesses operate, what money is, where jobs come from, that sort of thing.

    • by Solandri (704621)
      Starbuck's CEO Schultz is a smart cookie. He realizes while raising the minimum wage will ameliorate the problem, it is ultimately not a solution. Wages for low-skill jobs are low because of simple supply/demand economics. Too many unskilled workers + not enough jobs for them = low wages for them.

      Schultz recognizes that the ultimate solution is to change this supply/demand balance. Technological progress means low-skilled jobs are disappearing, so the only avenue available is to reduce the number of
      • by Belial6 (794905)
        You make the same mistake on calculating minimum wage as every other person who would rather see it removed completely. The US government engineers inflation on purpose. Whether this is a good idea or not is irrelevant because it is what is happening. That means, if we don't (and in fact we don't) at the very least, peg minimum wage to inflation, then we are in fact lowering the minimum wage year after year. Worse yet, it is at at compounding rate. This means that any argument against raising the minim
    • by will_die (586523)
      No but Starbucks wants to employ the upper end of the no to low skill work force.
      By offering school it thinks it can get more people in that range to apply even if they never follow through with taking the classes.
  • by PopeRatzo (965947) on Monday June 16, 2014 @04:41PM (#47248829) Homepage Journal

    This is good news for all the departments of gender studies and theater programs.

  • by qpqp (1969898) on Monday June 16, 2014 @04:48PM (#47248909)

    The benefit is through a partnership with Arizona State University's online studies program. [emphasis added]

    Really? Wow. Great, but WTF?
    They get free online courses? These are only a google (or itunes U) search away regardless of this partnership.

    • by MAXOMENOS (9802)
      The difference is that ASU will actually confer a degree for all that online classwork, provided the student gets good enough grades. Once can even obtain degrees in EE or CS through their online program. The main thing the student misses out on is campus life.
  • only one school and does it transfer both ways?

  • Is Starbucks also going to pay the employees' income tax on the amount of annual tuition benefit in excess of $5250?

    • by hurfy (735314)

      I think the newspaper article said $6500 out of about $20k for 2 year degree so that would be less. Not sure why the linked article says all, too lazy to search for a tie-breaker.

      • Given that Starbucks is bringing more revenue to ASU, want to take a guess at how much Starbucks will actually be paying ASU for this benefit (if anything)? It can't be 50%. I doubt 25%. If I'd have been Starbucks, I'd have asked ASU to pay for the marketing.

  • pun intended, given the amount of coffee consumed by college students, this is potentially a net win for SB.
  • Just a FYI this covers only company stores, not "licensed" stores (which aren't run by Starbucks, and comprise about 40% of locations). Per: http://www.businessinsider.com... [businessinsider.com] (that being said, good for them).
  • How many qualifying Starbucks employees already have undergrad degrees?
    How much is Starbucks playing ASU per pupil (if anything)?
    What's the value (if any) of an ASU online degree (better than Phoenix, but...)?
    What percentage and raw number of Starbucks employees, will choose an ASU online degree over a more traditional degree?

    I'd love if the answers to those questions made this program look great, but I doubt they will, or that the cost of the program is more than its marketing value as calculated by the

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