Helping fund employees’ higher education is a major boost to employee loyalty.  Employees are less likely to look at other employers or to leave when a company invests in them.  It’s a double win for the employer, because the employee can use the education to advance projects, create innovation, and lead teams.  A highly trained and highly motivated workforce is a powerful corporate tool.  Especially in times when companies are competing for talent, companies need to be creative and open-minded about providing benefits that attract and keep quality employees.

Here are some degrees and certifications that pack a serious punch in terms of corporate wellness.

MBA

An MBA, short for Masters of Business Administration, is the classic degree employers like to invest in.  Employees with MBAs are trained to take on management and other leadership positions within the organization.  No company can succeed without good leadership, which is what makes this a natural fit for HR to fund.

Leadership

Even if a company doesn’t want to pay for a full MBA, there are a variety of leadership and management certifications that can be a cost-effective alternative and still provide your business with augmented leadership skills.  If HR can hone in on the particular skills a team needs, such as teaching, inspiring, creative thinking, strategy, there are classes and certifications that focus on those tools.

Project Director

An employee who is a certified project director can take on leadership of all manner of projects.  Project directors ensure efficiency and quality, watch out for the company’s interest in contract negotiations and hiring, and ensure the project adheres to a budget.  Healthy companies grow.  Smart growth requires projects.  Projects benefit from good direction.

Finance

Finance degrees balance higher, and complex math, with an emphasis on analysis.  For financial companies, and companies that are growing, understanding how to handle money, payments, loans, insurance, and other types of financing will be key.  Growth takes money, and more importantly a monetary strategy and management plan.

Marketing

Every business wants more customers.  Good marketing generates an increase in sales.  A marketing degree sets an employee up for a career in sales, in advertising, and media, branding, and other types of marketing.

Business Administration

Compared to an MBA, business administration degrees focus less on finance and more on managerial skills, such as customer service, communication, and employee engagement.  A business administrator will be able to help make strategic staffing decisions.  This is a great degree for employees who want to leverage their natural people skills within the organization.

Communications

Businesses are constantly conveying information.  Management flows information and strategy to their reports.  Departments share information among themselves and with vendors. The company as a whole conveys information to customers and the public.  Employees with communication degrees can help ensure that the information is passed on in a way that ensures all parties understand and benefit from it.  They understand their audiences and how to communicate in a way that facilitates corporate goals.

Statistics

Companies with statisticians on their teams are able to help business leaders make good decisions by analyzing past performance and predicting future trends.  Training in statistics is useful in product design, marketing, pricing, and financial management.

E-Commerce

Courses in e-commerce will help a team know how to implement online platforms on which your company can conduct business.  Employees trained in e-commerce principles and technologies can help make sure customers can find you online and then have positive and streamlined experience buying the company’s goods or services.

Public Relations

Having an employee on staff with a degree in public relations will help your company maintain a positive public image.  A good public image is key for controlling your brand and attracting clients.  This type of training is especially valuable for businesses who are large, and therefore reach a wide variety of people with a wide variety of perspectives, and businesses that do work that can be controversial.

Computer Science

Whether the employee gets a full degree or takes professional development courses, a computer science education is a means to make your business operate more efficiently.  Most businesses rely heavily on computers. Having someone on staff and available to support your departments in obtaining and running the hardware and software needed to conduct business is like having an insurance plan for how your office functions.

Information Security

Between malware, spyware, hacking, and ransomware, companies have become acutely aware of the dangers that exist around protecting their information.  Having strong information security staff reduces the risk that the company loses control of its information.  Businesses need their data, information, and systems to continue to function.