Target is implementing a new education program that will pay for college and associate degrees in selected schools. It also helps pay for graduate school expenses. Walmart, Chipotle and Starbucks already offering similar debt-free education programs.

Target said on Wednesday that it would provide job seekers with new benefits: a debt-free way to earn a college degree and pay for graduate programs.

The large retailer said that starting this fall, it will pay tuition, fees and textbooks for part-time and full-time employees seeking qualified university degrees in more than 40 institutions. It will also provide funding for advanced degrees, paying up to $10,000 per year for master’s programs in these schools.

The national retailer is the latest company to provide benefits to attract job seekers in the competitive job market. Through this move, Target has joined other retailers and restaurant chains, including Chipotle and Starbucks, which have plans to help employees pay for college. Wal-Mart recently announced that it would pay the full cost of college tuition and books for its employees, previously requiring them to pay $1 a day.

At Target, employees in US stores, distribution centres, and headquarters will be eligible on the first day. Target will cover the total cost of 250 courses related to your business, such as computer science, information technology, and business management. If employees choose a different major or pursue a graduate degree, Target will pay up to $5,250 for non-master’s degrees and up to $10,000 for master’s degrees each year, directly to academic institutions.

Target said it plans to invest US$200 million in the education program over the next four years. He co-developed the program with Guild Education, which operates a corporate education assistance program. Participating schools include the University of Arizona, Oregon State University, the University of Denver, and Morehouse College.

Source: CNBC