25 Companies That Offer Exceptional Professional Development Programs for Entry-Level Employees
These companies are investing in their employees' futures.
For students deciding where to begin their careers, professional development opportunities can really make a company stand out. While things like company culture and job security are important, structured opportunities to progress in a career can pay dividends – and students are aware just how valuable these opportunities for growth can be.
Luckily, there are many employers that offer outstanding professional development opportunities for new grads. From rotational programs to structured mentorship to online learning, top employers are ensuring that their new employees have the tools and framework to succeed in their careers. While countless companies offer great professional development programs, these 25 stand out to us as being truly exceptional – check them out below.
As a top healthcare products manufacturer, Abbott’s new hires participate in a two to three year development program with six areas of focus: finance, IT, manufacturing, quality assurance, engineering, and environmental health. What’s unique about this professional development program is that Abbott gives their participants the ability to personalize their experience based on their strengths or interests. For example, within the six areas of focus, members are provided with a variety of different learning paths and disciplines in their field of interest. This allows participants to personalize their learning experience to best fit themselves.
Donna Morris, Executive Vice President of Customer and Employee Experience at Adobe told Forbes that it’s extremely important “if someone early on in their career knows there’s a path for growth and career progression.” A 2018 survey conducted by Forbes and marketing research company Statista found that Adobe was the number one employer for recent graduates. Adobe starts building the experience and skills needed early, sometimes before candidates enter the workforce. For example, Adobe recruits a large and diverse internship program by visiting college campuses and organizations like Girls Who Code. In 2018 alone, there were over 800 individuals who were granted Adobe internships to learn the ins and outs of the computer software company.
Career-building doesn’t stop there, however. Adobe also offers a variety of educational resources on the company's practices for all new recent college graduates or individuals entering the workforce called Accelerate Adobe Life. In this program, individuals receive regular check-ins, performance reviews, and training programs before starting their new positions. From there, employees are given certain benefits like educational reimbursement and leadership development courses. These benefits empower entry-level employees to achieve continual growth and advancement in the company.
Allstate offers several rotational development programs, with one highlight being their Technology Leadership Development Program (TLDP). The goal of TLDP is to develop “versatile technology leaders by providing cross-functional experience through three rotations”. These rotations expose members to technology ops while simultaneously building business acumen and leadership skills. Three different rotations results in three distinct perspectives which allow members to build stronger networks and understanding of how the company functions as a whole. In terms of assignments, these involve people management, financial management, project management, client-facing work, operations, strategy, change management, and technical skills development. Specifically, these assignments can range from “developing architecture and infrastructure to support digital transformation” to actually “leading projects and managing teams”.
Allstate’s other rotational programs include a Leadership Development Program, Investments Development Program, and a Finance Risk Development Program. To learn more about these opportunities or TLDP, check out their Rotational Development Programs page.
AmeriCorps believes that professional development isn’t just a benefit for its fellows — it’s a job requirement. According to their 80/20 rule, 20 percent of AmeriCorps fellows’ time should be spent on personal and professional development. A great way of doing so is by becoming a member of their well-known VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) program, which aims to strengthen organizations that help poverty.
As a VISTA member, fellows are provided with face-to-face and online development trainings in order to “build capacity, strengthen communities, and develop [your] career.” AmeriCorps aims to provide VISTA participants with lifelong leadership, collaborative, and project management skills.
Baker Hughes offers a robust early-career development program for innovative students who are excited about changing the future of energy. In Baker Hughes’ program, recent grads rotate through different business functions and solve critical business challenges, all while developing strong technical skills and working in cross-functional teams. Throughout the program, recent grads also have access to mentorship from senior leadership, as well as training to grow as future leaders within the company. What’s more, the inclusive culture ensures that new employees feel comfortable asking questions and growing within the company. Of the development program, one employee in finance said: “My coworkers and assignment leaders in all my rotations have been amazing - kind, caring, approachable. I've learned immensely because I am always encouraged to ask questions and learn as much as possible."
Boston Consulting Group
At Boston Consulting Group, every employee “is hired with the belief that he or she will be a long-term employee, capable of substantial professional and personal growth within the firm”. This statement is reflected in their LAB Learning Portal, which is available to employees across the world and gives employees an on demand access point to training and content from their 20-plus areas of expertise. There’s even virtual classrooms offered almost every day that provide access to their “global experience and latest thinking”. And if that’s not enough, there’s also individualized training recommendation in order to help employees “develop problem solving, analytical, communication, leadership, and client service skills, helping you to learn more and continuously expand your potential through your on-the-job experiences”. BCG truly “recognize and value each individual’s desire for career development and work to create world-class opportunities and programming in order to enable that growth.”
Box, a cloud computing business with clients like Morgan Stanley, Allstate, GE and more, has opened applications for Sales Development Representative program (2020 & 2021 graduates). What makes this opportunity stand out from the thousands of sales roles out there is that Box has a specific dedication to investing in entry-level talent. The ‘Work as One’ company mentality creates a collaborative environment between teams and senior leadership. This offers early professionals opportunities to network and receive mentorship on a consistent basis. Another awesome Box initiative: Project Elevate. This internal mobility program paves the way for sales professionals to move into management and leadership positions. The company even prides itself on how many Box leaders started in SDR roles. Graduates looking for a starter sales role with a built out roadmap for upward mobility should definitely consider becoming a Boxer!
Chubb has an Associate Program for early career professionals to “help them develop expertise and technical acumen as an insurance professional”. The program includes a vast array of benefits including training sessions with peers and leadership as well as mentoring from prior program graduates to help early career professionals navigate the organization. One of the programs’ learning event highlights is the Early Career Workshop, in which associates have the opportunity to learn about the insurance industry directly from Chubb executives. The workshop culminates with early career colleagues splitting into groups to create projects based on learning in the session. According to Chubb, these efforts are to ensure their early career professionals “have the chance to hone [their] skills and talents and ultimately reach [their] career goals and contribute to the future success of the company.”
Cigna has a Leadership Development Program that recruits for nine different areas, including marketing, finance, technology, operations, and sales. Members of the program – referred to as associates – not only work in a variety of positions, but have access to mentorship and have a dedicated program manager who oversees their career growth and progression throughout the program. Associates in full-time rotational programs also get to attend the biennial Cross Program Summit. Attendees of the summit expand their professional network, interact with members of the Cigna leadership team (including Cigna's CEO) and attend sessions and seminars to enhance and deepen their understanding of the business.
Cushman & Wakefield
When choosing your first job out of college, it can be hard to choose a specific role that suits your goals. That’s why Cushman & Wakefield, a leading global real estate firm, offers multiple area-specific programs to help graduates discover the positions right for them based on their personal hands-on experience. These programs are 2 years long and cover many areas: Commercial Property, Quantity Surveying, Project Management, Residential, Planning, Development, Interior Design, Building Services Engineering, and Real Estate Consultant. Each of these programs offer strong training from colleagues and seniors in the respective fields. The flexibility of being able to become an expert in the field before landing in the role make these programs awesome options for young professionals eager to start exploring without committing to a singular position and path.
In the midst of a recession, former CEO of Deloitte, Barry Salzberg, took a bold but rewarding risk for the future of his company. Deloitte University is a 300 million dollar learning center in Texas dedicated to providing employees the opportunities, training, and tools to create a strong company. Salzberg believed in taking intelligent risks and investing in his employees, which he discusses in the Deloitte Resilient podcast about Deloitte University. By building Deloitte University, Salzberg believed it would show current and future employees the company’s long term commitment to their development and advancement. Deloitte University acts as a continuous education resource for all employee levels at the company, although interns and new hires receive specialized training as well. In order to better acclimate to a new company, each intern and recent graduate is given access to a mentorship team, including a counselor and onboarding advisor. The counselor, typically a manager or senior manager, provides career guidance and feedback throughout the course of the internship or onboarding process for a new hire.
Before kick-starting their careers, undergraduate and graduate students during their final years of study can apply to Goldman Sachs’ New Analyst Program, designed to provide students with little business and professional experience with the networks, resources, and skills to achieve success. However, Goldman Sachs believes in maximizing the potential of all employees, old and new. That’s why each employee has access to valuable educational resources through Goldman Sachs University.
At GSU, junior employees have special access to classes that “focus on building foundational professional and technical skills.” From there, employees of Goldman Sachs continue to receive education. No matter the career milestone, Goldman Sachs makes sure to provide their new employees with the proper training programs and attention to building a strong company culture and leadership base. All employees are encouraged to participate in a classroom or online-based training program each year. In addition, senior employees receive specialized training in order “manage people and projects effectively, exhibit strong leadership and exemplify the firm’s culture.”
Honeywell has an Early Career Engineer Rotational Program (ECERP) that ‘was developed to provide recent chemical and mechanical engineering graduates with the opportunity to be exposed and trained across multiple businesses and functions.’ Through project-based assignments and problem solving, the program introduces recent grads to different segments of Honeywell over the course of 36 months. This allows graduates to grow their network across Honeywell’s various fields, gain work experience, and develop relationships they might otherwise not have the chance to. At the end of the program, they will have the opportunity to be placed in one of Honeywell’s key sites.
Honeywell also offers other career development opportunities, such as UOP Career Development Program and a Supply Chain Professional Accelerated Career Entry Program (ISC PACE) to ensure that recent graduates have ways to maximize their learning while advancing their career.
Macy’s Executive Development Program offers recent graduates the opportunity to learn all about the retail industry and business before being placed in a specific role. Participants will not only have the opportunity to have a mentor throughout the time in the program, but will also have unparalleled access to leadership - giving them the opportunity to ask questions, receive advice, and network with industry leaders. The program also provides a dynamic learning environment to make sure their workers are comfortable with their new role! Don’t take our word for it – check out what members of the EDP had to say about their experience and how it helped them succeed in their roles at Macy’s.
Mastercard offers a variety of programs and initiatives to ensure that their employees have access to professional development opportunities. Their ‘MasterCard Launch’ program provides recent graduates opportunities to learn about MasterCard’s business and customers while networking, receiving mentorship, and enhancing their professional skills.
Similarly, their MBA program, and 18 month rotational leadership program, allows graduates with MBAs to experience three, six-month placements across several business units. Some of the placement rotations include: creating new economic models for business development in Europe, developing a strategy for cyber security and intelligence products in North America, implementing marketing strategies for new products around the world, and creating innovative solutions for the underbanked population in Africa’. By the end of the programs, participants will have gained the valuable professional opportunities and connections to help them be successful at Mastercard.
At McMaster-Carr, a business-to-business e-commerce company, learning and development is embedded in the company’s culture – and its programs for new grads. For recent graduates, McMaster-Carr offers two standout programs for students to develop their skills and kickstart their professional careers.
McMaster-Carr’s Management Development track provides an avenue for new grads to hone their leadership skills, take ownership of high-impact projects, and gain exposure to multiple areas of the business. In this article, McMaster-Carr employees shared just how beneficial Management Development was for their overall career trajectory, highlighting the opportunities they’ve had to manage people early on in their careers and tackle complex projects – all with support and mentorship from leadership.
McMaster-Carr also offers a Development and Design track, a training program that teaches the fundamentals of programming and system design. What’s unique about this entry-level program is that McMaster-Carr seeks out problem solvers from all academic backgrounds – not just Computer Science majors – to join their Systems department. Through immersive training and a culture of development, new grads have the opportunity to begin a rewarding and challenging career in tech. You can learn more about this unique program by reading this article here.
Outside of these entry-level programs, McMaster-Carr invests in the long-term career growth of its employees by offering formal mentorship programs, regular meetings with managers for coaching and advice, and tuition benefits for any college program, including an MBA.
M&T Bank has several professional development programs, with one of the highlights being their Technology Development Program. M&T designed the rotational program to “help you plan your unique path”, and over the course of two years program members play an active role in the M&T Tech transformation journey while interacting with Senior Technology leaders at the company. By the end of the program, members will have had visibility to all opportunities within tech and begin selecting their permanent assignment.
M&T offers several other programs, including the Executive Associate Program, Management Development Program, Technology Internship Program, and other internships. To learn more about any of those, check out their Student, Graduate, and Professional Training Programs page.
Established in 1933, the NBCUniversal Page Program is one of the most well-known early career development programs in media today. The 12-month learning and development program gives Pages exposure to various facets of the NBC portfolio through 3 to 4 rotational periods. During their rotations in ambassadorship, business, consumer, and content, Pages acquire hands-on work experience and acquire skills they can take with them in the next phase of their careers. Upon graduation from the program, Pages have a three-month paid transition period where they are eligible to apply for roles across the NBCUniversal portfolio, all while receiving guidance and support from the Page Program team.
Revature is a tech career launchpad and the largest employer of entry-level technology talent in the U.S. Ths company prides itself on providing recent graduates – whether its from university or coding bootcamps – with a strong first job in tech. Their two-year program offers young professionals real world projects working on the enterprise level through contracted projects. But besides the hands-on work in the field, Revature also provides entry-level employees with customized training initiatives that are based on the most needed programming skills in the current job market-- helping recent grads continue to develop as tech professionals. Finally, this program provides every Revature employee with mentorship and support to make sure they have all the tools you need to develop their tech career.
Roivant Sciences, a global healthcare company focused on rapidly developing innovative medicines through a novel form of industrial organization in R&D, invests in its early-career employees as much as it invests in the future of healthcare.
Roivant's analyst program trains and develops recent graduates to become future leaders of the organization. The program has three tracks – general, tech, and accounting – and gives analysts the opportunity to develop Roivant’s health and pharmaceutical companies (what Roivant calls “Vants”) in their early stages. While the exact responsibilities vary depending on the track, analysts have the opportunity to do meaningful work early on in their careers, working side-by-side with experienced professionals and senior management to drive critical investment and development decisions. Analysts rotate between four different departments or functions over the course of the two-year program, giving them the chance to take on different responsibilities before settling into long-term roles across the Vant Family.
One Roivant analyst described the company and the opportunity for new graduates as follows: "The combination of our small, entrepreneurial size and our vast vision for transforming healthcare makes Roivant an all hands on deck environment. This enables young employees looking for an intense challenge to contribute at the highest levels of the company."
Stryker, one of the world’s leading medical technology companies, offers many strong internships and entry-level positions for students. The strongest opportunities for recent graduates at this company are in the Business Rotational Program and the Engineering Rotational Program. Each has two subsets, for the Business program Stryker offers the Finance & Accounting Program (FAR) and the Operations Leadership Program (OLP). And for the Engineering program, there is the Rotational Intensive Specialized Experience Program (RISE) and the Advanced Operations Global Engineering Development Program (AOGEDP). These programs offered hands-on experience, formal mentorship, and professional certifications across a variety of fields within Stryker – all in 2-3 years! Stryker’s Rotational programs are the perfect place for graduates who want to advance professionally in a timely and organized manner.
This global semiconductor design & manufacturing company invests heavily in the development of their employees, and that includes recent college grads. Texas Instruments' "Make an Impact" program is a one-year development program designed to help employees build on their education and make an impact at TI their first year on the job. The program includes engineering and professional classroom courses, quarterly hands-on sessions to learn from internal experts, as well as opportunities to network with other new grads and senior leaders.
TI also offers a robust set of rotational programs with varying lengths and focuses; the company has nine different tracks in engineering and 5 different tracks in business.
Triage Consulting provides a variety of resources and benefits for their new hires adjusting to a new office as part of their award-winning professional development program recognized by Modern Healthcare, Glassdoor, and the Great Place to Work Institute. Entry-level employees in particular benefit greatly from these opportunities through continuous support and confidence-building opportunities. For example, every new Associate and Analyst participates in a formal training program proctored by experienced Triage staff. During the first two years at Triage, this training program aims to educate and strengthen new employees’ technical capabilities, communication, and project management skills.
After the training program, employees then enter a Professional Development Program focused on leadership and gaining the hard and soft skills to excel at Triage. A formal mentorship program connects new employees with others for continued guidance and an expanding network afterwards. Additionally, Triage invests in over 100 hours of training opportunities during every new employee’s first year, according to a video on their “Join Our Team” page. There are several employee testimonials throughout the course of the video. One employee said, “whether you’re technically-minded, clinically-minded or more interested in managing a team. Triage really gives you the opportunity to really develop those skills and excel.”
Veeva is dedicated to acquiring and maintaining new university talent through various professional development programs. The Engineering Development Program allows recent grads to build their software development expertise by allowing them opportunities to work in various application, platforms, and product teams. Similarly, the Consultant Development Program allows participants to gain experience and knowledge in consulting, application functional knowledge, technical platform skills, and life sciences industry. These skills and experiences “provide the gateway to taking your career to the next level in one of our Services, Sales, or Product Management teams,” according to Veeva’s website. Check out their success stories here and learn how Veeva can offer you a seamless transition from university to your future career.
Wells Fargo has a plethora of internship and development programs for both undergraduates and post-grads. There are several benefits to joining one of these programs at Wells Fargo, which include specialized training that will grow technical and non-technical skills, learning from mentors, attending exclusive events for early career participants, and access to senior leaders across the company. Undergrad programs include opportunities in finance, tech, investment management, securities, audit, consumer lending and more. All of these fantastic opportunities are designed to “give you the tools, network, and experience you need to achieve - and even surpass - your goals.”
These are just a few of the many companies that have made an effort to create a culture of learning for all of their employees, especially recent college grads. Whether or not you've landed your dream job or just started your search, these are great companies to have on your radar if you care about career growth.