12 Companies That Offer Exceptional Professional Development Programs for Entry-Level Employees
These companies are investing in their employees' futures.
For college students exploring their career options after graduation, there's one thing a company can offer that stands out from the rest: professional development opportunities.
According to our survey of 2019 grads, professional development ranked as the most influential factor when selecting a job, followed by location, company culture, and opportunities for advancement. As many as 57% of class of 2019 graduates accepted a job offer because of a company's opportunities for professional development.
The good news is that companies are taking notice. 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 12 stand out to us as being truly exceptional – check them out below.
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.
2. Triage Consulting
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.”
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.
4. Roivant Sciences
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."
5. Texas Instruments
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.
6. Goldman Sachs
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.”
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.
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.
9. Seattle Genetics
At Seattle Genetics, “developing our employees’ careers is an investment for both our employees and [our] future” Taylor Cline, a staffing associate at Seattle Genetics, told Monster. Seattle Genetics is a biotechnology company focused on developing antibody-based therapies and technology for the treatment of cancer. Every new member of their team is offered a one year pharmacy fellowship program. The fellowship program is both unique and valuable to members entering the workforce because it provides hands-on experience in oncology marketing, medical affairs and drug safety. Likewise, opportunities to publish their work, attend leadership courses, and meet one-on-one with executives give fellowship participants support and confidence in their future careers.
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.
As part of their onboarding process, all new Amazon employees participate in a month-long training and leadership program. This allows new employees to better acclimate themselves to a new company environment, while also building confidence and professional skills along the way. For example, in order to promote continued advancement at Amazon, the Career Choice program was created in 2012. The program offers a variety of educational benefits for all hourly employees that have worked at Amazon for as little as a year. Benefits for the Career Choice program includes a 95% tuition reimbursement for employees to take courses and buy textbooks in in-demand fields. Additionally, “A Virtual Contact Center” is offered as a training resource for employees to work from home.
AmeriCorps believes that professional development isn’t just a benefit for its employees — it’s a job requirement. According to their 80/20 rule, 20 percent of AmeriCorps members’ 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, employees 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.
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.