Pandemic Drives Working Americans to Seek Further Education

New survey from Bright Horizons EdAssist Solutions® reveals value of education opportunities, including promoting equity in the workplace

WATERTOWN, Mass.--()--The COVID-19 pandemic ignited a shift in how working Americans view continuing education, according to a new survey commissioned by Bright Horizons EdAssist Solutions® (NYSE: BFAM). The survey revealed the 85% of full and part-time employed Americans feel employers need to rethink their benefits offerings in light of the pandemic.

What are employees looking for in this current climate? Education opportunities. 78% of working Americans believe the pandemic has increased the need for companies to support their employees with education benefits, including tuition reimbursement for degree and non-degree programs and student loan repayment programs.

What’s more, education benefits are not only driving employee motivation, but they may be a key factor in promoting workplace equality. According to the survey, nearly two-thirds of American workers (65 percent) think that providing education benefits to all employees helps promote racial and gender equality in the workplace.

We are seeing a significantly higher retention rate among Black, Hispanic, and female employees who are participating in their employer’s benefits program through EdAssist Solutions,” says Patrick Donovan, Senior Vice President, Emerging Services at Bright Horizons. “Now more than ever, employers are looking to build inclusive cultures, create a level playing field for all employees, drive higher retention and, ultimately, more career advancement. Workforce education programs can help achieve these goals.”

In addition to an increased desire for education opportunities – the availability of employer-sponsored education assistance is having a deeper impact on today’s workforce:

  • 75 percent say they would feel more motivated in their current job if they had access to education opportunities through their employer.
  • 74 percent believe these opportunities would make them feel more secure in their current job.
  • 73 percent agree that education opportunities offered by their employer would make them feel more equipped to do their current job.

COVID-19 magnified the need for career development and accelerated learning in the workforce as corporate strategies have shifted and difficult staffing decisions created new and immediate needs,” says Donovan. “There is a real opportunity for employers to rethink their benefits programs to meet the needs of today’s workforce and invest in ways to drive employee performance – that starts with providing compelling education benefits.”

For more information on Bright Horizons EdAssist Solutions, please visit

About the Survey:

Bright Horizons commissioned ENGINE INSIGHTS to conduct an Online CARAVAN® survey to understand working Americans’ attitudes toward education benefits. For the purpose of this survey, education benefits are defined as education opportunities offered through an employer as part of a corporate benefits program such as tuition reimbursement for degree and non-degree programs and student loan repayment programs. The survey was conducted September 16-20, 2020 among a demographically representative U.S. sample of 1,084 adults 18 years of age and older who are employed full or part-time, comprised of 627 men and 457 women. The findings among all 1,084 respondents can be interpreted assuming an error margin of +/- 3 percentage points at a 95 percent confidence level. Smaller subgroups will have larger error margins. Generations are defined as Gen Z, ages 18-23 (N=101); Millennials, ages 24-39 (N=442); Gen X, ages 40-55 (N=362); and Baby Boomers, ages 56-74 (N=170).

About Bright Horizons®

Bright Horizons® is a leading global provider of high-quality child care and early education, back-up care, and workplace education services. For more than 30 years, we have partnered with employers to support workforces by providing services that help working families and employees thrive personally and professionally. We operate approximately 1,100 child care centers in the United States, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Canada and India and serve more than 1,200 of the world’s leading organizations. Bright Horizons’ child care centers, back-up child and elder care, and workforce education programs, including tuition program management, education advising, and student loan repayment, help employees succeed at each life and career stage. For more information, go to


Kristen Raymaakers


Kristen Raymaakers