McDonalds has launched a two-year foundation degree in managing business as part of a wider initiative to offer employees a more attractive career path. McDonalds is also offering employees the opportunity to go on to study a full Bachelor of Arts Degree and has been offering GCSE‘s and A – Levels to employees in – house since 2008. Indeed 3000 English and Maths GCSE’s and 3000 A levels have been awarded each year since inception.
The foundation degree is accredited by Manchester Metropolitan University and begins this year with 53 students. It is free for McDonalds staff.
McDonalds Chief People Officer, David Fairhurst, is reported to have said
“We view ourselves as much Educator as Employer“.
I think this is a great PR piece by McDonalds. It ticks the investing in your people box, it is a novel yet practical way of attracting and retaining talent with clear benefits to employer and employee. The psychological contract between both parties is strengthened and at a time when tuition fees are rising and traditional University places harder to come by it is a neat way of allowing people to achieve degrees whilst contributing to the strengthening of the organisations talent pool.
So what is the downside?
There is a huge amount of snobbery around (still) about the validity and strength of your degree. Even now having a degree is not enough, where you got it from still counts with (some) employers. This may change as those who are making the hiring decisions increasingly come from a more diverse educational background, but for now the problem exists for candidates in an incredibly fierce market.
In times of economic austerity and in particular the impact on education, McDonalds has struck on an innovative and interesting model from which they cannot lose. Leave however and as the employee you’ll have a tough task with how your degree is perceived by a prospective employer. I am concerned as to the value attributed to the McDonalds foundation degree and indeed BA program. If you leave McDonalds, will your degree be taken seriously by future employers?
McDegrees to go? Are you loving it?