Amazon’s PR offensive on worker training rolls on

Amazon got  a lot of positive buzz for its Amazon Technical Academy announcement. But before we all start leaping up and down, let’s unpack the announcement.

  • “Hundreds of Amazon employees have enrolled in Amazon Technical Academy since its launch in 2017.” Well, “hundreds” of enrollees over 3+ years is not exactly blowing the doors off. Amazon has 1.2 million employees.
  • How many complete the course? Oops, Amazon doesn’t tell us. Given that these kinds of programs typically have low graduation rates, I would be amazed if even 50% graduate.
  • Graduates to get software development jobs at Amazon, and their salaries do approximately double. Further, this is tuition-free, and Amazon offers a stipend to cover living expenses. All this is clearly admirable)
  • “$12 million invested in 2020” is not exactly busting Amazon’s staffing budget

If Amazon told us actual numbers of enrollees and graduates, I’d be happy to applaud. In the meantime, I’ll hold my fire, and suggest that this is a lot of PR over not much yet.