Shine On: Two Years In, Target's Tuition-Free Education Benefit is Helping Team Members Reach Their Career Goals

  • Nov 6, 2023
A person in a yellow sweater sits while working at a laptop.

At Target, we want to empower our team members to reach their unique potential and discover the joy of building a fulfilling career. That comes to life through investing in our team with a market-leading pay and benefits package, including offering tuition-free access to formal education and skilling. We launched our Dream to Be education assistance benefit in 2021, and since then Team Target has been hitting the books.

As we recognize another year of learning and growing together, we’re celebrating some important early milestones and sharing team members’ reflections on how furthering their education has set them up for success at Target and beyond.

In just two years, the program has helped fuel career growth and strengthen our team. An 18-month study conducted by Guild found that among hourly team members enrolled in Dream to Be programs, turnover was more than 70% lower and the number of promotions was more than three times higher compared to those not enrolled in a Dream to Be program.

Making education more accessible

From day one on the job, U.S.-based full-time and part-time Target team members are eligible to pursue tuition-free undergraduate and associate degrees, certificates and bootcamp programs from over 40 colleges, universities and learning providers through our partner, Guild. It’s a win-win: Investing in this benefit helps Target support our team and create a more equitable and inclusive workforce and gives team members the chance to grow their skills and explore new career paths. Plus, 90% of learners are frontline team members, furthering our aim to promote access to education.

lower turnover among hourly team members enrolled in Dream to Be programs
higher number of promotions among hourly team members enrolled in Dream to Be programs

As for the programs team members are loving? Business, tech and language-learning courses have been most popular, but there’s a wide range of topics to study up on, from design to communications to engineering, and more.

Team-focused enhancements

As Dream to Be continues to evolve, we’ve listened to our team and added improvements to make the program even better. Among those updates: expanding our catalog to include four historically Black colleges and universities, awarding college credit for select Target training programs and adding Spanish and French language learning programs in addition to English.

For team member Kris R., joining a Spanish language program wasn’t only to grow his knowledge, but also to better connect with his Spanish-speaking co-workers.

Kris smiles at the camera while wearing a gray jacket and red shirt.

It was so convenient. As an executive team lead (ETL), my schedule fluctuates a lot and learning a language on the side would be difficult if it wasn’t for how Target went about it. I’ve been beginning with greetings and being intentional and my team is really appreciative that I’m just trying.

Kris R. ETL, human resources, Target’s Vernon Hills, IL store

New skills, new opportunities

Dream to Be alumnus Therese N. was inspired to go back to school after spending time in an HR role at Target. She earned a bachelor’s degree in human resources management, which ultimately helped her accelerate her development and expand her career options. And with 28 years at Target under his belt, team member Julius G. saw the Dream to Be program as an opportunity to get the degree he always wanted. He earned his associate degree in a year and has recently started working on a bachelor’s degree.

Therese and her daughter smile at the camera while her daughter holds up awards.

I had the opportunity to stick with Target and indulge in all of the HR things that made me happy and further my development. I have two little girls, and it was neat to go through this experience with my kids. As they were having academic achievements, so was I.

Therese N. Specialty Sales Team Leader, Target’s Waldorf, MD store
Julius smiles at the camera while wearing a dark blue shirt.

I was able to accomplish a degree program successfully and receive an excellent GPA, which has boosted my confidence while working with others and addressing challenges. Currently, I am discussing my career progression with my leader and feel emboldened to strive for more growth and opportunities at Target.

Julius G. Senior Corporate Security Manager

Want to learn more about Target’s tuition-free education assistance benefit? Check out this video to hear from even more team members about their experience and go to to get started. All U.S.-based part-time and full-time Target team members are eligible. And if you’re interested in joining Team Target, head to our careers site for more.

This article was updated to include a video featuring Target team members discussing their education experience.

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