The Rise of Corporate Colleges

The Rise of Corporate Colleges

Each year, McDonalds managers and would-be managers numbering in the thousands spend a week at Hamburger University to take classes in business and strategic management.

That's right. There's a brick-and-mortar "college" at the chain's Illinois headquarters, and courses employees take there can be used toward an associate's or a bachelor's degree.

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And McDonalds isn't alone. Other corporations—Starbucks, Jiffy Lube and Wal-Mart, to name a few—offer similar programs that include in-person seminars and online classes.

Why Are Companies Investing in Education?

According to CNN Money, the reason for creating such classes is strategic: Companies don't want to have to wait to hire graduates from independent colleges and universities who possess the skills they need. Another factor? College grads may often overlook chains like Wal-Mart and Starbucks during their job searches.

So which traditional degree programs accept credits from corporate colleges like Hamburger U?

RELATED: Why a College Education Could Be Free Someday

Mary Beth Lakin, director of the American Council on Education's college and university partnerships, told CNN Money that it's up to the universities. The City University of Seattle, for instance, accepts credits from Starbucks's higher education program. And, according to Lakin, about 2,000 other schools are considering accepting corporate credits. A business degree with that double mocha latte, anyone?

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