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Employee Development

Our ability to serve customers and build brighter financial futures starts with our own dedicated employees. We are focused on building a culture of continuous learners, where employees can have a fulfilling career. We believe that learning is more than formal training. We offer a wide range of learning opportunities that focuses on best-in-class learning, at the right time, in a way that is meaningful.

Our learning philosophy not only supports our employees; it puts Discover in a stronger position to attract and retain the best talent. Opportunities include:

  • Personalized learning opportunities available via our learning systems, customized to what an employee needs and available to everyone.
  • Formalized leadership milestone learning journeys that support our leaders during key transitions in their career: Advance, Emerge, and Inspire.
  • On-the-job and “stretch” opportunities that provide employees new experiences, insight into additional lines of business, and the opportunity to build cross-functional networks.
  • Enterprise risk and compliance programs focused on maintaining our standard of operational excellence and reducing risk for our customers and business.
  • Education assistance and reimbursement support for continuing education for U.S. employees.
  • Selection-based programs that are focused on developing our high potential talent and diverse talent into leadership roles.
  • Sponsorship and mentorship programs that support individuals as they progress in their career journey outside of traditional class-room training.

Discover employees embrace learning. In 2021, we had more than 5,500 people participate in formal development opportunities. Given our focus on operational excellence, risk, and compliance, all employees complete required training within the first 60 days of hire. For employees in key focus areas, such as process owners and business leaders within our Compliance Management System, Discover provides additional programs to expand employee capabilities and build critical skills. Program elements include development profiles, learning journeys, specialized seminars, and robust manager-employee development planning. In addition, employees receive specialized learning as relevant to their profession and business line each year.

Discover Technology Academy

Discover is a major employer of technology talent. To support the growth and continuous learning of these employees, we developed the Discover Technology Academy (DTA), a collaborative and state-of-the-art platform through which our technology employees can share their knowledge and gain additional skills. The Academy offered 56 virtual learning events in 2021, such as workshops, leadership master classes and hackathons. The focus of these events ranged from technology trends, cybersecurity, and authorization systems to reliability, interpersonal skills, and technological innovation, with more than half of the sessions drawing in 200+ attendees each.

43 teams participated in
the dojo experience in
2021, including more than 100 product owners.

Technology teams were introduced to the dojo experience in 2021. Dojos are a holistic transformation model that enables the cost optimization, speed, agility, and scale required to deliver a way forward for Discover’s Business Technology culture. Hands-on and interactive, the dojo gives participants a thorough understanding of core Agile and DevOps concepts while leveraging existing backlogs for pairing and upskilling, creating an experiential learning environment that accelerates adoption in the team’s backlog immediately. Discover is also focused on empowering our engineering workforce to improve their craft by offering an expanded approach to learning and development.

Participation in the virtual learning events, dojos and learning opportunities has contributed to the advancement of the next generation of technology leaders at Discover, and the DTA experience is just getting started: additional learning opportunities are already in motion for the upcoming year, which will support technology team members in building their talent with the skills needed to be successful.

During the two hackathons that took place in 2021, nearly

800 employees

3 countries
making up

100+ teams and
resulting in

126 qualified

  1. Information is based on 2020 data, which is when the underlying analysis was last conducted.

Education Assistance

We recognize that the future leaders of Discover are already working for us. We just need to give them the opportunities to grow into those roles. That’s why our education assistance starts day one of employment for eligible U.S. employees. This benefit helps employees fund and achieve associate, bachelor’s, and graduate degrees from accredited colleges and universities.

On-site MBA

The Discover On-site MBA Program nurtures leadership skills so that employees are well-prepared to take on new and expanding roles within Discover. Through our partnership with the Lake Forest Graduate School of Management, employees can earn a Master’s in Business Administration degree at our Riverwoods campus—with Discover covering full tuition cost. Forty-eight employees have participated in the program since its launch in 2017, and 22 have already earned their MBA degrees.

The Discover College Commitment

We fund select high-quality online bachelor’s degrees at four partner universities through The Discover College Commitment. The costs of tuition, required supplies and books are entirely covered by Discover. To ensure employees get the most out of their academic experience, they also receive access to educational guidance, counseling, and coaching through Guild Education.

In 2021, we expanded this program to include two new universities—University of Arizona and Paul Quinn College, one of the oldest historically Black colleges and universities (HBCU) in the country.

Tuition Assistance and Reimbursement Programs

Our tuition assistance and reimbursement programs offer employees more flexibility in choosing where they want to earn their degree. Employees can pursue qualified degrees from a network of accredited colleges and universities. Annual tuition costs are covered up to $2,500 for associate degrees, up to $5,250 for bachelor’s degrees and up to $10,000 for graduate degrees.

College Start

For those who are interested in pursuing an advanced degree, but aren’t ready for the full commitment just yet, we have the College Start program. This gives employees the opportunity to take college-level courses without committing to a four-year degree and earn credits they can later apply toward a four-year program. Since its launch in 2021, 34 employees participated in the College Start program.