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Strategy #2: Subsidize Education and Certification

In the United States, many companies reimburse employees for advanced degrees or certifications that relate to their area of expertise. Until recently, the opposite was true in India, but that trend has begun to change as businesses have discovered that a significant portion of their attrition problems stem from employees leaving to pursue a master's degree. Several offshore service providers have teamed with universities to offer their workers management-level master's courses at a subsidized rate, and watched attrition rates drop as a result.

For example, Cognizant Technology Solutions, an IT service firm with 17,000 employees, partially reimburses Indian staff who pursue master's degrees at BITS, a higher-education institution located in Pilani, India. Business process outsourcing (BPO) player 24/7 Customer, in association with the Indian Institute of Management Bangalore, launched a management-education seminar series called "Beyond Knowledge," through which 24/7 aims to educate employees about the BPO industry and discuss related careers. Multiple providers have followed the lead of Cognizant and 24/7.

In several offshore countries, advanced degrees are considered crucial to social standing. It's important for U.S. firms with little international experience to recognize this desire among employees and design programs accordingly.

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