Amazon may be dipping into the higher education industry as it searches for its second world headquarters. KARA DRISCOLL/STAFF

Is Amazon getting into higher ed? Recent hire stirs speculation

A recent hire by Amazon is stoking speculation that the online retail giant may be looking to enter the industry of higher education.

Amazon has hired Candace Thille, a top expert in learning and education technology, from Stanford University, according to several reports.

Thille’s title at Amazon will be director of learning science and engineering.

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Thille was the founding director of the Open Learning Initiative at Carnegie Mellon University, according to the website RetailDIVE. At Amazon, Thille will work with the company’s global learning development team to improve workplace learning for employees.

As Amazon has searched for its second headquarters in North America, the topic of colleges has come up repeatedly.

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Some colleges joined cities and regions in submitting pitches for the company’s second headquarters, according to reports.

Columbus, just an hour away from Dayton, is one of the 20 finalists competing for Amazon’s second headquarters. A second headquarters could create around 50,000 new jobs in the city that is selected.

Amazon already has fulfillment centers just outside of Columbus in Etna and Obetz along with Prime Now sites in Columbus and Valley View.

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