Getting Your Company to Pay For Your Education - in a Tight Economy
In tough times, companies are looking for ways to save money—not spend it. If you’ve been counting on your company to pay your tuition for a new degree, certification or training program, it may be a tougher sell now than in years past. Still, an educated workforce can help any company get ahead—even in a tight economy. Here are a few ways you can convince your company to pay for your education—despite tough times.
Focus on how it will benefit them
Maybe your company cares about your personal development, and maybe it doesn’t. But don’t go into a meeting with your boss assuming that it does. Your company may bill itself as one that leads the industry in people development, but chances are when you mention your college education, the only thing your boss will see is dollar signs. Keep the focus on how educating you will benefit the company—preferably in terms of their bottom line, not soft benefits like employee loyalty.
Tie it in to your company’s profitability
There’s a lot of information out there
Offer to sign a guarantee
One of the reasons companies are often reluctant to reimburse tuition is that they believe they’ll spend a lot of money to educate their employees, only to see them leave to work for a competitor. To get around that fear, offer to sign a guarantee stating that you’ll stay with the company for a specified number of years after earning your degree. Show them that you have no intention of going anywhere.
Be aware of your company’s budget cycle
Your request may go down easier if you ask at the end of the budget cycle, when the company has excess budget to spend. Some companies will cut departmental budgets if they don’t spend everything by the end of the quarter. If your company is this way, your boss may be looking for things to spend money on at the end of this budget cycle. This is particularly useful if you’re just asking your company to pay for a certification course, not for a year’s worth of online college tuition.
Offer to train other team members
Make your company see that you’re committed to helping them get the most possible out of your new training. Offer to run regular training sessions for other employees—at no expense to them—if they’ll pay for your tuition. This seems like more work for you, but actually it’s win-win: it will give your company not just one educated employee, but dozens; and it will make them more likely to help you pay for school.
Focus on the competition
Do you know whether your competitors are educating their workforces? It’s good news for you either way. If they’re not, it’s an easy way for your company to get an edge over them—a highly educated workforce is a great way for them to differentiate themselves to prospects. If they are, then your company has to keep up—or it could lose market share.
It’s true that in a tight economy, getting your company to reimburse your tuition will be a tough sell. But it’s not impossible, especially since companies need highly educated workers now more than ever. Focus on the benefits to your company’s bottom line and make sure your boss understands that you plan to stay with the company and use your new skills to benefit them, and hopefully you’ll be able to go to school on your employer’s dime.
Forbes.com: How Not to Pay For Your MBA
Brazen Careerist: How to Get Your Employer to Pay for Your Education
JavaWorld.com: Convincing Your Boss to Pay for Developer Training
DistanceEducation.org: Getting Your Boss to Pay for an Online Degree
Youtube.com: Tips and Tricks To Pay Tuition
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