Grants, scholarships, student loans, and company tuition sponsorship are just a few of the options you have when it comes to paying for you degree.
Of course, getting your company to pay for part or all of your education is ideal; you can build your skills and they can receive a more knowledgeable and effective employee.
Some companies have established education benefits or tuition reimbursement or sponsorship programs, and you should see if these already exist at your organization. Even if your company doesn’t have these benefits listed in writing, you can still approach the subject with your manager or the Human Resources (HR) Department. This plan shows you how to do just that.
Plan Before You Make Your Move
Be prepared. One of the most important pieces to this puzzle is demonstrating your worth to company. If an employer is not impressed with your performance, it is unlikely that they will wish to invest further in you. Recording your accomplishments from the last year may be a good place to start. Examples include:
• How you helped increase earnings or reduced costs
• Extra projects you took on
• How you solved company challenges
Build Your Case
Start by getting the details about your program of interest to make your case more compelling. Include the following:
• Core courses and relevant electives
• Specific skills and knowledge you expect to gain
• Total program costs and length
• Grants and scholarships for which you may qualify
• Schedule flexibility
Compile this information into a short document that you can present to your manager or HR.
Show Your Company the Benefits
Schedule a meeting with HR or your boss in advance and block off enough time to have an adequate discussion. Your job now is to highlight the benefits of your plan to company, to show them what they get in return for their investment in your education. Discuss specific skills you will learn and how they can be applied to help the company.
Demonstrate Dedication to the Company
Let’s be honest, no boss is going to sponsor the degree of an employee that may be a flight risk. As an employee, it is your job to convince them otherwise and show them how your long term goals fit within the company. For example, if you hope to advance and take on more responsibility in the company, make your employer aware of that desire. Remember, your focus should be on how this education will enable you to do your job more effectively and add value to the business as a whole.
Provide Details on How You Will Handle the Workload
Working and getting your degree simultaneously requires your full commitment and dedication. Your boss is almost guaranteed to ask how you intend to juggle the workload. Make sure you are prepared to answer that question and can demonstrate that you have a plan for managing your time!