The benefits of additional education cannot be argued on; it not only increases the knowledge but also is a pathway of guidance and networking in the industry. Where the people of similar mindset and knowledge come together and share knowledge, learn new things for professional growth. If you are one of those who wants to take masters or a certification for your work, but struggling with the finances or trouble getting the required educational loan, then the good news is that many companies do offer benefits to their employees who want to pursue further studies and the employees should take the benefit of this.
Before approaching to your boss or manager for educational funding, you need to be very sure in your approach and the course you require to opt for. The important factor is look for courses which can benefit your employer rather than pursue something of your own whims and fancies. Learn what skills the organization is lacking within and how your additional knowledge can bring benefits to the company. With the right approach, proper planning and vision, it will be easy to convince your boss for the education funds.
12 Tips to Convince Your Employer to Pay for Your Education:
1. Choose the right subject:
Even before you think to go to your boss and convince them for educational funding, think and do a good research about the subject you want to choose. For example, if your company is into finances, then there is no point to ask the funds for film making. Know what your current job role is and where you intend to see yourself in future, keeping these points in your mind decide the specialization which is relevant to a company in finance and then accordingly prepare for the pitch. The more specific subject you choose, the easier it is to convince your boss for educational funds. The right kind of subject should be the first step to begin with.
2. Do a thorough research:
There are few companies who readily fund the education for the employee, but before preparing for your pitch it is important to do a good research on the subject. The first step should be to talk to your human resources team and learn about the company’s attitude towards employee learning, what are the subjects, courses and colleges that the company endorses. Many organizations have partnerships with certain colleges which in turn is beneficial to both the parties.
The college gets a student and company tends to save a lot on recruitment. If you see that the company is not really enthusiastic about employee education then better to prepare a solid grounded pitch before you go to your boss.
3. Share benefits:
The major question any company that will be asking you before they agree to fund you for education is, why they should encourage you or give you the money, among hundreds and thousands of employees in the company. Therefore, you need to put a solid point mentioning that what difference you have created or will create which is better than others. Advertise yourself with proof as to what makes you better than those hundred employees; if you are able to answer correctly this question, your 50% of the work is done. Also mention, in what ways your additional education will be an asset to the organization, how you will be able to contribute to the company if they support you in your educational endeavors.
4. Practice your pitch:
When asking your boss to fund you for your education, confidence is an important element you need to work on. Before going to your boss for the pitch, it is good to practice it with your friend, colleague or someone with good experience. This practice session will help you to learn about your flaws and will give you time to work on them. Understand and take feedback to the questions and points where you fumble, rework on them. List out all the possible questions that might be asked to you.
Don’t practice just once, try the mock pitch at least 3 times before finally approaching your boss, it is better to try with different people to achieve better results. Remember you need to make the right impression and your seriousness towards your goal comes clear to your boss.
5. Prove your loyalty:
No organization is going to fund for you if they feel that you might not be the one sticking to them for long. They don’t intend to train you for their competitors. Therefore, it is essential to prove your loyalty to them during your pitching session, your commitment right now that you bring on the table and even after you are funded for the education.
How your additional qualifications will be an asset for the company and how you intend to contribute to the business. Being true and loyal will be like a seal of guarantee for the employer to support you for the educational funds. Also, be cautious that your words are not merely empty words to your boss, after your education is completed commit to your words you said earlier. Because loyalty and trust go long way to be successful.
6. Send an email first:
To get an appointment to discuss your educational funds will not be easy, since managers and bosses tend to have the tight schedule. Before you talk to them it is good to send an email to them with a properly written pitch mentioning your current skills and talents and how your education can elevate your work performance. It will allow you to set up a background on which you can talk about and elevate your face to face pitch. Then ensure that your boss has read your email, ask them to meet you in person, this time, ensure you mention the right information with numbers and figures to substantiate your email.
7. Work on the expenditure and cost:
If you are asking for money then your pitch should be number oriented. Plan and list out the costs that will be incurred for your education, talk in numbers and percentage since it will add the effectiveness in your pitch. Make sure you are specific in your pitch. Also, it is good to mention in numbers how you can contribute the growth after your education. Remember to add it to be as a projection and not the promise. These projections will give a numerical benefit that you will be bringing to the organization.
8. Know the right deal:
Everyone would would like to achieve getting an additional education for the benefit of their own professional growth. But it is important to understand to which organization you are asking for, for example, if you are working in a start-up, they might not be the right company who will accept your pitch for educational funding. They may be interested but being a start-up themselves they might not be in the financial state to offer you the educational funds. But if you are working in an established organization, it is easier for them to encourage and fund their employee’s additional education.
9. Persistence is the key:
If your boss or manager is not supporting you in your additional education dream, then rather than giving up on your dream, try pitching them again in next quarter with a revised pitch. Ask them the reasons for the rejection and work on it. There could be chances that your boss might not be convinced of the course you might be looking for, therefore, discuss how they see you in a better fit and what do they recommend. This may give you a better insight and you can look for the alternative course to apply for. The only thing to remember here is that persistence is the key to success but it is important to understand the fine line between being persistent and nagging. You don’t want to look like someone as a person who nags because this will not go well with your employer.
10. The level of commitment:
Ensure to mention in the pitch, the level of commitment you are keen on offering. For example, the level of grades you can commit to achieve or how you intend to manage your office time and work with the classes and studies. You need to have a solid plan as to how you will overcome the work pressure along with your studies. If in case you are not able to fulfill the grades you committed then how you will be able to compensate for it. Work on the possibilities and think about it, because if an employer is paying your tuition fees then they will be having huge expectations from you.
11. Be prepared for the consequences:
Generally during the time of education an employee is expected to be with the company for that while and even after that. If due to some unknown circumstance the employer might terminate your work with their company or you need to switch your job, then the tuition fees for the same will be required to be funded in a certain stipulated time. You need to prepare for the backup plan what you will be doing in such a situation, because generally the average payment time is 30 days, if such a situation comes then how you will be able to manage it as an important step to look for.
12. Have a Plan B:
Despite putting all your right efforts the employer might not agree to pay you for your education. There could be various reasons for it to happen, for example, the company might be in tight financial situation or might not be interested in funding you. But if you are determined to educate yourself, then always have a plan B to get what you want.
If you are not getting financial benefits, then look for non-financial benefits from the organization, for example, extra time away from the work or some additional leaves during the examinations. Don’t give up on your dream easily, talk to your boss and insist how they can help you in other ways if not financially. A good boss will surely help you find the right solution.
13. Be ready to compromise:
When you are pitching for yourself, be aware that the negotiation is a two way street. You cannot expect the benefits to be all yours or your boss will readily accept everything you say. They might make you sign an employment contract or some other form of professional offer they might propose. Before committing to anything, be assured if you are ready to agree to their terms. Because initially to get the funds you might agree but later you may land up regretting your decision and may miss out on the opportunities. Therefore, during the negotiation think twice before committing to any of the counter offer.
The right education at the right time is an assured key to success which everyone looks out for. With the huge requirement of good professionals in the market, companies are ready to take major steps ahead to ensure that they have the best of the candidates with them. If an organization sees you as a good employee whom they are keen on retaining for a long time, then they will surely agree to pay you for your education. It is your job to ensure your company that paying up for you is an investment and not a loss for the company. You need to prove yourself as a valuable asset to the organization. With proper and planned approach and proving yourself enough, any company will agree to help you to fulfill your dreams.
To make your case relevant, it is good to share the case studies on when the employers funded their employees for education, how things got better for the company, how the education helped in increasing the productivity of the employee which in turn generated more business to the company. Once you are completed with your education, you can then be able to bring benefits to the company.