Finding qualified employees for critical positions is a primary concern for many companies. A 2014 survey by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) found that 50% of firms had difficulty recruiting during the previous year.
A lack of candidates with the necessary technical skills was cited as one of the main reasons for this hiring challenge.
Sharpening the skills of current employees and attracting new talent are among the motivators for the 83% of U.S. organizations that offer tuition reimbursement or other forms of educational assistance, according to a 2015 survey by the nonprofit International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans.
In return for their investment, companies can retain talented employees, attract new workers and boost innovation, the survey found.
In recent years, the growing availability of online learning options, including certificate and degree programs offered by regionally accredited universities, has given working adults expanded opportunities to attain new skills and credentials.
So what if you want to go back to school to position yourself for a promotion? Let’s take a look at how you might convince your boss that tuition reimbursement can positively impact your career – and the company as a whole.
Before you speak with your manager, evaluate your company’s current stance on professional development and tuition reimbursement. Is an education policy mentioned in the employee handbook, HR materials or intranet? Do you know any coworkers who have continued their education? If so, talk to them about how they received company support. Checking whether or not your company can qualify for tax deductions for reimbursing educational costs can help you make your case.
Be sure to include the benefits of continuing your education, such as:
Other points to emphasize include:
Instead of providing only one choice to your employer, research your options and propose universities or colleges at different pricing levels. A side-by-side comparison of the advantages and disadvantages of each, including the school’s accolades and accreditation, can provide your employer with enough information to consider your proposal.
Deciding on the terms of tuition reimbursement is essential once the employer has agreed to the general idea. Some items to consider include:
If your employer rejects your request for educational assistance, be understanding and set up a time to circle back on the issue. Your next evaluation might be a good time to bring up the potential benefits of advancing your education.