10 Tips to Get Your Employer to Pay for Continuing Education

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In College Planning & Financial AidLendKey

Furthering your education and increasing your professional qualifications will both be essential for doing a better job and getting access to more lucrative employment options. The problem with many academic programs is that they tend to be quite costly.


Do you believe that only a lucky few can get their employer to pay for continued education? This practice isn’t quite as uncommon as you may think.


Here are 10 important tips to convince your employer to pay for continuing your education.

1. Address Concerns Right from the Start

There could be some concerns about participating in the program and your ability to do your job at the same time. Address these concerns right from the start, in order to increase your chances of success.


Look for online programs, night or weekend classes that are designed especially for the needs of professionals. Your employer should never question your reliability and it’s up to you to deal with such concerns.


If your employer is worried about the tuition fees, you should talk about the cost of hiring a more qualified employee. This cost will usually be much higher than having the company paying for your education. Make sure you are aware of the tax implications of receiving this benefit as well (IRS Website).

2. Do Your Homework in Advance

Has the company ever paid for the continued education of its employees? Is there a culture of pursuing further qualification? Taking a look at background information will make it easier for you to determine whether it’s possible to convince your employer to pay for continued education at all.

3. Provide a Specific Cost Breakdown

You need to give your boss a very detailed breakdown of the associated costs and the benefits that will result from obtaining a particular degree. This is another aspect of doing your homework in advance. If you’re asking for money, you will need to be extremely specific. Giving your supervisor figures and exact information will show just how serious you are about increasing your professional qualification.

4. Demonstrate Your Loyalty

An employer is going to invest in you solely if you use the newly acquired skills to deliver better work within that particular corporate structure. You have to show your loyalty. An employer is never going to invest in your education, if they have the slightest doubt that you would remain in the company after obtaining your degree.

5. Be Considerate

A startup company will never be capable of paying for an Ivy League diploma. You should have a good idea about the finances of the business and choose a degree accordingly. Being considerate and practical about the course selection will increase your chances of getting company funding.

6. Give Your Employer a Good Reason to Invest in Your Education

Why would an employer be willing to spend money on your education? You should have some really good reasons to quote.


For a start, a relevant degree will make you a better employee. It will increase your productivity, streamline the work process and potentially result in increased savings or new revenue generation options.


Individuals that further their education will often become better workplace leaders, which is another important pro. Think about benefits that are specific to your particular position and deliver this information during the talk with your supervisor.


Technical degrees like an online engineering degrees or an MBA program are the most commonly employer paid for degrees.

7. Be Prepared to Sign a Contract

Companies that give their employees access to continued education options will often have strict contracts that will outline the rights and responsibilities of both parties involved. You should be prepared to sign such a document, if you want to get corporate funds for your education. Go through the document carefully and be ready to negotiate. It’s your right to address the requirements and expectations your employer has.

8. Keep on Trying!

Persistence is the key to getting what you want. Don’t nag but if the initial answer is negative, you shouldn’t give up immediately.


You can inquire about the reasons for the rejection of your request. Knowing what went wrong the first time will enable you to prepare a better pitch when you ask your employer to fund your continued education once again.


The employer could be concerned about the particular course, in which case you could look for an alternative. The same applies to the cost of education or the relevancy of the program.

9. Work on a (Financial) Compromise

Suggesting to self-fund a portion of the program’s cost will show your employer just how serious you are about continuing your education. In fact, this is one of the simplest options for getting access to corporate funds for obtaining a degree.

10. Be Ready to Come Up with a Plan B

Sometimes, your employer will be unwilling or incapable of funding your continued education, no matter how hard you try. This is why you need to have a plan B right from the start.


The company could currently be experiencing some financial hardships, which is why you may get turned down regardless of how convincing your presentation is. You may want to look for scholarships and alternative options for funding your education. Talk to your employer about the availability of non-cash benefits like more time away from the office. This kind of assistance can be helpful for obtaining a degree, as well.


Finally if you have been unsuccessful in getting your employer to pay for your degree consider reducing your current student loans through refinancing at LendKey.


About the Author
Kristy Feldmen is the Senior Editor at OutstandingColleges.com where she provides expert advice on the college rankings. 



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