If you feel you could improve at work, you’re probably right. Most of us have jobs that keep evolving and professional development is important to stay abreast of the competition. This fact alone may sway your employer to foot the bill for your education expenses, but if not, you’ll have to be tactical about your request.
So, what’s the right approach? The following five tips will help you feel more confident about requesting financial assistance to fund a course.
Do Your Research
How will this course benefit you professionally and how will it help the company?
This is the first and most important consideration, because no matter how interesting the course or how much you think it will benefit you personally, your employer needs to know how it will positively impact the business. You could bargain with your employer on the measurable or tangible benefits they’ll see if you complete a course of study. Take for example, a course on content writing and digital marketing strategy; you could tell your employer that you’ll be able to increase their Google ranking or increase their social media following by a percentage as a result of this training.
You’ll also need to consider cost.
It’s important to offer your employer options. You should include at least three options for training, including a lower cost alternative, such as online professional development course. If your preference is for the more expensive alternative, that’s fine but you’ll need to convince them that this option is valuable and give convincing reasons why.
Send a Professional Email Listing the Facts
Once you’ve done your research its time to state your case. The best way to approach an employer to begin with is to send them an email. This is a non-confrontational approach and gives them time to consider your request at a time that’s convenient for them. If they’re having a bad day, the last thing on their mind will be investing in your education – timing is everything.
In your email, include the following:
- Information about the opportunity – the course/s
- The total cost for the course – including travel and accommodation if it’s not an online training provider. Make sure you include the three alternatives with varying prices, from highest to lowest and the pros and cons of each course.
- Benefits – both for your own professional development and the future of the business
- When – when do you plan to undertake the training?
- Where – where is the training provided? Is it online or on campus?
- Timeframe – how long will it take to complete?
- How – how will you fit the study about work commitments?
Sample letter asking employer to pay for education
I’m contacting you because I’d like to study digital marketing to help me gain a better understanding of social media marketing. I feel this is important in my role as Marketing Assistant so that I can increase Pampered Pets’ Google ranking and social media followers.
The course I’m most interested in is the Diploma of Digital Marketing Strategy with Private Training College, at a cost of $5,800. This course will take six months to complete and I will need to take one day a week off work to attend classes on campus. I will make up the time by working until 6.30pm weekdays and half a day on Saturdays.
However, the following are 2 other cost-effective options with greater flexibility:
- Certificate of Social Media Marketing at a cost of $599.
- Certificate of Social Media & Engagement with Australian Online Courses at a cost of $399.
The last two options are delivered exclusively online. This means I can study outside of work hours, so it won’t interfere with my position as Marketing Assistant at Pampered Pets. They are also self-paced, so I can complete the course in my own time. The courses will take 30 hours and 90 hours respectively, which means it will take between six weeks and three months to complete.
I would like to begin this course before the end of this financial year. As such, I would welcome the opportunity to discuss this further with you at your earliest convenience.
Amy Willows – Marketing Assistant “Pampered Pets”
Follow Up & Schedule a Meeting
If you haven’t heard from your employer after four days, it’s okay to follow up with a phone call or visit. Just make sure your timing is right; you don’t want to follow up if your boss is just about to attend an important meeting or at five o’clock on a Friday afternoon when they’re walking out the door.
If your employer is busy or unable to talk about your proposition when you approach them, ask if you can schedule a meeting to discuss the request in person at a later date. This way you’ll have their full attention and will have time to prepare a convincing case.
You employer may feel it’s not possible to meet your request at the present time or they may tell you it’s not an option. You need to be prepared for a negative response and think about how you will respond. Is there an alternative? If you’re realistic in your expectations, you’ll feel less disappointed with the outcome if it’s not favourable.
Make sure you have a Plan B up your sleeve if your employer throws you a curve ball. You could, for instance, ask if you could make the request again at a later date, then find out when the company is most likely to consider funding educational expenses. If there is no possibility of expenses being covered, could you request time off or flexible hours so you can study? Make sure you consider all the options and how they will benefit you and the company.
Offer to Contribute
If your employer can’t pay the full fee, consider contributing a percentage of the course yourself. This shows your employer that you are committed and that you have an investment in succeeding at your studies. If you don’t have the financial means to pay for part of your education you may be eligible for government assistance, a grant or a loan that will help you meet expenses. It’s worth looking into all your options, as where there’s a will, there’s usually a way!
Australian Online Courses
When you choose Australian Online Courses for your personal and professional development, you can rest assured that you’re getting a good deal – both in course quality and reasonable course fees. Browse hundreds of industry-approved, flexible online courses covering a variety of vocations today. Simply visit us online or contact one of our friendly Learning Consultants on 1300 762 221.