A degree or certification is not only an investment in your future; it’s also a way to bring more value to your current company.

For that reason, before taking out a loan or applying for scholarships, consider asking your employer to contribute to the cost of your online degree program.

Start by checking your employee handbook and connecting with human resources to determine if your company already has a tuition reimbursement program.

If your company does not already have a set process in place to fund advanced degrees, here are three ways to set yourself up for success when asking your employer to invest in your online degree:

 

1. Do Your Research.

The first step in encouraging your employer to contribute to your education is to make sure you’ve selected a strong program. It’s also important to be able to articulate why an online degree program is a smart choice. Prepare yourself for that conversation with research by MIT and results drawn from the College Board’s Annual Survey of Colleges about the effectiveness of online learning.

In addition, dive into the website of your selected university to obtain information for your employer. The more you know about the university, the stronger your case will be to receive tuition reimbursement.

Research and know how to respond to these questions:

  • Does the online degree program have a good academic reputation?
  • How does the university ensure the quality of its faculty?
  • How will the online program ensure you learn how to apply the most up-to-date skills?
  • How does an online classroom enable you to build a network of experts in your field from around the world?

 

2. Create a Plan.

Before meeting with your employer, know how the degree program will affect your ability to complete daily responsibilities. Anticipate any questions they might have and have solutions ready to share.

Be prepared to answer:

  • How will pursuing your degree affect your work availability?
  • How long will it take you to complete your online degree program?
  • How long will you dedicate yourself to your current company after earning your degree?

 

3. Identify the Return on Investment.

Investing in an employee’s education is a big decision for an employer. For that reason, it’s important to show you’ve spent significant time investigating how your online degree will benefit the company.

Look into the following:

  • What skills will you be able to apply to your current position?
  • How will the advanced degree make you more productive in your role?
  • What new responsibilities will you be prepared to assume after completing your degree?

 

An online degree is an investment in your future that will benefit both you and your employer. Increase the likelihood your employer will contribute to the cost of your degree by being prepared to address any concerns your employer might have and knowing how to articulate the value your online degree program will bring to your company.

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