In this article we show how you can convince your employer to pay for you to study. We also provide examples of what you might say to your employer as well as a sample study request proposal.
1. Why might an employer want to fund your study?
Employers want to make sure that employees have the knowledge and skills to help them succeed in order to contribute to the success of the organisation. If further study could improve your knowledge and performance your employer may be prepared to pay for you to study. Funding employee study can also lead to improved levels of employee satisfaction, employee retention and can reduce the cost of replacing employees.
2. Making the case for study
Before you approach your employer it is important that you:
- do your research into the study options available
- understand what will be required from the employer in terms of financial and non-financial support
- are able to explain how and why study would benefit both you and your employer
If you are required to produce a formal study proposal request then you will need to include:
- the type of study that you would like to pursue
- whether your study will be lead to accreditation from a professional body or academic institution
- the cost of your study
- the benefits to your employer of funding your study (e.g. increase productivity/reduce costs)
- any other requirements (e.g. legal requirements)
3. Solutions to employer challenges
When you have submitted your study request be prepared for your employer to challenge your request. Try to think of possible challenges in advance so that so that you can counteract them. For example:
Problem: Your studies will take time away from your work
Solution: Study can be completed in free time and will give additional skills that will help me perform better at work
Problem: There is no benefit to the organisation of your study request
Solution: We are currently spending 5 days each month manually processing reports. Through this period of study I will be able to automate reports saving 4.5 days each month.
4. Formal study agreement
If your employer has agreed to fund your study we would suggest obtaining a formal written agreement so you both know the terms of your agreement. This should cover details such as payment of study fees, the duration of the study period and whether any study leave will be granted for the purposes of studying.
5. Managing rejection
Even if you have developed a strong argument your request may still be rejected. In these circumstances always ensure that you remain professional and try to ascertain the reasons for the rejection. If you understand the reasons for rejection you may be able to find a solution.
We hope that this article has been of assistance to you. To view a sample study request proposal download: Study Request Proposal (54KB)
To find more careers articles visit: Careers Advice
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