How to Justify Reimbursement for a Course to Your Employer

Your employer might be willing to reimburse training that enhances work skills.

Your employer might be willing to reimburse training that enhances work skills.

You want to take a great new marketing course, but paying for it would put a serious dent in your shoe-shopping budget. Your employer isn't likely to be impressed by that argument, but you might be able to persuade the company to pay for the class, providing it meets a few basic criteria: It should be related to your current job, your employer would benefit from your participation in the course and it is a cost-effective way for you to get the additional training. Do your homework and prepare an approach that makes a convincing case.

Research the course you want to take, along with other comparable courses. Obtain sufficient details (such as what specific topics will be taught in the course) to demonstrate to your employer that the course will give you the knowledge or training you're seeking. If your research supports your choice, great. If not, you should consider finding a more appropriate alternative course.

Do the math. Calculate the cost of tuition, books, supplies, and any other fees you will be responsible for paying. You'll need to have all the details handy when you propose the course to your boss.

Find out what your company's policy is on reimbursing employee training. Be sure your proposed program meets the company's rules, and complete any necessary paperwork specified by the company. Be sure you can fulfill requirements in the policy, such as committing to work for the company for a set length of time, or paying the money back if you leave your job.

Prepare a short, written proposal for your boss. Describe the course you want to take and its expected benefits. Show him you've done your homework by outlining your comparative research. Don't focus on why the course is important to you, or how it makes you more marketable down the road -- even if it does. The goal is to convince your employer that the company will derive substantial benefits from what you'll learn at the course. By describing how the proposed training is directly applicable to a major client project or an upcoming new business direction, you provide your employer with a solid reason to pay for the course.

Warning

  • Some companies will provide money to pay for tuition and book fees at the time of registration, while others reimburse employees upon successful completion of the course.
 

About the Author

As a national security analyst for the U.S. government, Molly Thompson wrote extensively for classified USG publications. Thompson established and runs a strategic analysis company, is a professional genealogist and participates in numerous community organizations.Thompson holds degrees from Wellesley and Georgetown in psychology, political science and international relations.

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