You have thought about continuing education for awhile-either taking a few classes on web design at the local college or going for the whole shebang and getting a Master’s degree. However, you cannot imagine going for it and putting out the money for the tuition. Let’s face it: costs of continuing education are rising all of the time and it’s hard to keep up with the costs and face your daily bills.
However, if you currently work for a company, there may be a way to get continuing education and get paid for it! It’s called tuition reimbursement and many companies know they must offer it to keep up in their respective industries and attract (and retain) the best people for their companies.
Tuition reimbursement usually involves working for the company for a period of time first: either six months or a year before you’ll qualify. Then, after you meet their initial qualifications, you can be reimbursed for the classes you take to advance your knowledge for your company.
For example, if you currently work in the marketing field, you can take classes in graphic design or get a Master’s of Business Administration and your company will recognize that the knowledge you have gained in this position will transfer to your daily work. Then, once you complete the coursework with the satisfactory grades (usually an A or B,) they will cut you a check to pay for the tuition and books for the course or courses.
However, if you work in the nursing field, it is highly unlikely that your employer will reimburse you for taking web design courses or art classes unless it somehow fits in with your job. They want to get the benefit from paying for you to go to school. Web design or marketing classes do not really fit in with your role as a nurse. But if you take courses to receive your Registered Nurse designation, they would most definitely want to pay for that.
The best part of tuition reimbursement? The knowledge you gain from pursuing it. You can take the courses and get the education and help your current employer all while getting paid to do your current job. However, if for whatever reason you decide to move on, they can’t take the knowledge you gained from those courses away from you. You can take that to your next job and receive a higher salary or position all the while knowing you received the extra education for free.
Talk to your Human Resources director about the continuing education options at your company. He or she will be able to clue you in the rules and let you know what the process is to getting reimbursed for your costs. All companies have different sorts of policies when it comes to that.
Take the bull by the horns and get some continuing education for free with tuition reimbursement. You brain, your future and your employer will most definitely thank you.