5 Steps to Getting Your Company to Pay for Executive Education
So, you’ve decided it’s time to explore executive education. While you may be certain this is the right move, how can you get the necessary support and sign-off from your employer? The good news is that companies are recognising the importance of investing in employee learning and development, with 77% increasing their investment in that area last year. Here are a few tips for getting your company to invest in YOU.
Step 1: Do the Research
The first step to getting your company to pay for your online course is finding the right course that fills a necessary skills gap - a gap that's relevant to you and the company. The Oxford Cyber Security for Business Leaders programme, for example, will provide you with broad knowledge of the wide range of issues around cyber security. But most importantly, to the company, this is applied knowledge that you will be able to share across various functions of the organisation.
Step 2: Quantify your Reasons
Once you have finished researching and have found the course that best fits your goals, you will need to start quantifying your reasons for taking the course. Begin collecting reasons, based on your research, for your selected course. For example, some benefits of the Oxford Cyber Security for Business Leaders programme include the opportunity to:
- Gain a practical grounding in cyber security and its implications to your business. Maybe sight instances, in the past ,where the company was left vulnerable to cyber attack.
- Recognise potential cyber threats to your company and the ability to aid in its protection. According to research by Accenture 68% of leaders feel their cyber security risks are increasing.
- Draw on insights from world-class academics and 20+ industry leaders to translate theory into practice.
- The programme is completely online, allowing you to maintain a normal work schedule and work on the programme at home.
- The online structure can save upwards of $10,000 compared to an in-person course.
- You will receive a certificate from Saïd Business School, University of Oxford. While this is a benefit to you personally, the company also benefits from the prestige of having the employees affiliated with such a programme.
Step 3: Backup your Benefits
Next you will need to demonstrate how the skills you would learn through the programme will directly improve your productivity, ability, or an aspect of the organisation that clearly needs improving. Make a list of of these benefits and fine tune them to better fit your argument. Think about the ways that your improvement from this programme can contribute to your work performance, and ultimately make a difference in your company.
Step 4: Organise your Argument
After you have all of the pieces to your argument, you will need to put it together. Try writing a letter that clearly sets forth your research and proposal. Focus on the ways that the programme will improve your performance at work or positively impact your organisation. A sample letter for Oxford Cyber Security for Business Leaders can be found here.
Step 5: Have the Conversation
Last, you will need to present your argument. Check and see who is responsible for approving your funding and tailor the argument to them. Your HR department should be able to help you out with how to go about applying for funding support. Use your research and planned argument to prove that the programme is necessary, and begin your path of progress today.