How To Speak To Your Boss About Them Paying For Your Course

Posted March 19, 2019, by Elesha

Sharpening your skills by staying updated with industry changes is essential for a thriving career. Whether it’s a night course, a workshop or an MBA, it’s possible your boss will cover the cost if the training benefits the organisation. But you’ll never know if you don’t ask! Here’s your game plan on how to speak to your boss about them paying for your course. 

It’s a fact: Over 45% of our part-time students receive tuition help from their employers. How? They asked.  By helping you gain new, relevant skills with our part-time or online courses, your company isn’t just investing in your future — they’re making the entire team stronger – General Assembly.

Step 1 – Find Out The Company Policy On Training

Does your company already have a training policy or budget allowance in place? Check your contract and speak to your HR representative to find out. Don’t be too discouraged if a policy doesn’t currently exist about paying for your course, just focus on putting forward the best case you can. 

Step 2 –  Do Your Homework 

If you want your boss to consider paying for your course, the training must help you get better at what you do and add value to the business. Cost, timing, and ROI will all contribute to whether your boss says yay or nay to your request.

When researching course options, begin with the destination in mind – what goal will it help you reach?

Use the below questions to help guide your decision making:

  • What are your learning goals?

  • What job-specific skills will you learn and how will they benefit your organisation?

  • The top 3 reasons this course will help your career?

  • How long will the course take and how is it delivered?

  • Is the time commitment realistic for your current schedule?

  • Is the course accredited?

  • How much is the investment and what is the payment schedule/cancellation terms?

It’s also important to do a little background research on the training provider and their reputation.

Step 3 –  Prepare The Case On Paying For Your Course

You’ve found the perfect course! It’s time to prepare your case with a value proposition your boss (hopefully) can’t refuse and have them agree to cover the cost. 

If your organisation doesn’t currently have a policy in place around covering professional development costs, nailing your pitch is even more critical. Without a precedent in place, your case will need to be really compelling.

You need to frame your request about paying for the course in a way that highlights to your boss what’s in it for the company and your team! Pull together a list of the tangible benefits taking this course will have on your team. Depending on the course you’ve chosen, points to consider could be:

  • Top 3 ways the course will boost your workplace performance

  • You’ll bring new insights and up to date methodologies to the team, helping them update their own skills

  • Your management skills will improve

  • Your new knowledge will allow you to step up and take on bigger projects

  • The organisation won’t have to invest in hiring and training someone new

  • How the course will address any current issues in the business

  • Help foster an innovative and competitive approach to the organisation’s work

  • What might be the potential costs of delaying the training

Include a summary of course details; the cost of paying for the course, payment schedule, duration and trainer reputation as per your research.

It’s likely your employer will ask for a commitment on how long you will stay with the business if the course is expensive. This is only fair and you should have a think about what you’d be willing to commit to for your value proposition.

Get your points down on paper. You’ll either send these to your boss via email or during a face-to0face chat, which brings us to the final step!

Step 4 – Present Your Pitch 

Consider how you will convey this information to your boss, would they prefer a concise email or an informal chat?  If it’s a chat, be prepared and take your value proposition with you. Alternatively, we’ve put together this email template for you to make your own.

Hi (Boss’s name),

As you are aware we’ve recently put more spend into our digital marketing budget and as the marketing manager and I’d love to get a better sense of current industry trends.

Through my research, I’ve found (name of course) delivered by (name of provider). I think this is an excellent learning opportunity because:

(Here’s where you include the points about the course will address and the benefits to the organisation)

The course is delivered via a series of night classes over 4 weeks which won’t interfere with my current workload. I’ve included a link to the course synopsis below and details about payment.

(Link to course)

(Investment / payment schedule)

I’d love to know if there is room in our team’s professional development budget for me to enrol in the course?

(Or, if HR have no policy for professional development already in place)

The course is a little out of my personal financial reach but I’m not sure there is currently any professional development budget policy in place for our team? I wanted to check if there was a way for me to enrol in the course and be reimbursed, or partially reimbursed, for the fee? Happy to discuss how it may be arranged.

Throughout the course,  I could share my learnings with the team via a few presentations or a workshop here in the office.

I’m happy to talk more about any questions you have or provide any additional information required.


(Your name) 

Ongoing professional development will play a major role in your career success. Don’t be afraid to ask your boss to pay for a course you know will benefit you and your organisation. Go for it!


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