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How to ask for employer sponsorship for your master’s

How to ask for employer sponsorship for your master’s

Your full-time job shouldn’t be a barrier to your continued growth and development. 

You can significantly boost both your personal and professional potential by gaining new knowledge and skills, or furthering your existing expertise, with a master’s degree. And, even though you might be working full-time, it can be much easier – and cheaper – than you may think. 

Here are some tips and steps you can take to ask for employer sponsorship for your master’s degree: 

1. Get started early 

When you’re thinking of starting a master’s degree, it can be easy to overlook the possibility of gaining employer sponsorship to help you cover the costs. But having this source of funding for your degree can take significant strain and stress off you financially, paving the way for you to start your master’s degree with a more relaxed and worry-free mindset. The key, though, is to get started early. 

Keeping in mind the application closing date for the course you’re interested in, be sure to get ahead well in advance with approaching your employer for sponsorship.  

Prepare yourself by first and foremost considering if – and how – your chosen course is relevant to your current role and beneficial to your employer. Then, you can move on to the next steps. 

Find out more about the benefits of submitting your master's degree application early:

Why apply early? 

2. Look into your company’s policies on sponsorship 

Different companies have different policies regarding sponsorship, largely depending on the size of the organisation. 

So, look into your company’s policies on sponsorship. With larger organisations, you can usually do this by checking out their company intranet. Otherwise, you can also do this by approaching your HR department and simply asking them directly. 

Typically, with larger (and larger budget) organisations, there are usually sponsorship programmes in place to promote employees’ professional development. With smaller organisations though, it may be less common to have these programmes in place. Even if there isn’t a company policy on sponsorships in place at your organisation though, it could still be well worth approaching your employer with your proposal. 

3. Prepare a business case 

Although a master’s degree will be greatly beneficial to you and your professional development, your employer will inevitably want to understand how you attaining a master’s degree will be beneficial to them too. 

This is where preparing a solid business case comes in. The key is to demonstrate how sponsoring you for a master’s will add value to your role, and consequently to the organisation as a whole. 

Some important points you can cover in your business case include: 

  • How will this master’s degree help you perform more successfully in your role? 

  • How will it help you overcome challenges for the organisation? 

  • How will it equip you with the knowledge and skills you need to advance your career within the organisation? 

  • How does it align with your – and your organisation’s – future goals?

4. Anticipate and address possible concerns 

It’s normal for organisations to want to keep costs to a minimum. So, you’ll need to bear this in mind and anticipate that they may have concerns about sponsoring you financially to complete your master’s degree. 

This shouldn’t be a hindrance to you though. If you can show your employer through a compelling business case how you can add value to the organisation by gaining a master’s degree, it will put you in a strong position for securing sponsorship. 

It’s important to listen to and understand your employer’s concerns about sponsorship, and be ready and confident to address them mindfully and specifically. 

If you’re looking for more advice and tips on how to secure employer sponsorship for your master’s degree, you can speak to a Course Adviser by completing the form below  to request a call back.

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