If a picture is worth a thousand words, then you probably already know my thoughts on the, “if you should have your company pay for your continuing education”, debate. But go ahead and read on, good points to consider on each sides.

 

One of the problems with letting your company pay for your continuing education is that they often will NOT pay you more for it later. So everyone beats it into your head with government statistics that the higher your formal education level is, the more you get paid right? Well that’s not true at all.

 

So weigh whatever benefits you think you will be getting against the reality of an employer sponsored education:

  1. Most won’t pay you upfront; only reimburse you for finished courses
  2. Many won’t pay for books, fees, and other expenses.
  3. Restrictions on topics you can study
  4. Most include a pay-back clause if you leave the company

 

So you read that above, maybe you mentally justified the first three, but if you didn’t outright reject the idea of #4, you’re thinking wrong. You will be trapped at that company for a set period of time. All indentured-servant-like.

 

So your night MBA “generously paid for” by a company, may very well chain you to that company for five years after graduation. That’s no problem if your compensation is increasing and it advances your career, but the odds of that are not in your favor.

 

Five years of career stagnation is not worth any amount of formal education certificates.

 

Most of the time, your only reward of completing a degree with your company is a congratulations greeting card. That’s a pretty low return on investment of your time right? There is a good amount of similar information in “Who Gets Promoted, Who Doesn’t, and Why” Check it out if this is the topic you’re interested in.

 

Always think in terms of time investment.

 

So here’s a caveat, if you have no previous degree, you’re broke, and someone is willing to sponsor you to go to college, that’s something to consider. The above relies on you already having a decent career and most likely a 2 or 4 year degree.