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How to pitch study sponsorship to your employer 

Discover what you need to keep in mind if you're planning to approach your employer about sponsoring your master's level studies.

 

Earning an MA or MSc can be a valuable way to enhance your current abilities, gain specialist skills, and develop your industry knowledge. Naturally, these benefits are just as advantageous to the organisation you work for – and many employers will be glad to see employees proactively striving to improve their offering. 

 

If you’re in a position where you can approach your employer for a study sponsorship, here are some fundamental points to keep in mind: 

Prepare a strong proposal 

The more your studies can benefit your employer, the more likely it is that they will be willing to sponsor you. Therefore, it’s important to communicate the different ways your employer will see a return on their investment. 

 

One excellent way to do this is with a business proposal. Consider the goals of your organisation and craft your proposal around them. Highlight challenges that your company or industry might face, and detail how your education could help address these. 

 

By taking the time to put together such a document, you show your employer that you understand and appreciate the financial commitment involved with a sponsorship – while also demonstrating your own commitment to the organisation and its growth. 

Make your pitch early 

Your employer will need time to make their decision, so the sooner you can make your presentation, the better.  Aim to make your presentation before the start of the financial year, so that the costs associated with your sponsorship can be considered for within budgets. 

 

Remember that there may be multiple stakeholders involved in such decision-making processes, which can further extend the time needed.  

 

If you’re the cusp of a promotion, this could be another opportune time to discuss a study sponsorship as part of your package. 

Address any concerns directly 

During your talks with your employer, make sure to hear out any apprehensions they have about the sponsorship. Encourage them to be forthcoming with any concerns, as this will allow you to discuss how you might be able to alleviate them. 

 

Be confident about your capabilities and use your proposal to highlight your commitment to the organisation; your employer will want to feel secure in the knowledge that you will be able to both complete your degree and utilise your skills to give back to the company. 

Negotiate if necessary

In the event that your employer is unable to offer a full study sponsorship, steer the conversation towards other options that they may consider. For example, they may be willing to provide a partial sponsorship, or agree to a pay raise or promotion following your graduation. 

 

Alternatively, they might be open to offering you paid study leave, or dedicated study time during the week to support your education. Review the benefits of any such offers and be open to compromise if you believe that they could still provide some value to your studies or professional life. 

 

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