June 2018 Tuition Reimbursement Three Options to Pursue

In the Masters of Engineering degree with a concentration in Information Engineering Management at UAB we teach you how to apply entrepreneurship and business methods to your technical skills to help you make the move from engineer to manager or even turn your idea into your own business.

Paying for additional higher education may seem daunting, but the good news is there are ways to find funding for your next degree - and one of them may be from the place that you go to work each day. Employers often offer tuition reimbursement options that will cover some or all of the cost of your education, and your current employer may be willing to help pay for your degree if you can vouch for how the degree will help you perform better, and in return how your new education can raise the company's bottom line.

When looking into the ways your employer may be willing to cover the cost of a degree, your first step should be your human resources office. They will be able to explain what tuition reimbursement options are available and any rules they may have in place. Below are three common ways employers cover tuition costs.

1. Internal Tuition Assistance Programs (TAP)

The most common way for employers to cover the cost of that degree you're eyeing is through an internal tuition assistance program, also known as TAP. These types of programs are often offered by larger employers and the IRS allows these companies to write off up to $5,250 per year, per employee for offering the benefit.

The good news for this program is that it is easy to do and well defined. The downside is that TAP is limited in the amount that can be covered. Many executive masters programs can run upwards of $30,000, so unless you're planning to do a 10-year path to get a master's degree TAP will only cover a small amount and you will need to plan for other options.

However, TAP still helps cut down on your overall cost and is just the beginning of employer funding alternatives. Many IEM students have creatively managed their coursework with their funding to limit the amount that actually comes out of their own pocket.

2. Corporate Training

Almost every company, no matter the size, has a budget for corporate training. These can include internal corporate training programs, as well as conferences and educational programs offered by universities and private companies. If you have a TAP, you can also use a training budget to cover additional expenses.

To start this process, talk with your immediate boss and then move up through your leadership. Usually the training options are offered through human resources, so you may need to be prepared to make a case for getting an advanced degree. It will help if the degree is directly related to your job position and most importantly you should be able to clearly explain the return on investment, that your education can benefit your employer.

3. Joint Research with the University

A neat aspect about getting an advanced degree from a university is that both the educational institution and your company can benefit from your studies. Some employers will form a partnership to conduct research activity using university resources to help the company solve their problems.

Students in these company partnerships can go to school full time while being the on-campus representative for the research program. This task could include being responsible for bringing classes into the company as internal training and in return the university will offer college credit to “students” who went through the training.

The UAB School of Engineering often partners with companies to create these type of exchanges. These partnerships may require you to generate effort and interest from inside your company, but the final outcome will have a threefold effect - directly benefitting you, your employer, and the university.

If during the process of exploring any of these funding options you need help defining the business case, the university program should be willing to help you. At IEM, we are more than ready to help you outline how the Masters of Engineering degree will best benefit your employer and the company's bottom line. You can find helpful information about our curriculum, student success stories, and admissions or contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. today.

Benefits Beyond Your Degree

The benefits of having an employer fund your degree go further than just paying for college. The harder you have to work at it, the more you get noticed. If you are talking to your manager, your HR office, or your officers about your desire to grow then you are portraying yourself as someone who is willing to work. That's what we're all about at IEM. We see your potential and we want to maximize it. We want to show you your options for growth, and most importantly support you as you grow and meet your goals. Fill out the form on this page to schedule a time to talk or email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Let us help you find the funding you need to set your path to a technical or engineering management career.

About IEM

The Master of Engineering with a concentration in Information Engineering Management (IEM) at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) is a specialized concentration designed primarily for engineers and people in technical positions. The concentration presents business systems and soft skills in a curriculum that is based on actual engineering industry needs and is offered completely online.