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Employee tuition assistance can make it easier for you to go back to school to earn your master's degree. Many employers value the skills and training that a master's degree can offer and will pay for some or all of an employee's tuition. Be sure to check out our article about three options for tuition reimbursement that your employer may offer.

The hardest part of requesting tuition assistance may be the conversation you will have with your boss. While approaching your boss to ask for their help can be intimidating, especially when dollar signs are involved, it ultimately can have benefits beyond just getting your education costs covered.

Here are a few tips for bringing up the topic of tuition assistance with your supervisor:

1. Do Your Research

When approaching your boss to ask for tuition assistance, being prepared will make the whole process a lot less intimidating and a whole lot more likely to succeed. The most important aspect of your conversation should be pointing out how what you will be learning will be applied to your position and how that will benefit the company.

Look at the curriculum to see what you will be specifically learning and create a list of new skills and experiences that you expect to receive from the degree. Next, write out how those new skills and experiences can be applied to your job, your team, and your employer. Think about your company's goals too and how an investment in your education can help your company move towards those goals.

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, admissions and how our alumni have applied the degree to their current job. You can also contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. today.

2. Make a Prepared Pitch

Put the research you've done into a prepared pitch or presentation to communicate in a format that upper-level managers are accustomed to seeing. Your extra time and consideration in this step will also show your boss that this is something that you are taking seriously.

To clarify exactly what you're asking for and communicate any potential misunderstandings before you begin the degree, you may wish to write down what your employer can expect from you, including a required GPA they may expect you to maintain, how long you will remain with the company after finishing the degree, and even how much you will need for tuition assistance.

The most important part of initiating a conversation with your boss about your education is to reveal your ambition and passion for returning to school. Talking about your goals will generate a natural conversation about your position in the company and where you want to be in the future. This will also give your boss an opportunity to talk about where they, or the company, will need you in the future. Just having this strategic conversation will help position you for growth.

3. Be Patient and Persistent

This process can take some time as your request is considered and passed through your company's internal processes. If you are not able to get tuition assistance from traditional sources like an internal Tuition Assistant Program (TAP), the top leaders at your company may see the potential value your advanced education would bring to the company, and potentially approve covering some or all of the tuition costs from other funding sources. This is especially true if they are grooming you for leadership and they view a master's degree as a way to help you gain the leadership skills you need to be successful in a management role.

Even if your employer won’t pay your tuition, you may be able to work together to make life easier in other ways, such as allowing you to count school hours toward work time, adjust to a part-time schedule, or work flexible hours to complete projects or meet with team members.

By making this ask, you have distinguished yourself among the many others in your company. You have invited your employer to be a partner in your education and can keep them updated on your personal and professional progress as you pursue your degree.

We're Here For You

Whether you're asking for tuition assistance, looking for a new job, or putting out feelers for a promotion - we are here to help you navigate the tricky conversations and decisions you will come across when growing your career. We see your potential and we want to maximize it. We are here to answer your questions, provide support and watch you accomplish 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.