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Convince Your Boss to Pay For Your Education

Steve Safarowic
May 3, 2018
Last updated on
March 13, 2024

Should you be learning and upgrading your skillsets? It's no surprise that ~800 million jobs are at risk of automation by 2030 and there is a strong likelihood that a part of what you call work will be replaced by artificial intelligence. Fear not, learning tech skills is tremendously valuable for career and personal growth whilst keeping you competitive in the new labor markets.

Learning digital skills is tremendously valuable for career and personal growth. Think about the last time your boss presented you with a set of data to scan or told you to come up with insightful analytics on a project and you were caught off-guard. Think about the work streams where using tools like Python or PowerBI would allow you to be more effective in your role.

If you question your career decisions or feel disengaged at work, learning a new set of skills also has the ability of moving you towards career fulfilment and enabling you to unleash your potential. Upskilling also make you more efficient at your job and have an enriching experience while achieving more.

Whatever your reasons to learn coding, data science, design or blockchain, the important question is “Who should pay?” You or your company? There are dozens of Xccelerate graduates that have their employers sponsor their education because of the benefits to the company or due to development budgets.

It’s always worth having a conversation with your boss about the possibility of an employer sponsored education especially if allows the company to leverage your talent more effectively. Here are some talking points for you to use if you want to upskill but think that your company should pay.

Recurring ROI to Boost Business Performance

The ROI of your new skills goes beyond the potential for you to “work faster”. Opening your mind to new ways of doing things is like opening doors of opportunity for both you and your company.

You’ll be equipped to critically think about new ways of problem solving, unlocking new opportunities and revenue streams that may not only go deeper into your current role, but open up new channels for other teams in your company or even in areas that don’t exist within the organization. For example here are a few ways learning about data analytics can benefit your company:

  • Discover segments of potential customers you are not reaching effectively
  • Find patterns in your data that might lead to new avenues of growth
  • Evolve your business model by focusing on the details that really matter
  • Create proprietary tools for your own business’ use
  • Most importantly: Find “Black Swans” or unknown unknowns in data that you couldn’t see before.

Retaining vs Hiring New Talent

It’s no secret that it costs more to replace talent within a company than to keep it, to the tune of anywhere between 30-400% of an annual salary, even when re-training or upskilling is involved.

Investing in employees not only generates loyalty and morale within a team, it keeps costs down. Recruiting costs for skilled roles like Data Science can cost around $40,000USD for a newcomer who is less invested in the team’s success than those who are willing to upskill for a job they love.

How about you push to the company that you would like to be a product champion for data analytics by teaching yourself the most useful data science and machine learning projects?

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Accountability: Learning and Retaining

While a growth mindset of always pursuing new knowledge is critical for staying relevant and competitive (as both an individual and company culture), not all methods of learning are equal.

Just as teachers or bosses in the past may have given you the speech about “working hard vs. working smart”, there are smarter ways to learn than going through endless slides or staring at a computer screen in isolation for hours on end. Did you know that the completion rates for online courses are just 13%? This is due to a lack of accountability and un-idealistic time management on both the content creator and learner side.

What does work? Learning by doing, especially when you’re surrounded with like minded peers and engaging instructors. Let your boss know that you’ll choose a learning platform that is not only affordable but will render results, fast.

Impact company culture

Your education will not only reflect you, but inspire your whole team. At best, everyone will be asking you to share your knowledge, making you look great. At worst, it will make your teammates want to pursue new skills on their own, bringing up the competitive edge of your department or organization in general.

According to globoforce, one of the key elements of keeping employees happy is offering training or ways to develop mastery in new or existing skills. I’m sure as we all know, a happy employee is more likely (way more) to be a productive employee.‍

Value of AI/AI-Tech Industry

By 2030, AI and AI-related tech will contribute at least $15.7 trillion USD to the global economy. Is your company prepared to be competitive in the coming years? Unfortunately basic skills in excel and gut instincts aren’t enough to make cutting edge decisions.

Data science and machine learning skills are not too far out of reach-- you can get going with start deploying machine learning techniques to your company’s data sets in about 6 weeks with the right training, like Xccelerate’s Data Science and Machine Learning courses.

Build a network/community

Many people pursue continuing education, like MBA’s, not only to learn and sharpen skills but to build a network as well. Why should other education platforms be any different?

Remind your boss that opening the door to investing in your education will give you new talking points to expand your network, which can benefit the company in many ways --it’s always good to have connections to help deals close faster.

A quicker way to develop that network is to learn alongside like minded peers and, of course, from instructors who are experts in their field. Learning with Xccelerate, you will also have access to our alumni network who can help you troubleshoot and connect you with key influencers throughout your refreshed journey.

The first step to improving as an individual is wanting to do it for yourself. If you have made this decision but would like to see if your company will support your effort, particularly if it will benefit them, have a conversation with your boss (or key decision maker) using the points above as conversation pieces.

Check out our part-time courses and full-time courses at and speak with us about a course that fits your needs and growth trajectory.

Need more advice?

If you are at a choice point in your career and need someone to help you navigate professional challenges. You can make an appointment to our complimentary 1-on-1 Career Consultation and receive personalised career advice.