Of the many ways professionals can grow their skills and knowledge, none may be more cost- and time-effective than earning a business certificate from the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University. If you are committed to continuing your education and desire to increase your skills and knowledge, there’s a good chance your employer will invest in you as an employee and pay for a business certificate.

Before you ask your employer to support your completion of a business certificate program, ask yourself two questions: “What do I want to learn?” and “What’s in it for my boss?” Don’t gloss over the seeming simplicity of this. What course or program do you want to take? Why should you take it? What will you learn? How will it help you do your job better? How will it help prepare you for additional responsibilities and advancement?

It requires a little bit of work to nail it down, but it’s well worth the effort.

How to Pay for a Business Certificate Program: 5 Tips

  • Career development is the priority. It is important to emphasize to your employer that your goal is career development and what that will do for your company. The business environment is constantly changing. By completing a business certificate, you will learn new skills, knowledge, tools, and techniques to help your company compete in a volatile and uncertain competitive landscape. Because business certificates are designed for working professionals, you will be able to immediately apply what you learn on the job.
  • Do your research.While it’s one thing to tell your boss that your request for tuition reimbursement is a good idea, it’s a much better thing to show her or him. Do your research. Show your boss that you’re serious by presenting a well-thought-out proposal for a mutually beneficial outcome. Show that you have evaluated various professional development options and explain how this program is the right one for you right now. This is a core element of any successful business deal, and that’s what this is. To compete, your employer must retain top talent. Top talent has its price. Make the case that you’re it and why you’re worth the investment.
  • Prepare the pitch. Whatever format is appropriate, be it a formal presentation or a simple text document or email, prepare your pitch. This is just as important for you as it is for convincing your employer. The process of formalizing your proposal ensures you’ve done your homework. You’ve prepared a clear message and rehearsed how you will communicate that message.
  • Know the ROI. Your own commitment and enthusiasm for professional development prove your argument. Program tuition is the most cost-effective way for your employer to grow and retain top talent. Do a cost-benefit analysis showing how the skills you learn will result in a measurable return on investment. Keep it career-centered and show the impact you will make to the company as a result of your completion of the business certificate.
  • Be clear on the details. Make sure your employer understands the full cost of the program (including any travel), any possible discounts for multi-employee enrollment, and the time commitment involved. For an online program, emphasize that you will be participating on nights and weekends. For a residential program, explain how your work will be covered while you are away. Make sure these details are spelled out. Prepare a draft learning contract to show your boss that you’ve thoroughly considered all the details. Offer to share what you learn when you complete the certificate. Be ready to bargain when you ask your employer to pay for a business certificate program.

Kelley School of Business Certificate Programs

The Kelley School of Business is consistently one of the top-rated business schools in the country. Business certificate programs are designed for working professionals at any career level. Our business certificate programs focus on offering skills and knowledge that participants can immediately apply to their jobs and careers.

Some of the most popular programs include:

  • Women in Leadership – The Kelley School is committed to supporting women in business. This business certificate addresses the unique challenges female business leaders face in the workplace.
  • Business Essentials – Gain a comprehensive understanding of essential business concepts, including management, operations, marketing, finance, analytics, and supply chain management.
  • Leadership & Change – Examine the advanced executive leadership skills required for managers and professionals seeking top leadership positions in business.
  • Influential Communicator – Effective communication is essential in all endeavors. Sharpen your skills with this program. Among the topics of study are executive presence, persuasion, credibility, and the components of an influential presentation.

All of these programs are offered online and in residence.

Exceeding Expectations

Recent surveys reflect the quality and student satisfaction of the business certificate programs from the Kelley School:

  • Eighty percent of respondents said that “setting direction for your business” in the Business Essentials program exceeded expectations. The other 20% reported that the course greatly exceeded expectations.
  • For the course Leadership and Self-Awareness, 100% of survey respondents said it  met, exceeded, or greatly exceeded their expectations.

With the proven cost-benefit of earning a business certificate from the Kelley School, asking your boss  to support your participation is a clear win-win proposition. If you’re serious about advancing your career, make your case.

When framed as the win-win scenario that it is, asking your employer to invest in you by covering the cost of your business certificate programs can pay off in new skills, more opportunity, and a more exciting career.

Be prepared, patient, and flexible. There’s a good chance your employer will help pay for a business certificate program.