Is There any Benefit in Funding Employees Continuing Education?
As an employer, you might wonder if financing further education for your employees has any worthwhile benefits. While it’s obvious that gaining better qualifications will be a big bonus for employees, the advantages for the employer aren’t so obvious at first glance. But if you take a closer look, you’ll see why investing in your workforce can be a great idea.
Your Employees Will Have Better Skills
The more knowledge and skills that your employees have the better they will be able to do their jobs and help your business prosper. Plus, having a highly educated workforce will always be a benefit to you when potential clients check out your business online before they decide whether to work with you. Being able to highlight your commitment to helping employees gain advanced degrees will signal that your staff are up-to-date with their skills and have the competence to deliver the best service.
The Tuition Costs Are Tax Deductible
As long as the education program meets certain federal guidelines, the cost of tuition is tax deductible. The course you pay for must be related to your business and the college offering the course needs to be an accredited school like New England College, which is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.
According to the IRS you can deduct up to $5,250 per employee, per year, for tuition related expenses, which would allow you to recover a significant portion of the cost of a two-year course; or even the entire cost of a degree program spread out over a longer period.
You’ll Attract Staff with Drive and Ambition
What’s better for your business, staff that want to give you their best every day, or staff that are happy to coast along? It’s surely good business sense to pick candidates with drive and ambition over clock punchers.
The go-getters will look for employment opportunities that can take them new places, and if you offer funding toward further education as part of the remuneration package, then you’ll attract the most motivated candidates.
Will Employees Need to Take Time Off to Study?
No. Today’s degrees, both at the bachelor’s levels and the master’s level can be taken completely online, so your employees can fit their studies in around their work commitments.
For example, if you run an accounting firm and you want to offer employees the opportunity to study for a master of science in accounting online, they would need to spend around 15 hours a week on their online MSA program, and those hours can be split between evenings and weekends.
Won’t People Take Their Degree and Run?
Not necessarily, since providing good employee benefits like ongoing education, actually encourages loyalty and improves staff retention.
It’s best to seek the advice of an employment lawyer to find out how to structure your offering so that it complies with relevant laws.
Investing in your employees makes a lot of sense, but it won’t be the right choice for every business. Talk things over with your advisors, and ask other business owners about their experiences with funding employee education before you make any firm decisions.
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