Will My Employer Pay for My Master’s in Human Resources?
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- Getting a master's degree in HR can help your career in multiple ways.
- If your company doesn't offer tuition reimbursement, you can pitch it to them.
- Balance the benefit of tuition reimbursement with other offered benefits.
When investing in your education, you may wonder if the cost of a degree is worth it. Because it can be to pursue a master's degree, it is important to evaluate what it will do for you. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), people with master's degrees earn about 18% more than those with bachelor's degrees.
Pro Tip: Find a job that will partially or entirely reimburse you for your college degree.
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Benefits of Getting a Master's in Human Resources
When you look at the price of a master's degree in human resources, you need to consider the potential for the return on your investment, or your ROI. The value of a degree is not just the immediate salary return but also other factors. A master's can:
Expand your network: A master's program will allow you to meet more people in the field. Networking can be essential to finding new opportunities. These new connections can become mentors or colleagues who may help you land a new role. They can also connect you with other professionals and provide insight into the industry.
Give you an advantage when negotiating position and salary: When you invest in a master's degree, many employers will recognize your commitment to your field. Given your expertise, you could land a position as a human resources manager. According to the BLS, these professionals earned an annual median salary of $126,230 in 2021.
Better prepare you for your career: The additional education can teach you more about your field and how to handle certain situations. In-depth training may help prepare you to assist with business decisions and develop new policies.
Help you stand out against the competition: Applying for jobs in a competitive field can be stressful, but earning a master's degree is a great way to help yourself stand out. In addition to the degree, you can focus on a specialty that piques your interest, like compensation or recruitment.
How to Find a Job That Will Pay for Your Degree
If you intend to complete a master's degree later in your career, looking for a company that will pay for your degree can be a smart move. However, it is important to remember this benefit isn't the only thing that matters in a job.
"It's a great perk, but you still need to love what you do, and you need to always be learning. If there is an opportunity to learn and grow at a company that offers this kind of perk, then it might be a good fit. Don't just go for the first company that you see that offers it, as it may not be a good fit for you in the long run."
— Joshua Wood, CEO of Bloc
There are different ways to go about verifying that a company provides this perk.
Check the Company's Career Page
As you're seeking your next job opportunity, be sure to check the company's career page. This page will usually note whether an organization provides tuition reimbursement. Some companies are more specific than others, so this step may require additional research to confirm.
Seek Out Reviews
Another way to research company benefits is by looking for company reviews on sites like Glassdoor. Current and past employees will sometimes note which benefits companies provide, including tuition reimbursement.
Verify Benefits With Human Resources
During the interview process or offer stage, you can check with your recruiter or the human resources department to verify what tuition reimbursement benefits the company provides. Some organizations work with specific universities or have other restrictions.
Target Specific Companies
If you are only interested in companies that provide tuition assistance, be sure to strategize during your job search. Comb through any benefits you find and determine companies that are a good fit for your goals before submitting your application.
Types of Financial Assistance
If you're looking for help with education costs, there are a few things that you should know. These different types of financial assistance can offset some costs.
Tuition reimbursement, or tuition assistance, is a benefit in which employers provide a pre-determined amount for college coursework or continuing education to be applied to a degree.
Depending on the company, the money may be provided ahead of time, or you may have to pay initially and then be reimbursed. It is important to determine this information before enrollment.
Tax advantages can help when going to school. Education credits reduce the amount of tax you owe on your return. If you take out a loan, you may also be able to write off your student loan interest. Depending on your circumstances, these deductions can lower how much you owe in taxes.
Your employer may also be eligible for tax breaks and deductions for contributing to employee education. The IRS allows them to deduct up to $5,250 annually.
If you want your employer to contribute to your educational expenses, you can pitch them the idea. Prepare important details such as the degree you're pursuing and how it will benefit the company. If they agree to reimburse you, you may have to sign an educational expense agreement or contract.
This document will outline the terms of your agreement. Read this carefully because it may have restrictions that include committing a number of months or years to the company in exchange for the tuition benefit.
If your employer is open to being an authorized payer for your tuition, it makes things easier. Instead of paying your tuition and getting reimbursed, you can add your employer to your account as an authorized payer. They can then pay your tuition directly.
What if Your Company Doesn't Offer Assistance?
Even if your employer doesn't offer education assistance, you can still ask. Set up a meeting to present your case using these tips.
- Demonstrate how it helps your employer: The first point to address is how offering tuition reimbursement will benefit your employer. You can explain that your company will be helping you learn new skills to improve at your job. Tuition reimbursement is also a great way to improve employee retention, increase worker productivity, and give an organization a reputation for being a good workplace.
- Emphasize tax breaks: Companies love to save money, so highlight the tax breaks that they can get by doing this if they meet the IRS requirements.
- Present your detailed study plan: Be sure to go into your meeting with a specific plan about the program you want to complete. Give information about the school and degree to highlight how classes could help you improve at your job.
- Offer a test run: If the reasons above alone don't convince your employer to move forward, offer a test run. They could pay for a single class or development course to see the results.
Companies That Pay For Graduate Education
Many companies offer some form of tuition reimbursement. The organizations below are good places to target, but you can also approach your current company.
According to Wood, "At Bloc we offer a 50% reimbursement of any Master's degree tuition in the business/management categories at top 30 Universities."
Disney offers 100% paid tuition for qualifying degrees, including master's degrees.
Through Ford's Education Tuition Assistance Program, they offer prepayment of up to $6,000 per calendar year for education, including master's degree programs.
Home Depot offers employees up to 50% of educational costs, including for master's degrees.
Walmart pays 100% of college tuition for full-time and part-time employees through its Live Better U program.
The Fine Print
When you collect tuition assistance from an employer, be sure to go over the specifics with human resources. You may be required to sign a contract or stay with the company for a number of years. They may also require you to attend certain schools for assistance to apply.
Continuing education can be valuable to your career in human resources. If you find the right place to work that will support you in your education, you can reach your goals sooner.
Educational assistance is a great perk, but there are other benefits to consider. It is important to balance educational benefits with other benefits your company offers. Find something that will help you on all levels.