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IT Training: Getting the Boss to Pay

Tips for getting your supervisor to pay for your IT training

It seems like all budgets are shrinking these days. You know you need IT training, but how do you convince your employer to pay for it? You need to show them that training isn’t just another line item on the budget, but an investment in the company.

  1. Explain the benefits of training. Did you know that 23% of employees leave their jobs due to lack of training opportunity? Or that the cost to replace skilled IT candidates is $75,000-$125,000? Chances are your supervisor don’t either. The more you you can tell them about the benefits of training, the more likely your request would be approved. You can find more fun facts on the benefits of training with e-learning in our infographic. And don’t forget to point out that with e-learning, there are no plane tickets, hotels, or meals to pay for. 
  1. Highlight how your employer will benefit. Will it make you more productive? Increased productivity will directly affect the bottom line. Will you be able to take on new tasks? Not having to hire someone with those skills will save the company money. Will you be able to share your new skills with other employees? Teaching it forward means more bang for the company’s buck. Don’t just make things up — it could be a year from now, but eventually you’ll need to be able to prove that this training has been worth the investment. Try to show how training will solve a problem your company is having. Another angle would be to outline potential risks for not getting the training.
  1. Provide options. Whether it’s showing them the multiple subscription levels from CBT Nuggets, or even showing other training options available, it’s important to do your homework. Show that the training you’re asking for is the right fit for you and your company. 
  1. Explain the benefits of using the proposed training provider. Explain why the solution you’re proposing is the best option. If you’re proposing a subscription to CBT Nuggets, you can highlight how every subscription unlocks 24/7 access to the entire training library with features that complement a variety of learning styles, including transcripts, variable speed, and closed captions to aid in overall training comprehension. If you’re proposing training for your whole team, check out options like LMS/LTI, team streaming subscriptions, and the Nugget Archive Server. Be sure to show the diversity of training topics, from DevOps to network engineering to programming, and more. Training on a variety of topics and skill levels shows the solution is scalable. You can even take it one step further and show how your selection stacks up against other providers.
  1. Outline what you will be learning. Instead of just listing out all of the things you could train on (the list would be a long one), have something specific in mind you’d like to get started with. List the top three things you’d like to train on. This list should definitely include skills that will benefit the company and can tie to your mutual goals.
  1. Create a plan. The only way the training will benefit you (and your employer) is if you actually use it. How will you incorporate training into your already busy workday? Your plan will vary depending on if you’re training to pass a certification exam or “just” want to stay current. Need tips for making time to train? Make sure you look at these tips.
  1. Show them. Sign up for a free trial and walk your employer through the training. If your supervisor doesn’t like to get down in the weeds, use the trial to help build up your case. Get familiar with the various courses and features, and tell your employer how much you learned in 7 days — imagine what you could learn in a year!
  1. Get creative if necessary. If you are getting pushback, think of ways you can work together. Say you’re interested in starting your training ASAP and your supervisor is in favor of it — but not until the next fiscal year. Would they consider a cost reimbursement? Or if the total cost of training just isn’t in the budget this year, would they consider a partial reimbursement? A little support is better than none.
  1. Create mutual goals. If you’re presenting training as an investment, you’ll need to have something to measure against. ROI (return on investment) is key in business. In this case, think of ROI as what you will accomplish by using this training. Set some goals with your supervisor and make them S.M.A.R.T. (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely). This ties back with making sure you and your supervisor are on the same page.
  1. Put it in writing. Depending on your office culture, an official written proposal may not be necessary. But be sure that if you and your employer agree on a training plan over a casual conversation in the break room that you follow up with an email outlining what you agreed to. It ensures both parties are on the same page. If your company does require something more official,  include a summary about why you need the training, how it will benefit the organization, the proposed training solution and benefits, and how you plan to utilize the training.

Presenting your case in a complete manner will show your employer that you are serious about your desire for training, which will improve your chances of getting your request approved. If you can effectively show your supervisor that training is an investment worth making, then you’re well on your way to being able to watch, learn, and conquer!


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