Management Education is having great demand in today’s world for more speedily career growth for working professionals. The MBA is geared for professionals who want to upgrade his skills with latest management techniques. The tuition fee for pursuing a management course from a good institute can run into Lakh of rupees. The big question is how to fund your course i.e. Self or Company Sponsored MBA?
A loan for education with a generous assistance from parents, other relatives or bank is often the answer. However, if you are working in a great company, have proved yourself and a few years’ work experience then there is another option that may work – persuade your company to sponsor your MBA course.
MBA sponsorship sounds like the perfect solution to financing issues. But only a few of the global companies, for obvious reasons will even consider sponsoring an employee to attend a full-time program. Many smaller organizations have either well-entrenched or case-by-case policies on providing financial assistance to a talented employee for a part-time or online program or an executive MBA or career enhancement programs provided the applicant makes a strong case.
Obviously, this will take some doing, and you can expect a rigorous cost-benefit analysis by your company management before you get the green signal to go-ahead for the course.
However, Company sponsored MBA come with their own issues. The assistance may be based on a binding contract that requires the employee to stay on for a certain period after completing the MBA program. While a company agrees to sponsor an employee’s studies, there offers are usually covered by strict stipulations and it’s worth considering all the options to cover your costs before pursuing this route.
The first question to ask yourself is if you really go for Company Sponsored MBA course. Before making up your mind regarding sponsorship, look at the pros and cons below in the article.
Bright Side of Company Sponsored MBA
Sponsorship has a bright side from the employee’s financial viewpoint. If your Employer agrees to fund your MBA studies, or even part-fund it, you won’t have to go bank-hopping for a big loan nor worry about how burdensome it is going to be.
Your job is safe and waiting when you back post MBA. You won’t have to bother about job hunting after the program as your already tried and the trusted employer is waiting for you. In rough times, if retention issues come up, you will be more likely than others to keep your job, owing to your MBA and your company’s investment in you.
Post-MBA, you will be more valuable to your company as you are armed with an MBA degree. Knowledge and experience that you have acquired during the course will make you a better employee. It would be expected by you to take back new perspectives to your organization, which will help you to see things differently and suggest new solutions to old problems.
After MBA, your acumen for critical analysis and strategy planning, managing resource, your soft and communication skills, will have improved, and your organization will be keen to use them. With the new ideas and skills, you will be able to guide your peers and junior colleagues.
Besides assistance towards your MBA tuition fee, there are also other benefits disguised with the offer for you. If you are selected for a good MBA program itself, will be impressive for the management that you are a bright employee. Your applying for financial assistance and accepting it will prove to senior managers that you are not only keen to take up more supervisory responsibilities but also loyal and interested in staying on post-MBA.
Down Side of Company Sponsored MBA
Employer sponsorship means locking yourself into a contract to serve your company for the foreseeable future (often between two to five years post MBA graduation). This means that you won’t be able to make the most of the campus interview, career fairs or recruitment on campus which is a major attraction of the B-school campus.
You will have to continue to plug away at your old work location, which might be quite frustrating and boredom if you don’t like your job, your company, or your industry very much.
If you’re planning on pursuing a part-time course and remaining at your company, then the choice of an institution could also be limited. So, maybe you need to settle for a course which would not have been your first choice.
A sponsorship contract may include terms such as a temporary promotion freeze, nominal hike afterward. Employees may be able to negotiate difficult clauses so that there is no permanent damage to their careers.
Check the Offer before Final Acceptance
If your employer does offer to support, ensure that you understand exactly what they’re offering. It may be an offer to cover your tuition, or it may be an offer to reimburse your costs. If it’s the latter, you will be required to complete the course to receive the money back.
Other stipulations will usually include a minimum grade requirement and a contract guaranteeing that you’ll continue working for the company post-graduation. Breaking any of these requirements will result in either the company not reimbursing you or demanding the money back with the interest.
Some companies will offer reimbursement based on grades, e.g. a staggering percentage depending on how well you do on the course. That will certainly incentivize you to do as well as possible but indirectly add to the pressure of the course itself.
How to Approach your Employer
If your company has policies to sponsor an employee for the MBA program, employees need to present a business case which proves the value post-MBA to the employer.
Analyze the value, you can bring to your company and in your current role post-MBA. Plan and design a business case which focuses on benefits to your organization and present to the HR department and Senior management.
Generally speaking, part-time MBA (executive MBAs and online MBAs as well as full-time equivalents spread over a longer time period) are more likely to receive funding than full-time MBAs, as this means that employees will still be working at the company during their studies and will be able to use their newfound knowledge and skills immediately. Those studying distance programs will also be more likely to receive funding, for the same reason.
Top companies Scholarship Package
If you’ve settled on pursuing company sponsored MBA, take a look at the top companies for educational remuneration package below:
- Apple: Reimbursement up to US$5,000 annually.
- Google: Up to US$12,000 a year, if you achieve A and B grades and work for the company full-time.
- BP: Up to 90% of the eligible expenses taken at an approved institution.
- Deloitte: Full tuition reimbursement after two years of employment at Deloitte.
- Bank of America Corp: Up to US$5,250 for job-related programs and courses.
- Intel: 100% of reimbursable educational costs.
- Chevron:Up to 75% tuition reimbursement.
- Ford: Up to US$5,000 annually.
- Procter & Gamble: 80% of educational costs, up to US$40,000.
Self-funding MBA students do not have to suffer these gains and pains. They have full freedom to chart their own careers after their MBA program. They are not tied to a company or industry and can make a career in any sector they want.
After completing your MBA, you are likely to receive tempting job offers and be torn between two difficult choices: resign and touch off debates about your loyalty and integrity (which may affect your reputation) or endure an exasperating return to your old job.
AfterGraduation Counselors advice to Company Sponsored MBA Aspirants that you should accept help only if you like your company and the company likes you else it is better not to ask for sponsorship. Post your query and comments on our Aftergraduation Forum and we would be happy to discuss. Connect with us for all latest updates through Facebook and Twitter.