Thursday, 31 January 2008

Work Perks - Education Assistance

I’ve just been approved to have my University studies paid for over the next 12 months up to a total of $3000!

My company commits a lot of money to staff development and training, with a lot of training options available to us, mainly internal. On a case by case basis they also fund external study like mine.

I’m studying for a Bachelor of Business, majoring in Marketing. I’ve chosen to study through Open Universities, as it’s more flexible for my work schedule and as its fee based there are no HECS or FBT impacts for me, so my $3000 goes much further. I'm looking to do one subject per study period, so 4 in total over the coming year.

I can use the $3000 for:

  • Tuition fees (subjects are $710 per subject in my course)
  • Registration and application fees
  • Reasonable residential costs for workshops or residential summer school (if applicable)
  • Payment for essential course books

The reimbursements are paid on a study period basis with 50% of costs at the commencement of each study period and the following 50% at the successful completion of each unit. If I fail, I have to cover the cost myself, (and rightly so really).

There are a few catches though:

  • It’s very specific study criteria, (so you can’t head off on an aromatherapy course!)
  • If I voluntarily withdraw from a course, I’m not eligible for a reimbursement of any outstanding costs. The company may also claw back any funds that had been given out to me within the last 12 months.
  • If I leave the company either during or up to 12 months after completion of a paid course, I will be required to reimburse my company for any money paid to me within the last 12 months of service. (So I need to intend to hang around for a while!)
  • The assiatance is reviewed every 12 months and is not guaranteed ongoing.

That said, it’s a chance to get a University degree for free, a reason to stay at home on the weekends and not spend money, an opportunity to get valuable, relevant training under my belt, and make myself a more attractive candidate for the future.

It's worth checking out your companies HR site or employee benefits policy to see what's available to you where you are.

It may not be a cash in your wallet, but over the longer term something like this can be far more valuable. You can lose a job, but you can't have skills and knowledge taken away from you.

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6 comments:

  1. It's great to have work pay for your tuition, isn't it? I do the same thing. Be sure to get anything that you can get out of work. Congratulations!!!

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  2. thats really good, and open uni is good as you can spread the workload out a bit more. I need to check into what lurks and perks I can get.

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  3. It sounds like a great opportunity!

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  4. That is one of the best work perks aruond! Everybody wins. The 12 month retention period is also quite generous. I have heard of others having a retention period of 3 years!

    Just be wary of the balances between working, studying and living!

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  5. Thanks guys, I think it's a great opportunity for me to get the qualifications I'll need for my next few career moves. Not to mention I'll learn a lot too!

    Tehnyit, I agree about the work life study balance, but I actually don't do much on the weekends so it would actually be a bonus to have something I need to do each weekend.

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  6. That is definitely a great perk!!

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