In today’s increasingly digital world, there’s no doubt that having technology-related skills is incredibly valuable. As a result, more and more businesses are seeking professionals with relevant tech skills across every department..
If you’re a tech professional, you may want to develop additional skills so that you can contribute more at work and eventually, get that promotion or start a new career as a consultant or freelancer. However, you shouldn’t have to foot the bill for online skills training all by yourself.
One solution? Get your current boss or employer to invest in online skills training as professional development. Here’s why you should be looking into online skills training and how you can convince your boss to fund it.
Why Online Skills Training Matters
Training isn’t just a way to pass the time or meet certification requirements. It has advantages for both professionals and their employers. These are some of the most important benefits of professional development:
- Stay up to date with technology – Technology is constantly evolving. If you learned certain tech skills or used particular devices early in your career, but things have evolved since then, skills training will help ensure you are getting the most out of your software and hardware and that you’re using the most up-to-date and powerful tech available.
- Stay up to date with laws and rules – Laws change. Ensure your company is compliant by studying recent legal updates, mandates, etc.
- Be happier at work – Without growth, people can stagnate at work. This leads to boredom and low engagement. However, professional development can reignite your excitement for what you do, and this will pay off for both you and your company—especially because people who are happier at work tend to stay at their jobs longer.
How To Talk To Your Boss About Professional Development
Professional development via skills training doesn’t just benefit you. It benefits the company you’re working for, too, as well as your current team. So, you shouldn’t hesitate to talk to your boss about covering the cost of professional development through online skills training. Here’s how to approach the topic with your employer in a way that’s comfortable and effective:
1. Know The Details
Know the details about the training before you approach the conversation. How much will it cost, how long will it last, and what skills will you learn from the training? Knowing the facts in advance and being able to answer these questions will help the conversation go smoothly and show that you’re serious about professional development.
2. Explain How It Benefits The Company
The reason your boss should fund your professional development is that it will pay off for the company in the long run. Explain how the skills you want to learn online will benefit you in your current role: What new programs will you be able to use? What kind of projects will you be able to take on? Could you bring those learnings back and share them with your team?
If your employer knows how the training will benefit the company, they’ll be more likely to approve the funds for it. If possible, estimate an ROI by showing the cost of the online training vs. the new revenue or cost-savings you could generate with your new skills.
3. Put It In Writing
Your boss may want to run the online skills training by their own boss or a financial person at the company. If you send the request in writing (in addition to approaching them in person), they’ll have all the facts they need to make the decision. An email about your professional development should list details about the course(s), what skills are being taught, the cost, the possible ROI, and anything else that might be relevant. A written request makes the process easier for everyone involved.
At the end of the day, getting online skills training can be an incredibly valuable experience. Not only will you be more effective in your current role – you’ll also be a more valuable contributor in the future. That could garner you a promotion or allow you to start your own business. By speaking with your boss strategically and highlighting the benefits of professional development, you can get your boss to pay for your online skills training.
Develop’s Foundation subscription is a great place to start. It’s only $99.99/year (or $9.99/month) and provides unlimited access to hundreds of courses, demonstrations, and hands-on exercises across a broad range of tech topics. You’ll also get course completion certificates, so you can document your progress along the way.