Part-time MBA programs are flexible--you can continue to work while you attend school. More importantly, you can apply everything that you're learning to your job while you learn it.
Will My Employer Pay for My Part-Time MBA?
There is no definite answer to this question. It simply depends on who you work for. What is certain is that corporate America invests millions of dollars annually to help provide employees with an MBA education. There is a chance that your employer is among these companies.
How Can I Broach the Topic?
You should always start by checking your employer's website and/or the employee handbook. There may be a special section on the website or in the handbook that tells you whether or not the company has any formal tuition reimbursement or scholarship programs.
Talk to Human Resources
Your employer's human resources department is also a good place to start. The HR manager should be able to tell you whether or not there is a pre-established program for employees who want to receive tuition assistance for a part-time MBA program.
Talk to Your Boss
If are unable to uncover a formal program on your own, there's only one thing left to do: talk directly to the boss. Just make sure that you make an appointment and plan the conversation out ahead of time. Things to research and be knowledgeable about include:
- The name of the school and part-time MBA program that you're interested in
- The program's curriculum
- The cost of the part-time MBA program
- The duration of the program
- The program schedule
- The reasons why you need an MBA
- The reasons why you you're considering a part-time program
- The reasons why you think your boss should pay for it
- What you're willing to give in return for tuition assistance
It is smart--especially if you want to stay out of debt. MBA programs are expensive and often require multiple loans to pay for. Getting someone else to pay for your MBA is almost always better than having to pay for it yourself.
But there are drawbacks that should be considered. Not every employer will be willing to pay for your part-time MBA without being assured something in return. Some employers may ask you to sign a contract saying that you will stay with the company for a certain number of years after graduation. Others will require you to maintain a specific grade point average while you are in school. If you are unable to keep your end of the bargain, your decision may come back to bite you.
For a few other things that you should consider, check out the Four Things You Need to Know about Receiving Tuition Reimbursement from Your Employer.