How to get your coding bootcamp sponsored by your employer

Want to learn new tech skills but don’t know how to pay for a coding bootcamp? Want to find out if your employer can help fund your coding bootcamp and possibly even hire you for a tech role? We’ve partnered with Learn In to create a comprehensive guide to all the information you need to have a smart conversation with your employer about your interest in building a career in engineering. To learn more about how Learn In can help you find the time and money to learn new skills on the job, email Learn In or have a member of your HR team get in touch to withdraw.

Step 1: Check your benefits!

If you work for a large company, chances are they already have some sort of tuition assistance utility. According to a survey by the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans (IFEBP), 92% of employers in the US offer tuition as part of their benefits package, although few employees take advantage of this benefit.

Even if there is no known program, do not give up hope. Ask around to see if any of your colleagues have received educational assistance and contact your HR department. Many companies have a budget for learning and professional development. Resources that may have been used in the past for industry conference travel can now be used for continuing education online.

Employers can provide educational benefits in several ways; the most common are tuition reimbursement, tuition assistance, and employer-sponsored scholarships.

  • Tuition Reimbursement: The way tuition reimbursement usually works is that you pay the initial cost of tuition and your employer reimburses you. Please note: some employers only reimburse after the program has ended!

  • Tuition Fees: Tuition fees allow employers to provide upfront economic support, helping employees for whom the initial cost is a major barrier to upskilling.

  • Employer-Sponsored Scholarships: While tuition reimbursement and tuition assistance are generally available company-wide, employer-sponsored scholarships may only be available to select subgroups of employees based on categories such as job titles and the need for a particular skill.

Step 2: Choose the right program for both you and your employer

The COVID-19 pandemic is accelerating digital transformations in businesses as they seek to become more resilient to disruption. To do this, companies need employees who can keep up with the emergence of new technologies. With the increasing demand for tech skills, it’s critical to research which coding bootcamps or programs best suit your employer’s tech needs.

Depending on your industry, certain technical skills, such as data science or software engineering, may be in greater demand than others. Here are some of our suggestions for finding out which skills can benefit your business:

  • Check out your company’s job openings to see if they’re actively recruiting for specific tech positions

  • Examine adjacent skills – look at the work being done by the people around you. What skills are essential to the work of your manager or your colleagues?

  • Research transferable skills: What are some common skills that can be transferred between jobs, departments and industries? These can range from engineering or cybersecurity to analysis or design.

Step 3: View the benefits of offering study assistance at your employer

If your employer isn’t already offering tuition assistance, you can bolster your pitch on why they should invest in your education by highlighting the benefits of offering tuition assistance:

Employee retention. A major reason companies offer student grant benefits is that they help attract and retain talent. Research from the Lumina Foundation has found that offering tuition-free programs (TAP) can reduce employee turnover by more than half for entry-level employees. This is also why some programs require employees to stay on the job for a specified amount of time in order to qualify for compensation.

“ailCFH came into my life when I needed it most and quickly helped me through a boot camp. Two months after graduating, I found my dream job that matched my values ​​and goals in life!”

Venus, Software Engineer at Rockbot

tax benefits. Section 127 of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) allows an employer to pay up to $5,250 annually in educational benefits per employee on a non-taxable basis, meaning that educational investments up to $5,250 are both tax-deductible to the employer, and tax-free to the employee. Education support programs can include everything from college degree programs to non-education programs such as coding boot camps. These tax benefits apply regardless of whether the courses taken are related to your current position, meaning they can be used for career switchers. Something to keep in mind is that in order for the tax benefits to be maintained, the education assistance benefits must be available to all employees who work at the company.

Step 4: Help your employer find the money

By showing your employer that you are willing to go the extra mile to apply for scholarship programs, you can indicate your commitment to continuing education. Here are a few areas we recommend exploring, and check out other ailCFH blog posts for more comprehensive lists of the best coding bootcamp scholarships.

  • If you are a veteran, you may qualify for funding under the GI Bill.

  • If you identify as a woman or member of another group that is typically underrepresented in technology, you may qualify for certain scholarship opportunities.

  • Check if your state offers skill development scholarships. Certain states, such as Texas, have a skill development fund that can help cover some of your boot camp costs.

In addition, your employer may be interested in starting their own Income Share Agreement (ISA) program as a way to expand their tuition assistance budget. An ISA is an alternative to a traditional loan where you receive upfront funding for your education and, subject to terms, repay with a portion of your salary once you start earning above a certain threshold after you graduate from the program.

Finally, if your employer wants to upskill multiple employees, they can take advantage of an upskilling-as-a-service platform. Learn In software can boost a company’s upskilling initiatives by helping them track employee progress within boot camps, measure return on investment, and allocate time and money to learning.

Step 5: Read the fine print

Finally, we encourage you to really dig into the fine print of your company’s tuition assistance offerings. To qualify for certain tuition programs, you may have to work for your employer for a certain amount of time, either before or after the program. Make sure you meet those requirements! Many training contracts require you to commit to the company for a period of time, usually between six months and two years, but this varies by company.

Also make sure you are clear about the completion requirements. If you are unable to complete the bootcamp due to unforeseen circumstances, will you be forced to refund the already refunded tuition? Finally, be sure to clarify whether your company can help you prepay for the program upon enrollment or post-pay on completion.

In short, there are many reasons why your employer might want to sponsor your coding bootcamp, and we hope this guide has helped you prepare for that conversation to pitch your refresher course!

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