Do you want to learn in-demand technical skills but are concerned about how to pay for a coding bootcamp? Rather than opting for bootcamp loans or bootcamp stipends, consider asking your company to pay for your coding bootcamp, either through tuition reimbursement or upfront tuition assistance. By getting your employer to sponsor your program, you will gain the skills you need while adding value to the company. It’s a win-win.
We’ve partnered with Learn In to create this comprehensive guide with all the information you need to have a smart conversation with your employer about your interest in building a career in tech. We’ll cover what employer sponsorship is, how it works, which companies pay for coding bootcamps, the requirements for employer sponsorship, and how to get your coding bootcamp paid for by your employer.
- Employer sponsorship involves companies covering part or all of an employee’s training, including coding bootcamps. The level of investment depends on the skills’ relevance to the company’s needs.
- The most common form of employer sponsorship is tuition reimbursement, where the employee completes an approved program according to conditions set by the employer before getting reimbursed.
- Employer sponsorship is one of many types of flexible coding bootcamp payment options. Other ways to pay for coding bootcamps include GI Bill benefits for military personnel, income share agreements (ISAs) and private loans for low-income students, and bootcamp scholarships for minority groups.
- Employer sponsorship is beneficial for those who lack tuition funds or wish to avoid loans. It offers interest-free support and avoids debt, and some bootcamps even accept employer sponsorship due to financial constraints faced by students.
- Employer sponsorship typically requires employees to be with the company for a set period of time before starting their program, and then to remain with the company for a defined term once the training is complete. Specific requirements vary between companies, so be sure to ask HR for details.
- To get your coding bootcamp paid for by your employer, write a well-structured letter emphasizing mutual benefits. Some benefits to mention might include employee retention, employee satisfaction, and tax incentives.
- Overall, employer sponsorship is an interest-free, no-hassle way to acquire in-demand skills. It’s also a worthwhile option for employers, who get a happy and upskilled workforce out of the deal.
What Is Employer Sponsorship?
Employer sponsorship is a program in the workplace where the employer covers all or part of an employee’s studies. There are employer sponsorship programs in the workplace to get a university degree, attend community college, or study at selective bootcamps for tech.
How much your employer invests in your learning journey depends on what you study. For in-demand skills, your employer may cover the total cost or most of your program’s fees. However, if training covers skills that aren’t that valuable to your employer, the company may only contribute a small amount.
But now the question is, how does the transaction work? You’ll have to speak to your employer about specifics, but the most common form of corporate sponsorship is tuition reimbursement, a subcategory of tuition assistance.
What Is Tuition Reimbursement?
Tuition reimbursement is an arrangement where an employer agrees to pay for an employee’s training by an approved third party, but only upon the employee’s successful completion of the program. Although some forms of tuition assistance provide the money upfront, tuition reimbursement funds only come after the fact, and employees must meet certain conditions before they’re reimbursed.
The way tuition reimbursement works is fairly simple. The employer supplies the employees with a list of eligible programs, and the employee either selects a program off the list or asks their manager to approve a different program. The employer also specifies conditions that must be met for reimbursement, which might include the employee’s fulfillment of a work obligation or their attainment of a minimum grade in the class.
GI Bill vs Tuition Assistance From Your Employer
The primary difference between GI Bill benefits and employer sponsorship is that the former is for military personnel only. If you want quality tech education from coding bootcamp but you’ve never been in the military, you can’t benefit from the GI Bill. In the world of coding bootcamp tuition assistance, GI Bill benefits are more common than employer sponsorships.
Income Share Agreement vs Tuition Assistance From Your Employer
An income share agreement (ISA) is an agreement under which the coding bootcamp funds the student’s bootcamp education. In exchange, the student pays a percentage of their future salary to the coding bootcamp every month. Some think of an ISA as a type of coding bootcamp job guarantee. ISAs sound good, but they put a lot of pressure on job seekers after training.
Fortunately, many coding bootcamps grant grace periods or put students’ repayments on hold if they lose their job. Although ISAs are a great tool to finance your studies, you should always keep in mind that you’ll be paying a hefty amount every month until you’ve repaid the entire ISA amount.
Student Loans vs Tuition Assistance From Your Employer
Nobody wants to study to improve their current tech job while having to repay loans for years to come. Yet student loans do have some perks. In some cases, student loans may be your only option, as you can’t use federal loans to fund your coding bootcamp program. Only private student loans and personal loans work when it comes to coding bootcamps.
Compared to employer sponsorship, loans have stricter repayment terms and interest rates. Your loan provider will also do a credit check to ensure you can repay the loan. You can use a sponsor if you don’t have a credit score or have bad credit. As you can tell, there are many more technicalities with loans than with employer sponsorships.
Why Do Bootcamp Students Request Employer Sponsorship?
Many prospective students wanting to study at some of the best coding bootcamps and join the tech industry don’t have the tuition money for their programs. They might not want to look at student loans either in fear of student loan debt. In these situations, employer sponsorship may be a suitable solution.
Many tech workers attend a coding bootcamp while working. Unlike loans, employer sponsorship doesn’t involve interest rates or repayment penalties. If you don’t meet the eligibility criteria for GI Bill benefits, scholarships, or an ISA, employer sponsorship may be your best bet.
A growing number of coding bootcamps accept this kind of tuition assistance because they understand the financial pressure of studying and know that some students can’t get loans for their programs.
As an added bonus, if you stick with your tech company after your training, you will likely avoid having to repay the sponsorship. Some bootcamp graduates have to stay with their employers for a couple of years after studying.
What Are the Requirements for Employer Sponsorship?
The main coding bootcamp sponsorship requirement is that an employee has at least a few years of employment experience with their current company. In addition, some companies may demand that you stay with them for a few years after your training.
The reality is that there aren’t any set coding bootcamp sponsorship requirements. Companies offering this type of financial assistance have their own rules and expectations for sponsoring an employee’s studies. It’s best to explain to the human resources department that you want to expand your current skills and find out how to start the process.
How to Get Employer Sponsorship for Your Bootcamp in 2023
If you are employed by one of the many companies that pay for coding bootcamps, you may want to start the process. If you have never had an employer sponsorship, read on to determine your next steps to attain employer sponsorship for your bootcamp.
Step 1: Check your Benefits
If you’re working for a large firm, chances are they already have some sort of tuition assistance program in place. According to a survey from the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans (IFEBP), 92 percent of US companies offer tuition reimbursement as part of their benefits package, though few employees typically take advantage of this benefit.
Even if there isn’t a publicized program, check with HR. Many companies have a budget for learning and professional development, which may very well include employer-sponsored scholarships, tuition reimbursement, or other forms of tuition assistance. Resources that might have historically gone toward travel for industry conferences could now be used for online courses through a bootcamp program.
Step 2: Choose the Best Program for You and Your Employer
Digital education is now at the forefront of today’s world, and many companies are scrambling to offer online courses and education. It is imperative that their employees stay up to date, so companies are investing money in upskilling. Because technical skills are in increasingly high demand, it’s crucial to research which coding bootcamps or programs best match your employer’s technical needs.
Depending on your industry, certain technical skills, such as data science or software engineering, may be in higher demand than others. Here are some of our suggestions to determine the best technical programs and skills for your company:
- Check out your company’s job postings. See if they are actively recruiting for certain technical roles. For example, if your company is looking for a data analyst, you may want to browse courses in data analytics.
- Research adjacent skills. Look at what your co-workers and managers do daily. Do they need keen problem-solving skills, mathematical capabilities, or vast knowledge of logistics? Asking these questions will give you insight into what expertise your employer may be looking for.
- Research transferable skills. What are some general skills that can be transferred between jobs, departments, and industries? These can range from engineering or cyber security to analytics or design.
Step 3: Review the Advantages of Offering Tuition Assistance With Your Employer
If your employer does not yet offer tuition assistance, you can bolster your pitch for why they should invest in your education by bringing up the following advantages of offering tuition assistance.
A major reason why companies offer tuition assistance benefits is that they help attract and retain talent. Studies by Lumina Foundation found that offering tuition assistance programs (TAP) can cut attrition by more than half for entry-level employees. This is also why some programs require employees to stay on the job for a certain period of time to qualify for reimbursement.
Section 127 of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) allows for an employer to pay up to $5,250 in educational assistance benefits per employee each year on a nontaxable basis. This means that educational investments of up to $5,250 are both tax-deductible for the employer and tax-free for the employee.
Educational assistance programs can cover everything from degree programs from universities to non-degree programs, such as coding bootcamps. These tax benefits apply regardless of whether the courses taken are related to your current job responsibilities.
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So, career switchers can also use these benefits. However, for the tax benefits to apply, the educational assistance benefits must be available to all employees working at the firm.
Step 4: Help Your Employer Find Solutions for Your Tuition Sponsorship
Showing your employer that you’re willing to put in the extra effort of applying to scholarship programs will help signal your commitment to upskilling. Here are a few areas we recommend exploring for some 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 typically underrepresented in tech, you may qualify for certain scholarship opportunities.
- Check if your state offers skills development scholarships. Certain states, such as Texas, have a skills development fund that can help cover some of your coding bootcamp tuition costs.
Additionally, your employer may be interested in starting an income share agreement (ISA) program as a way to expand their tuition assistance budgets.
An ISA is an alternative to a traditional loan wherein you receive funding for your education upfront and, depending on the terms, pay it back with a portion of your salary once you start earning above a certain threshold after graduating from the program.
If your employer wants to upskill several employees, they may benefit from an upskilling-as-a-service platform. Learn In offers software to supercharge a company’s upskilling initiatives by helping them track employees’ progress within bootcamps, measure the return on the investment, and allocate time and money to learning.
Step 5: Read the Fine Print
Finally, we recommend you dig into the fine print of your company’s tuition assistance offering. To qualify for certain tuition assistance programs, you may have to spend a certain amount of time working for your employer, either before or after the program. Make sure you meet those requirements. As we mentioned before, some education contracts ask you to commit to staying with the company for a certain period of time. This is anywhere from six months to two years, but it varies by company.
Also, make sure you are clear regarding the completion requirements. If you’re unable to finish the bootcamp, your employer will require you to settle any outstanding tuition fees. Also, ensure you clarify whether your company can help you pay for the program upfront upon enrollment versus upon completion.
Finally, you should always ensure that you understand the entire agreement, including small details like whether you need to attend a full-time bootcamp or a part-time course. If you have any questions or doubts, speak to your employer or the coding bootcamps admissions team.
Example of a Sample Letter to Employer Requesting Tuition Assistance
You know what the requirements of employer sponsorship are and how to get employer sponsorship. Now, let’s look at a sample letter for employer sponsorship.
Sample Letter: Requesting Tuition Assistance From Your Employer
Dear Mr. Smith,
I am writing you this letter because I believe improving my current skills would have a valuable impact on your business. I would like to request your sponsorship to study software engineering at Coding School. This program will help me gain the skills in software development that I need to progress in my current role.
This is a 12-week bootcamp program, and I can either study full-time or part-time. I believe sponsoring my training at Coding School can help your company. I’ll have improved academic and development skills to provide expertise to your business.
I am positive that the professional networks and financial gain you’ll receive from this investment will be well worth it. Currently, this coding bootcamp has a student success rate of 95% and offers resources to enhance my learning.
In addition to the success the bootcamp program guarantees, I also commit to this company after completing my training. I agree not to look for employment elsewhere for at least two years after training. I understand that failure to fulfill this guarantee will require me to repay any outstanding tuition.
I’ve learned so much in my time working for your company. I feel confident in my ability to improve my skills to become a significant asset to your business. Thank you for taking the time to read my request for employer sponsorship.
Oct 2, 2023
Additional Components of a Corporate Sponsorship Request Letter
These are other sections that you may want to include in your employer sponsorship request letter.
- Bootcamp program overview. Write an overview of how many hours you need to study per day for the bootcamp program and the delivery format. Name any impressive or renowned instructors in the bootcamp program. Finally, mention the cost to complete this program.
- Bootcamp program topics. Write a concise list of topics your bootcamp program will cover.
- Bootcamp program guarantees. Include statistics on the student success rate as well as graduates’ salaries. Speak to the admissions advisors to get this information.
Is Employer Sponsorship for Bootcamp Programs in Tech Worth It?
Yes, if you want to reach a higher skill level or gain new skills for a different tech position, employer sponsorship is worth it. Unlike student loans, there are no interest rates for employer sponsorship, and tech companies with tuition reimbursement programs negotiate the repayment terms with their employees.
There are many companies offering employer sponsorship programs. The best way to determine whether your employer will fund your studies is to ask directly or speak to HR. If you follow the steps above and provide good reasons as to why sponsoring your education is a wise move, you stand a good chance of getting your coding bootcamp paid for by your employer.
Corporate Sponsorship for Bootcamp FAQ
Generally speaking, you don’t have to repay an employer sponsorship, but this depends on your employer. Many employers want you to stay with the company for an agreed period after your training as repayment for your sponsorship. If you look for a job elsewhere earlier, you must settle the outstanding tuition fees.
Can anyone attend a coding bootcamp with corporate sponsorship?
Anyone can attend a coding bootcamp with corporate sponsorship as long as it matches the company’s standards. For example, if the company is a data analytics company, they are likely to approve an employee’s data analytics bootcamp over a project management bootcamp. Keep your employer’s needs and your position in mind when requesting an employer sponsorship.
What companies offer tuition assistance for coding bootcamps?
Large technology companies such as Google, Amazon, IBM, Facebook, and Microsoft offer tuition assistance for coding bootcamps. These programs are designed to help employees upskill and advance in their professions through their employment with the company.
Are there any companies that will pay for you to join a coding bootcamp?
Companies such as Google, Apple, Amazon, and Facebook will pay for their employees to attend a coding bootcamp. These companies utilize these programs to upskill their employees while filling knowledge gaps. This benefits both the company and the employee, as it meets both parties’ needs.
About us: Career Karma is a platform designed to help job seekers find, research, and connect with job training programs to advance their careers. Learn about the CK publication.