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Corporate scholarships: How to find a company scholarship to help pay for a boot camp?

Boot camps can be a great investment for learners looking to further their skill sets and advance their careers. But did you know that they can also be a sound investment for employers? In fact, some companies even sponsor their employees’ boot camp education. 

What is an employer scholarship? 

Learners can potentially find many different types of boot camp scholarships to fund their professional development. Employer scholarships, sometimes called company scholarships or corporate scholarships, provide financial assistance to eligible employees or dependents seeking to enhance their current skills and knowledge. They can come in the form of employer-sponsored skill advancement, reimbursement for collegiate education, trade school admission, certification vouchers, and other learning options. 

There are many reasons why employers give out scholarships. Benefits to employers include:

  • Upskilling their workforce in a low-cost, stress-free way

  • Standardizing team knowledge with current skills

  • Keeping them competitive in an ever-changing environment

  • Aiding in professional development

  • Enhancing employee retention by demonstrating an investment in the individual

Who is eligible for an employer scholarship?

Eligibility depends on the company offering the scholarship and whether a given educational institution accepts this kind of funding. In general, employers select scholarship recipients based on a range of criteria, such as field of interest, educational background, and career goals. Some employers may also require employees to illustrate the value their desired boot camp will bring to their role and responsibilities within the organization. It’s also helpful to check on any requirements your employer may have in place, such as a minimum tenure with the company or post-completion commitments, when determining your eligibility. 

Before starting the conversation with your employer, check with your admissions representative to determine if your boot camp accepts funding from employer sponsorships.

Why should you pursue a company scholarship?

An employer scholarship can help you offset the costs involved in advancing your professional expertise while demonstrating to your employer that you are serious about keeping your skills current. Whether you need to grow your knowledge of new tools and technologies in your field, or you’ve reached a point in your career that requires you to learn new skills in order to keep up with industry standards, an employer scholarship can provide you with opportunities for professional advancement.

How to choose the right boot camp 

There are many different boot camp options available, so learners considering investing in a boot camp may understandably have some questions: Will a digital marketing or data analytics boot camp be a better fit? How do you choose a coding boot camp from the different options available?

Before you approach your employer about financial support, carefully consider your learning goals:

  • How can they benefit you and the company you work for? 

  • What learning or skills gaps are you looking to fill? 

  • Will upskilling help you qualify for a promotion or other advancement opportunities within your organization?

  • What might be the most advantageous way to expand your skill set? 

The more specific you can be with your answers, the easier it will be for you to determine the boot camp you should pursue. 

Additionally, just as with any eligibility requirements, your employer may also place a limit on their scholarship value or require curriculum approval before agreeing to reimburse your education. This information can also be helpful in narrowing down your options and choosing the boot camp that’s right for you. 

How to start the conversation 

If you’re in the process of applying for a new job, a conversation with a potential employer can help you learn about the benefits they provide to their employees, including boot camp reimbursement. Don’t hesitate to ask detailed questions as you engage in these conversations: Do they have established relationships with specific boot camps? What percentage of the cost do they cover? 

If your current employer offers scholarships, you can increase your chances of receiving one by following three simple steps:

1. Do your homework.

  • Which area of study would make the greatest impact on your career?

  • Is there a boot camp you have in mind that can help you get there?

  • Based on your research, what are the top three reasons you think that boot camp is the right choice for your career?

2. Explain the tangible benefits to your organization.

  • How will the boot camp you choose compliment your current role?

  • How will learning these new skills positively influence your work performance?

  • What are the long-term benefits these skills will have on your ability to make a meaningful impact within your company?

  • Make a list of the tangible ways your organization (and specifically, your team) will benefit from your new skill set.

    • You’ll add increased value by being equipped to drive a more innovative approach to your work.

    • You’ll generate additional revenue for the organization, either by diversifying your offering or increasing workflow efficiency.

    • You’ll introduce up-to-date methodologies and adopt the latest industry tools, and techniques to ensure the company is operating in line with best practices.

    • You’ll be able to take on more responsibility, leadership, a new management role, and new projects as needed.

    • You’ll mentor new employees and train your team members, empowering and inspiring those around you with fresh insights and updated knowledge.

  • Briefly outline your action plan to share what you’ll learn with your colleagues to support the growth of your team.

3. Start the conversation with your employer.

  • Give them a preview of what you’d like to discuss beforehand with a brief email outlining your proposal.

  • Use the template below as a starting point for your conversations.

Template: How to start the conversation

Dear [manager],

Our recent [discussion/work/research] on [project xyz] inspired me to reach out to you today to start a conversation around my professional development.

I’m extremely dedicated to the growth of my career here at [company], and I’d like to discuss the opportunity to strengthen my abilities and make a more meaningful impact within our organization.

I’ve done a substantial amount of research around potential training and development options for someone in my position, and I’ve been thinking about the most valuable way to add to the pool of skills in our team. I have identified an online boot camp that I feel would positively impact both my career and the organization, and would like to discuss the possibility of seeking assistance with the boot camp fees.

The name of the boot camp is [boot camp] and I strongly believe it’s the best option for me because:

  • The skills it will equip me with — most notably [skill] and [skill] — are aligned to my current responsibilities, and training in this area can improve my performance and output.

  • The boot camp is highly practical and industry-relevant, which will allow me to have an immediate impact on the work that I do on a daily basis.

  • I want to master the most up-to-date tools and practices in [your field] so I can foster an innovative and competitive approach to our work.

  • This boot camp is completed virtually and has a very flexible schedule, so it will in no way interfere with my usual work schedule and performance.

I’d be happy to keep you updated with what I am learning throughout the boot camp and share my knowledge with our team, perhaps in a series of presentations, to ensure the whole team receives maximum benefit from my new learnings.

Please let me know when would be a convenient time to chat.

Last updated November 2023