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Should companies shoulder the cost of continuing professional education?

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  • Should companies shoulder the cost of continuing professional education?

    Companies hire lawyers, accountants, engineers, and other employees who are members of professional organizations that require them to attend seminars as prerequisite for license renewal. Some companies pay for seminar fees as well as professional tax fees at the start of the year. Some companies, however, don't as they consider the cost of continuing professional education as something that should be paid for individually by the professional employee.

    What are the current practices in your company? Do you think it's just fair for the professional employee to pay for the seminar fees when the company needs a licensed professional for the job?

  • #2
    Re: Should companies shoulder the cost of continuing professional education?

    I think that it would be really hard to really scale this, and so when it comes to companies they may favor it, but the costs just may not add up, which I understand. I think that this might be something of the past, but I guess we shall see.

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    • #3
      Re: Should companies shoulder the cost of continuing professional education?

      It depends on the role. If the licence is something that the person cannot perform the role without, then yes the company should pay for it (e.g. the PCI DSS licencing and training). If it is something like retaking the Prince2 exam, where you don't gain extra skills from it, just the right to use the Practitioner name, and it doesn't benefit the company then no. For people with professional skills that need to be kept up to date, though, it does help and failing to offer it can affect staff retention.

      Offering support in the form of time-off or loans for employees across the company can also help staff retention though, as they don't know if another employer would support further learning.

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      • #4
        Re: Should companies shoulder the cost of continuing professional education?

        Continuing professional education is something higly important. Every company that has a future market view would have the obligation to consider that move. But, I don't believe this should be an obligation only of the employer. I argue that it's something to be divided (equally) between the employer and employee, after all, both will ultimately be benefited.

        Neither party should take on this commitment on its own, I think really the most fair is an agreement between the two parties for a parallel growth. Together, everyone walks better and usually always goes further. That's the spirit.

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        • #5
          Re: Should companies shoulder the cost of continuing professional education?

          I think there are arguments both ways. If you are a 'professional' of some kind then surely it is up to you to maintain your licence, as this helps you secure a good job.

          On the other hand, it would seem reasonable for the employer to pay the cost. But what happens in the employee leaves? Do they pay it back?
          Regards

          Top Link - Site Founder

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          • #6
            Re: Should companies shoulder the cost of continuing professional education?

            For big companies, it is usually the standard to send their employees for further education, be it training or schooling. In my first employment, our boss encouraged us to pursue master studies so we would be more equipped when we reach managerial levels. Often, we were sent to paid training courses with the expenses shouldered by our company. I was sent to an expensive training program and the company had me sign a 2-year contract. I think that training for employees is still being practiced now by big companies.

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            • #7
              Re: Should companies shoulder the cost of continuing professional education?

              Originally posted by TopLink View Post
              I think there are arguments both ways. If you are a 'professional' of some kind then surely it is up to you to maintain your licence, as this helps you secure a good job.

              On the other hand, it would seem reasonable for the employer to pay the cost. But what happens in the employee leaves? Do they pay it back?
              While the bigger multinational companies would normally shoulder the cost of training, this is not the case with small to medium scale companies. The prevalent practice is to tie the employee to one or two-year contract to enable the company to recoup the cost of training in terms of improved performance or processes. If the employee decides to leave the company prematurely, he/she will be charged for the training cost. This will only apply if the employee initiated/requested for the seminar/training.

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              • #8
                Re: Should companies shoulder the cost of continuing professional education?

                For the growth of the company, I don see anything wrong in companies sending their staff for refresher courses and further education in the profession they studied. The reason is that it is a boost to the company and helps the company in getting better and better when those staff are back from their studies with new ideas on how to grow the company to greater heights. I have not worked in a firm that has that type of policy, but I have seen that happen with the college I went to in the sense that they send the best graduating students of the school to do their masters degree outside the country, so that when they are back, they can deliver quality education to the students.

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                • #9
                  Re: Should companies shoulder the cost of continuing professional education?

                  For small companies, no. I don't think they should do that. For larger, stable companies then they can afford to do that. Training employees by providing graduate education is great. However, it can be quite costly and risky.

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