Are you looking for opportunities to grow as professionals, but are you struggling to find the funds in your continuing education budget? Not only do studies show that continued education increases satisfaction and performance–in many industries (including real estate and healthcare), it’s virtually a necessity to maintain licensure and, thus, employment.
In a perfect world, your employer will pick up the full cost of your Continuing Education credit and allow you to pick the courses that are most interesting and relevant to you. But in reality, many of us pay for our CE credits out-of-pocket. So whether you are trying to make the case to get your expenses approved by your boss or HR department, or if you are just trying to figure out how to get the most bang for your buck, there are many ways to budget efficiently and continue your education without breaking the bank.
Budgeting for Your Continuing Education
First: Consider Your Return on Investment
On the topic of Continued Education, Anna Shnayder, the director of professional development for the Wound, Ostomy, and Continence Nurses Society, says, “…return on investment is much greater in terms of one’s commitment to the industry, staying on top of latest research, market trends, and the newest technology tools–as well as enhancing/elevating their ability to deliver service to their clients.”
However, although either employee or employer must shoulder the initial cost of a CE credit, it would be a mistake to use this cost as the only benchmark for the necessity of continued education. Consider the many intangible benefits that come from a new credit: a renewed sense of passion and purpose in the work, a better sense of how to incorporate the newest trends and tools into your practice, and maintaining the licensing requirements needed to stay in the field.
Employers, Do You Know How Much You Should Be Spending on Continuing Education?
There are many different ways organizations determine what their training budget for the year will be. However, if you are an HR professional or a small business owner, then it may be your responsibility to come up with this figure. So, in an ideal world where the employer is covering all costs for employees’ CE credits, a training budget would be calculated by asking yourself two questions:
- What are your employees’ basic needs? How many employees are up for re-licensing in the next fiscal year? What are the estimated costs for instructor fees, travel, materials, etc. to ensure they stay certified?
- What other opportunities for leadership development may be possible? Beyond the basic certification requirements, you should also anticipate that some employees will need and want growth opportunities. These opportunities will make them more competitive members of your team, so be equipped to provide them.
How to Find the Funds for Your Continuing Education Budget
If you are an employee being saddled with all or part of the cost, it may be difficult to budget. So, here are a few ways to fund your continuing education program:
- Applying for scholarships or grants offered by the training institution
- Applying for federal loans or grants, if applicable
- Taking out a personal loan
- Asking your employer to cover a portion (if not all) of the cost
- Approaching your Union or networking group for funding
- Setting up a monthly payment plan
Don’t Break the Bank: How The CEU Group Can Help
The CEU Group offers discounted continuing education courses to all licensed and certified professionals. Additionally, our offers extend across many industries, from occupational therapy to accounting and more.
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We are able to offer exclusive discounts and savings for those who need to meet their CE requirements. Also, we are confident that we can help you find an opportunity to learn and grow in your career today. Our discount codes are an easy solution to your continuing education budget.
To see a list of our current available discounted courses across industries, click here.
Looking for more tips on navigating the world of continuing education? Download The CEU Group’s FREE guide on how to choose and register for the best courses for your career. Continuing education just got a little bit easier – Click here to download today.
Originally published September 13, 2018