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Employer paying for grad school?

My employer is allowing me to work part-time while finishing grad school with a masters in cs.
My employers rate would pay me 85-90% of my costs.
I normally would not consider a masters, but I think this is a good deal- anybody else with such experiences?

Thursday, July 31, 2003

Would you turn down free soup?

Do you want to work part time?

Do you want the letters after your name?

If the answers to the last two are 'No' then don't do it.  If the answer is 'Yes' to the last two then the answer to the first applies.

Simon Lucy
Thursday, July 31, 2003

If you want to do a master's, then - HELL YES.

Fernanda Stickpot
Thursday, July 31, 2003

check the terms and conditions - if you have to leave the job after x months - how much (if any) of the fees etc would you be liable to repay ...

Thursday, July 31, 2003

Do you mean they will pay for your tuition, as in you get a normal salary for the part time work and on top of that they pay 90% of your tuition fees?
Or do you mean that with the salary they will pay you for the part time work you could cover about 90% of your total living expenses, and you would have to find a second (small) part-time to survive?
The former seems like a winner, the latter seems like a gentile way of giving you the boot.

Just me (Sir to you)
Thursday, July 31, 2003

my Sw.Eng. masters degree was paid for too -- good deal.

the company reimburses 100% of tuition costs if you get a C grade or above (maximum $10,000 reimbursed per year).

courses must be taken during non-business hours (i.e., non-paid time) -- this pretty much means classes are in the evening or during the weekend.

they do not pay for supplies, books, transportation, etc.

there are some other minor details, but pretty much if you're a regular salary employee you are eligible.

Thursday, July 31, 2003

Its what I'm doing, and I like it.  I get paid full-time, and get to spend 7 hours a week (of my 40 standard) in the classroom or studying.  The classroom is here at my work, and linked to UC Davis via teleconference.  They pay for everything as well.  Well worth it, and I'd do it if you can make it work.  Free money! :)

Andrew Hurst
Thursday, July 31, 2003

Check how they disburse the cash to you. Some companies expense it and some pay it as taxable income.  The way that they do it can make a big difference on your taxes. Even if it's taxable it's a great deal - you just need to plan for it in your personal finances.

Thursday, July 31, 2003

I got an MSCS for $25.

GE used to have great education benefits. I don't know if they still do because I left them about 7 years ago. But I got an MSCS going nights between 1979-1981 and all tuition, books and fees were reimbursed as long as you scored B or better. The only thing I paid for was $25 for the parchment diploma. They figured a certificate or transcript was official enough and the diploma was merely window dressing, which it is. I don't even know where it is any more.

Thursday, July 31, 2003

Your employer might contractually require you to work for N years after you complete your MS for them to recoup their investment's value.

Thursday, July 31, 2003

No, they couldn't do it that way runtime. That would be indentured servitude and there are laws about that. What they might do instead is to make the payment contingent on some time peroid. That is, either delay reimbursement for 6 mos, so you wouldn't get it if you left too soon, or require that you pay some portion back if you left within some time period. But it could never extend to N years, it would always be on the order of a few months because once you and they are in a new tax year, those expenses are written off.

With GE and most large companies, there is no delay other than the normal reimbursement period which takes a few weeks at most. And there is no stipulation that you have to stay put for any length of time. The assumption is that if they invested in your education, they have gotten a more valuable employee.

But the flip side is, they have a person with much better qualifications in that same lousey job and you won't necessarily get a promotion or a sudden pay increase. In almost every case I've seen, the only way to get paid what you're worth after acquiring a new set of credentials is to go elsewhere immediately.

Thursday, July 31, 2003

When I've worked places that wanted me to stick around for a while, what they did was give me the reimbursement up front, along with an amortized repayment schedule. If I left within one month, I had to repay the whole thing. If I left at 6 months, I had to pay half back, etc. in 1 / 12th increments until the year counter is up.

I made sure to put in the contract that the repayment applied only if I left, not if I was laid off.

Chris Tavares
Thursday, July 31, 2003

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