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Continuing Your Career: How To Finance Your Further Education

Lifelong learning is a must: If you can no longer gain a foothold in your old working environment, you can set new career goals with further training.

If you don’t want to be left behind in your job, there is often no getting around further training. It opens up new career perspectives and helps you to be successful in your job in the long term. You can find out here what you should pay attention to and how you can finance your further training.

Globalisation, digitalisation and demographic change are changing our familiar working world at an ever faster pace. Sceptics fear for their jobs or that they will not be able to cope with the new job requirements. Optimists see many new jobs and look forward to a modern and possibly better way of working. Both are certainly right: Our professional world is changing and in order to keep up, we have to develop constantly. This requires a lot of flexibility. If you want to survive in your job, you have to adapt to the needs of the market. That means: Get out of your own comfort zone. Further training plays an important role here. But how do you find the right qualification? Does the degree you are aiming for actually meet the requirements in the professional field? And the most important question: How should one financially support the further training?

For many, the thought of having to go back to school is not particularly tempting. Especially if you have been in professional life for years and every move is a routine one. But it is worthwhile to break out of the usual everyday working life in order to be able to keep up with growing demands.

Further training: You should ask yourself these 5 questions.

  1. What can I do? List everything: Training, additional qualifications, what you learned on the job, private interests and skills – your knowledge and skills are the basis for successful further training.
  2. What else could I learn? Get creative: Find the intersection between what you have been interested in for a long time and what helps you to meet the future demands of your job.
  3. What is slowing me down? Even if you are already working to full capacity in your job and private life, it is worthwhile to think about changes. It’s not about planning a complete new start, but about expanding your existing skills. Even small investments of time can have a big effect.
  4. How do I learn well? Are you thinking about what kind of training formats you would prefer: a workshop with several participants? Classical cramming with books? An online seminar alone in front of the computer? Or do small pieces of knowledge conveyed via app help you?
  5. Where can I learn? Get an overview of further education offers from employers, private and state institutions.

Many often have no choice. They have to reorient themselves professionally. Do the reality check and browse through job advertisements for your field of work. Are you familiar with the programs, tools and working methods required in this field? At the latest when looking through the job advertisements, many people quickly realize: without further training, for example in the digital field, they hardly have a chance of finding a new job. So plan your next steps. A weekend seminar can be a quick solution to acquire basic knowledge. When making your choice, ask yourself which offer will give you added value in your job in the long term: What is needed? What can you do? And what exactly do you still have to acquire?

Find the gap that is missing in your professional portfolio. If you have previously done the accounting in your company with Excel, you may need to get to know new accounting software. Or bring their knowledge of Office applications up to date. Do you work in the automotive sector? Then you can, for example, take a qualification as a motor vehicle mechatronics technician. If you work in the field of office management, you can take a course leading to a degree in office and project organisation. The list could go on indefinitely, as there are good further training opportunities for almost every occupational field.

It is important that you reposition yourself professionally and don’t bury your head in the sand. Lifelong learning is not a hollow slogan, but more present than ever. Do not shy away from including your boss in your further education plans. Many companies specifically offer the possibility to participate in seminars or trainings. From special leave and appropriate equipment to financial support, there are many different ways of employer participation.

 Financial support – from the state or the boss?

Almost 20 percent of all employed persons in the UK continue their education. According to the Federal Statistical Office, that is seven to eight million employees. But anyone who takes a distance learning course over a period of several months has to dig deep into their pockets: A few thousand GBP are spent on tuition fees and teaching materials alone – not including travel and accommodation costs.

If one trains oneself further in its vocational field, one can ask the boss for a promotion – at least however for a subsidy. To do this, you should either make it clear to your superior how the further training would benefit the company or how much this further training would motivate you in your position. If you receive a promise of financial support, however, this also involves obligations on your part: commitment clauses that bind you to the company for a certain period of time are common. However, if you want to change your career, you will have to find other financing options.

What funding opportunities are there?

Training bonus: Employees and self-employed persons who work at least 15 hours a week can apply for the training bonus. The state pays a subsidy of 50 per cent for all further training – but a maximum of 500 GBP. Applicants may also not have to pay tax on more than 20,000 GBP of income per year.

Education voucher: For unemployed persons, the state pays 100 percent of the costs of further education. It may even cover travel and accommodation costs. However, the condition is that the further training increases the chances of returning to the labour market.

WeGebAU: The abbreviation stands for “Further training for low-skilled and older employees in companies”. Here, too, the state assumes 100 percent of the costs. This can be supplemented by a wage subsidy. Employees should be given the opportunity to acquire partial qualifications or to catch up on missing vocational qualifications without having to give notice.

Benefits for participation in working life: Pension insurance can be used as a financial aid if it is no longer possible to work in the previous job for health reasons. It then covers the entire costs of further training or retraining. The condition is either to have paid into the pension insurance for at least 15 years or to have received a reduced earning capacity pension.

Meister-Bafög: As with the Studenten-Bafög, the state grants a loan, up to a maximum of 10,226 GBP for Meister-Bafög. Of it the state gives 30.3 per cent as subsidy in addition, the remainder applicants must repay. The prerequisite is that the further training has a scope of at least 400 teaching hours and serves the professional advancement.

Advancement scholarship: This option is interesting for people who have completed their training with a grade of 1.9 or better and want to take up university studies. This is because professionals do not have to pay back anything from the advancement scholarship. They can receive 670 GBP per month for full-time studies, plus 80 GBP for books. For a part-time course of study, it is a one-time payment of 2,000 GBP per year. Another requirement is that applicants have two years of work experience.

Training further scholarship: Not only a university study is promoted, but further training from the master craftsman to the intensive language course. As with the advancement scholarship, the money does not have to be paid back. Scholarship holders receive a maximum of 6,000 GBP. In addition, they must participate in further education with a personal contribution of ten percent. Applicants must be under 25 years of age and have made special achievements in their profession or training.

There are grants nationwide from which you can benefit. However, these are tied to income and age limits. The good news is that you can always deduct the costs of further training from your tax. The tax office recognises up to 1,000 GBP as flat-rate income-related expenses for employees.

Financing further education in a relaxed way with Credit company

If none of the funding pools is eligible, the further training must be paid for out of one’s own pocket. One possibility is cross-financing through educational leave: You have to pay for your further education costs yourself during educational leave, but your salary will be paid during the further education period.

So that you don’t have to save on your further education, Credit company is a fair partner at your side: With a loan you can literally invest in your future. Use the Credit company loan calculator to compare different terms simply and conveniently and find the conditions that will enable you to pursue stress-free further training. You will receive the decision on your individual credit application directly after your application.  You will receive your money no later than three working days after receipt of your contract documents. So nothing stands in the way of your further training. We wish you much success!

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