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Continuing Education: Making the Case for Tuition Reimbursement


Great companies hire smart people with diverse backgrounds. They hire from different undergraduate, graduate and doctoral programs across the world. For new hires, more often than not, there is an orientation program that might range from a walk around the office with introductions to key individuals who they will need to know, to an extensive well-designed development program. I’ve worked at companies that took both approaches.  I’m in favor of the latter.

Many organizations design corporate universities, and these universities serve an extremely important purpose. There are technical skills, management processes and career training paths that need to be managed in-house. It is crucial that the organization understands this part of its talent development. However, for transformational change and an outside perspective on leadership and skills, companies need to send their best people outside the comfort zone. This type of development, almost by definition, cannot be in-house. As a Chinese proverb goes “To see the beauty (or flaws) of the great mountain, you must go away from the mountain”. Great companies understand this, and encourage their employees to independently seek out programs that they believe will be valuable to them in their work and chosen career growth path.

At the core of this choice lie these two key beliefs:

  1. The company believes in the value of a great education for its employees.
  2. The company trusts that its employees will make smart choices.

At Thunderbird Online, we are delighted to say that many of the best companies in the world have chosen our program as part of their tuition reimbursement policy. The world’s largest airplane manufacturer, global mobility firms, government departments, energy companies and field services companies are a few examples of the types of firms that have sponsored their key employees to take Thunderbird Online programs. Will your organization be the next to invest in its people?


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