You Have 3,125 Reasons to Convince Your Boss to Pay for ‘Upskilling’

According to a new report, there’s a massive financial disparity between hiring a new employee and upskilling an existing one. It’s a good argument to get your boss to pay for your continued education.

In a report sensationally named “The Upskilling Crisis,” West Monroe Partners notes 60 percent of employees believe their existing skillset will be outdated within five years. Of this group, 55 percent say they need to learn new tech skills to remain relevant. Some back-of-the-napkin math tells us this means about one-third of all employees feel they need upskilling.

West Monroe Partners surfaces two other findings: The World Economic Forum’s revelation that it costs roughly $4,425 to hire a new employee, and the Association for Talent Development’s discovery that upskilling an existing employee costs a company about $1,300.

You can now safely argue that upskilling would save your company at least $3,125, if not more.

Maybe the savings will total tens of thousands of dollars: The aforementioned studies account for all professional occupations, but tech can be unique. The interview and hiring process can be lengthy, with some companies doling our stipends for take-home work or hours spent on-site doing coding challenges. A 2016 study from Devskiller found it can cost a tech company over $60,000 to hire a developer or engineer.

We’ve also seen several online education platforms shift their business model to better suit the needs of enterprise. Treehouse, LinkedIn Learning, and others have started honing in on upskilling rather than engaging new students. Some companies, such as Amazon, are engaging non-tech employees with upskilling courses and placement in tech roles at the company.

Our Dice Salary Survey shows most technologists (68 percent, to be precise) are pursuing new jobs or open to new opportunities. In a separate survey, we found 29 percent of tech professionals want to learn a new skill… eerily close to the roughly one-third of all professionals who desire upskilling from their company.

In yet another survey, we found roughly 75 percent of technologists don’t feel valued at work.

Taking a wider-angle view of these findings, one thing becomes clear: Your employer should invest in you beyond signing bonuses and stock options. Technologists feel undervalued, and that’s a huge driver for wanting to find a new job. Hiring new employees is expensive, and these two facts dovetail. The next time your boss asks why they should pay for you to expand your skillset, remind them that it’s cost-effective… and good for both of you.