In my company, we usually get a salary raise every year, at least there are negotiations about it. Depending on the outcome, you get the raise, a raise or neither of them.

Last years raise was 300€ gross, which was around 9% of my monthly salary. In the end, I got "only" 143€ net on my bank account. Please, do not understand it wrongly, I really appreciate my raise, but I got a little less than half of my raise in my hand palm. I assume, that the raise this year, will be somehow similar, hence 7%-9% raise.

So I was thinking, if there is a better way, to get a financial donation from my employer. Personally, I'd planned to attend a few educational courses since a few years. They last about one week, so I need to use my holidays for them and I have to pay for them on my own. The courses are somehow related to my work although I think, I can't use the things I will learn their in my current job. I'm in a very technical position right now, but the courses are releated to creative techniques and meeting moderation. You may ask, why I want to attend those courses? I think, with the certification I'll (hopefully) get, I can somehow support other teams of my company in finding solutions in a creative (more fun) way and even, mabye, start a self employment as an external consultant to other companies.

My idea is now like this: 300€ gross salary raise is about 4.200€ more next year. This buget is enough for the courses and the company will pay gross for net (here in Austria we say "brutto für netto", if that may helps). So it is a tax saving strategy for the company and I would not have to pay for the courses.

Does anybody of you have experience with such strategies? Or wouldn't you recommend it, due to the missing salary raise?

  • How much do these courses cost compared to how much of a raise you would receive?
    – sf02
    Aug 29, 2022 at 11:13

3 Answers 3


It's IMO a bad strategy to ask for course funding instead of a raise. If you get 5% raise every year means that those 5% compound every year, missing a raise make you fallback for the following years.

I would approach the two things distinctly :

  • On one hand you have your yearly raise negotiation, keep it so
  • On the other hand, book a meeting with your manager to discuss training.

You need to come with arguments and data on why those courses are worth for the company. If your manager value your growth or find value in you taking part in those training, then it's all good.

If your manager don't find meaning in them, I don't think they would even accept to trade a yearly raise and allow you to take a week off to attend them. In this case you can still go for it, and maybe another company will find value in the trainings you would have taken and propose you better condition/salary.


Do not tie these things together, or at least do not propose this trade-off yourself. If you ask for getting reimbursed for educational costs separately, you might end up getting and your raise and the reimbursement.

Likely your employer already has a policy for paying for courses and higher education, and maybe allowing you to use work time for your education. Check your employee manual, and ask your manager and/or HR team about it.

And as JayZ says, swapping a raise for educational reimbursement is financially not a good idea in the long term. Especially not if you might be able to get both.


Does anybody of you have experience with such strategies?

Yes, from both sides.

What I feel works best isn't random one week courses of dubious value but targeted and internationally recognised certifications that are directly relevant to your job and company needs.

Most of my early IT qualifications were gained this way with the company reimbursing me and giving me a pay raise. And when I employed people I would do the same if it was a useful certification for their work.

  • I appreciate your thoughts on my question, thank you very much! Aug 30, 2022 at 17:08

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