I'm considering a total shift in my career from IT to non-profit management. I've informed my boss that I'm want to go graduate school and to do this I'd like to go from full-time to part-time in the office. He's been asking why I want to go back to school. I haven't told him because I don't want him to think I'm not committed to the job/career I have now. He's also not the most tactful boss and I fear being riducled for going into "soft" area of business instead of the macho industry I currently work in.

How do I bring up my desire to get degree in non-profit management and become an executive of a non-profit to my boss without him being threatened?

  • 2
    Why do you need to tell him anything at all? Surely you don't need to justify your request as it's no-one's business but your own. And why do you care whether he feels threatened or not?
    – Marv Mills
    Mar 2, 2016 at 13:53
  • What do you think you would gain by telling him?
    – keshlam
    Mar 2, 2016 at 14:03
  • 1
    Keep it to yourself. You're going back to school for personal growth, and because you want to climb the corporate ladder. Done. He can probably relate to ambition and greed.
    – AndreiROM
    Mar 2, 2016 at 14:14
  • @AndreiROM cynical, bleak, and probably 100% accurate. Mar 2, 2016 at 14:25
  • Also, your username and profile identifies you very clearly. If you want to keep this from your boss, you should probably obscure your identity a bit more - otherwise they might find out anyway ;)
    – user29055
    Mar 2, 2016 at 16:58

1 Answer 1


This is definitely a play it by ear thing. I've had bosses I would never mention such details to, and bosses who I have told very risky potential plans to, and gotten full support (those are the bosses I would follow into fire!).

One tact could be to say that you wish to pursue course work in management. That is not a lie at all. And if you aren't asking the company to fund your degree, then it won't be something they learn via the billing. Being in IT and getting management courses is usually an endorsed concept - particularly if you wanted to grow into IT program management or straight people management. You don't owe them details for more... and being vague gives you enough of a reason to get your boss off your back, without giving cause for ridicule.

With that said - it's your right to stay private, particularly if what you are asking for fits in with HR policies. Know the policies and stick to your rights.

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