An old friend of mine just published a year long course relating to CV / Machine Learning that I would very much like to take. The course is non-college online learning, but is respected and relatively well known / popular. My friend is academically qualified to teach the course and is a respected authority in the CS community. The material covered by this course isn't entirely in line with what I do currently for my job, but is in the same ballpark and is a direction I would like to expand my knowledge.

Would it be inappropriate to request education reimbursement to take this course, and do I need to disclose that I know the author?

  • 2
    Ask your HR department. They will likely have rules on this. – NotMe May 5 '16 at 14:18
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    Did you have to pay for this course? – Ed Heal May 5 '16 at 20:33
  • @EdHeal Why would OP ask about education reimbursement if it was free? – paparazzo May 6 '16 at 4:42

I can't see how asking would be inappropriate. If they don't want to pay for it they will say no.

I would be upfront that you know the instructor and that they are a respected authority in the community. I don't think I would go into more detail about your friendship than you know them since this is irrelevant to the decision.

  • Yes, it's perfectly fine to ask – Kilisi May 5 '16 at 19:42

There's a potential conflict of interest here if you take your friend's course because you want to support your friend, rather than because it's a good, reasonably priced course in something that the business needs you to learn.

But once you get past that, the fact that your friend is teaching it shouldn't affect reimbursement.

Focus on justifying why this is the class the business should pay for you to take.

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