Re: Who should pay for career development?

Subject: Re: Who should pay for career development?
From: Gregory D Drew <gddrew -at- JUNO -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 5 Mar 1997 06:46:36 EST

Don't feel bad, Russell. Chances are, a good number of those people who
"...were sent by their employers, who paid their fees, flew them
cross-county, and put them up in expensive hotels" won't be coming to any
other events any time soon. Many companies go through a cycle of
travel/no travel. I'm sure this was a first and last trip for any number
of those folks.

I work in the training department of a bank technology services company.
Because of what many (including me) have described as a "knee-jerk
reaction" to a large travel bill, all travel in our company is henceforth
and forever *restricted*. Any travel requests have to go up several
lines of management. By the time they get God's signature and the other
necessary approvals, any chance of getting a 14-day advance fare is
impossible. Recently we cut it so close that didn't even have time to
ticket-- had to show ID at the airport!

I'm in upstate New York, and have had to conduct hands-on computer
training sessions with users in the Rocky Mountains and Pacific Northwest
over the phone (very creative, indeed!). Why? Because there's no budget
for travel. We've had to save all our money to fund our CEO's:

* 10% salary increase (the rest of us have to manage to 3%)
(Do the math: 10% of $747,000. That increase would pay my salary for
over 2 years.)
* 13% bonus (less than 1/6th of the rest of us get a bonus; for those
who will get one, it sure ain't gonna be 13%)
The bonus was a 29% increase over last year.
* $800,000+ realized from the 40,000 shares of stock options exercised
* Options on another 65,000 shares that could equal in excess of 2.2MM
* $33,285 in club dues (more than I make in an entire year)

What kind of training does my company offer?

I was getting tuition reimbursement, but inasmuch as the tax laws have
stated that companies have to withhold taxes on graduate tuition
reimbursements, I didn't get 100% compensation this last go around. For
1997 and beyond, the company has reduced the benefit from 100%
reimbursement to 80%. On top of that, my manager no longer controls the
budget, so there is no money available for it anymore (nice way to tout
"tuition reimbursement" when recruiting, yet not having to live up to
it). So if I complete my graduate degree, it will be through student
loans.

I work in training. Do I do training? No. The trend now is to have the
SMEs and business analysts do the training because it's less
expensive--the cost can be contained within the group doing the
development. What do I do? "Consult" on projects where they've already
made up their mind how they're going to do the training.

Career development?

Let's just say that if I want to go to the STC conference this year, I'm
going to have to take vacation time, drive to Toronto from Albany, and
stay at the Motel 6--since that's all I could possibly afford.

Greg Drew
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
On Mon, 3 Mar 1997 21:26:39 -0700 Russell Kilday-Hick <rkilhick -at- SFSU -dot- EDU>
writes:
>I recently attended a Photoshop conference of 600. It seemed to me
>that
>most of the attendees were sent by their employers, who paid their
>fees,
>flew them cross-country, and put them up in expensive hotels. I, on
>the
>other hand, commuted locally to the three-day affair and paid a third
>of
>the cost myself.
>
>I would like to know how common these two scenarios are? What kind of
>training or career development does your company offer and who pays?
>Do
>you expect your employer to pay for all or at least part of retraining
>?
>And if you are independent, what trainings do you find worth your time
>and
>money?
>
>What is your perspective on continuous education to keep up with new
>developments in technology? Do you avoid it when you can, or is
>avoidance
>professional suicide? What kinds of trainings are the most effective
>for
>you?
>
>Does anyone know of any recent studies or surveys? I have so far the
>August
>1994 issue of "Technical Communication" (special section on training)
>.
>Any others?
>
>In addition, I am interested in exploring the cost comparisons of
>in-house
>training verses sending employees out. Any companies out there with
>experience in this?
>
>If you have information (or leads), please "e-mail" me at
>rkilhick -at- sfsu -dot- edu I appreciate anything you can contribute. Tell me
>your
>story. Now I'm off to the library.
>
>(I hope this makes Eric Ray happy (STC's Journal, Nov. 96) because
>it's not
>about typos. :-) )
>
>Thank you in advance.
>
>Russell Kilday-Hicks
>Production Specialist
>SFSU Publications Office
>415/338-3008 * rkilhick -at- sfsu -dot- edu
>http://www.sfsu.edu/~pubaff
>
>The difference between
>an amateur and a professional is ...
>the professional looks it up.
>
> TECHWR-L (Technical Communication) List Information: To send a
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