An online master’s from Design@USC will equip you with the cross-disciplinary fluency to think creatively and solve problems on the job. As a result, your employer may be invested in advancing your education, and willing to provide financial support options to help you do so. To assist you in seeking employer assistance, we’ve compiled an Employer Benefit Guide and a list of tips and resources you can use to support your request.
Resources for Your Employer
We encourage you to use our Employer Benefit Guide during your meeting with your employer. The guide provides an overview of our program and outlines the benefits it can provide to you and your company in the short and long term.
Sign Up to Receive the Employer Benefit Guide
Fill out this form to receive our guide, which can serve as a helpful resource during a support request.
Tips for You
Before you reach out to your employer, consider these tips for ensuring the conversation is productive:
Review your company’s policies. To determine your company’s tuition support options, look in your benefits manual or check with the human resources department. It can also be helpful to reach out to other employees who have done something similar in the past.
Become deeply familiar with our program. It’s important to take the time to research Design@USC in depth. Be familiar with the two “focus areas” you would pursue — the options are design, business or technology — and how that knowledge would supplement your duties on the job. You should also be prepared to provide your employer with the program’s:
Highlight benefits to your organization. Prepare to articulate the specific ways in which our curriculum will enhance your performance as an employee. Explain how your newfound skills will complement current and future projects, help perpetuate the organization’s goals, and enable you to offer support and guidance to your colleagues.
Here are a few Design@USC courses it may be helpful to mention:
Opportunity and Uncertainty:This core course will help you develop the ability to more easily identify problems or opportunities on the job, analyze or frame those opportunities, and develop multiple prospective solutions. You will learn skills drawn from entrepreneurship, design-based and arts-based creative practices, and critical-thinking methods.
Narrative and Storytelling: This core course will teach you to share a creative vision, thought or product in a way that resonates with your audience. The course explores the various ways a story can be communicated — visual, written and spoken — using new multimedia methods and tools. You will learn communication theory and how to identify the narrative structure appropriate for a variety of contexts.
Capstone: The final project will require you to initiate and develop a creative idea or solution using the lessons you’ve learned throughout the rest of the program. The project can be dedicated to solving a specific problem or project you are facing in your current workplace — allowing you to immediately use what you develop on the job.
Be flexible. Many employers may ask for an “insurance policy” when funding your education — for example, a minimum GPA requirement, a demonstration of your new skills or a commitment to work for the organization for a set period of time. Your employer may also choose to fund only part of your tuition, want to discuss tax implications or ask about other funding available to you. It’s important to be flexible with what your employer can or will offer, as you may be able to secure other funding assistance.
Plan ahead. If you are seeking funding from your employer, we advise that you start the application process early, allowing plenty of time to plan and coordinate constructive conversations and provide additional information and resources as needed. We recommend you complete your application by the priority deadline to ensure there is enough time to organize your finances and make a strong case for support.
"The complexity involved in designing today’s technology platforms requires deep expertise in a wide array of areas. This is causing a historic wave of collaboration across different industries."