Quitting to go back to school?

Is going back to school a good reason to quit? Two human resources experts answer this question, whose answer varies depending on the situation.

Alexandre Lafond, Vice-President of Mandrake Groupe Conseil, a management consulting and executive search firm, maintains that if your goal is to change fields completely, quitting may be a good idea. On the other hand, the employer should be flexible if the studies are related to the position.

“For an executive MBA course, for instance, a company can free up the employee one Friday a month to allow him or her to go to class. Once the person has the degree, the company directly benefits from the new knowledge acquired.” Now that’s a win-win situation.

Some companies also offer to pay for part or all of the studies, sometimes in exchange for a guarantee that the employee will stay on for a given period afterwards. In such a case, they consider this financial support an investment in their workforce. “Managers should promote learning, because ultimately, the company will reap its benefits,” says CHRP Louise Brochu, Senior Director, Raymond Chabot Human Resources.

Moreover, in a context in which some categories of employees are rare and difficult to find, especially 36- to 45-year-old middle managers—according to Alexandre Lafond—employers should consider training as a particularly useful tool for filling job openings and retaining employees.

Read more