How to save money on your professional education

Last updated November 13, 2018

Learning to code is quickly becoming a priceless skill, but acquiring it may mean most people have to be strategic about finding the financial assistance they need.

Fortunately, the demand for business professionals to learn programming is being met with a range of programs that can help, just like Course Compare makes finding the best coding bootcamps accessible to anyone.

Of course, there are many different ways to finance a technology education beyond scholarships. This can range from applying for a line of credit (keeping in mind the risk of falling into debt without a solid plan) to getting help from family members.

Maybe the most overlooked opportunity is closer to home — or headquarters. Many employers offer financial assistance of some kind as part of their HR policies. Others may be willing to discuss financing options depending on whether employees will stay on with the company or how it furthers their performance in a current or future role.

If those options aren’t there, however, there is lots more to consider. What follows are some of the best ways to get started in your research, whether you’re trying to finance coding classes as a way of staying relevant in your current role, transitioning to a new career or pursuing a new passion. This post will be updated on an ongoing basis as we come across new programs and links.

Public Databases On Education Scholarships

Scholarships Canada

This member-based resource links to nearly 1,000 awards that offer close to $200 million in total financing, though aimed primarily at undergraduate communities.

Information Technology Scholarships In Canada

National in scope, though tied primarily to university and college institutions versus coding bootcamps or coding academies. Includes prizes as well as formal scholarships.

Government Education Financial Assistance Programs


The federal government-operated hub includes background details on student loans, education savings and legal issues in addition to a wealth of scholarship information. Look to the area marked “Student Grants” for details on assistance for those working full-time jobs, those working part-time with dependents and other variables.

Second Career

Offered through Ontario’s provincial government, Second Career directly addresses the needs of those who have been laid off or who are working temporary jobs. There is up to $28K available to qualified applicants, who will still be required to contribute part of their fees based on their income and other factors.

Canada-Ontario Jobs Grant

Tell your employer about the Canada-Ontario Job Grant for direct financial support of up to $10,000 for job-related education and training costs. The COJG is perfect for companies serious about addressing skills gaps within their ranks. Employers with 100 or more employees need to contribute 1/2 of the training costs to qualify, whereas small businesses with fewer than 100 employees need to contribute 1/6 of training costs.

Lifelong Learning Plan

The Lifelong Learning Plan allows you to withdraw money from your RRSPs to finance full-time training or education for you, your spouse or common-law partner. The LLP lets you withdraw, interest-free, $10,000 per year up to a total of $20,000. You will need to start repaying the money into your RRSP on the fifth year after your first LLP withdrawal, or the second year in which you have not been a full-time student for at least three months.

Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP)

Already well known to the undergraduate community, the OSAP site includes online calculators to help get a more accurate sense of how much financial assistance you’ll actually need, as well as links to information on self-funding or even bank loans.

B.C. Employer Training Grant

The B.C. Employer Training Grant (ETG) provides up to $8 million in funding for employers to support skills training, and to help British Columbians access the skills training they need to adapt to changing work requirements. New and current employees are eligible for the program.

Corporately-Funded Tech Scholarships And Resources

Women Techmakers

Founded in recognition of pioneering technology professional Anita Borg, Google offers this program which not only consists of a scholarship but a retreat and connection to a global community of other women who mentor and support each other in computer science roles.


A startup focused on connecting brands with the student community, Yconic says it can offer more than $180 million in scholarship opportunities across Canada. These range from a few hundred dollars to thousands, but an index with full details, including application deadlines, is online.

BrainStation Merit Scholarships

Global provider of digital skills training, BrainStation, has a “limited number” of scholarships available for those who can clearly articulate what learning user experience (UX) design, web development and other subjects will mean for the wider world.

RED Academy Impact Scholarships

Tied directly to their core values, RED Academy provides $1,500 to 10 students who are not only trying to make a positive impact in their own lives, but in the lives of others. Apply via a written essay or a YouTube video. 

HackerYou Scholarships And Financial Assistance

Toronto-based coding bootcamp, HackerYou, provides up to $1,500 dollars, but also partners directly with like-minded startups such as Borrowell and Financeit to offer additional options for interested students.




Shane Schick

Shane Schick tells stories that help people innovate and manage the change innovation brings. He is the former Editor-in-Chief of Marketing Magazine and B2B News Network. He is also the former Vice-President, Content & Community (Editor-in-Chief) at IT World Canada, a former technology columnist with the Globe and Mail and Yahoo Canada, and was the founding editor of

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