I’ve worked for a mix of companies over the years. Some were very proactive when it came to taking IT exams. They would give you time off to study and even pay for exam vouchers. They could see the value of qualified staff, as well as the positive effect it had on morale and retention.
Other companies were not so good, though. You were actually discouraged from taking exams because they feared you would get qualified and start looking for a job elsewhere. That is perverted logic, but it is pretty common.
I hope you have a set of goals and a plan for your IT career. Without one, people find the years fly by. They become de-skilled and when faced with redundancy will find they can’t compete in the job market.
Consider any sponsorship by your company a bonus, and progress with your study goals regardless. You should be able to write off any membership payments, books, and exam fees to tax at the end of the year. At the end of the day, it will be you reaping the rewards, so why would you expect your company to pay? Many companies are feeling the economic pinch at the moment, and the first thing they will cut back on, rightly or wrongly, is training.
It makes me sad when somebody tells me they are waiting for their boss to pay before they pay $20 for some IT training. Really? Why not go ahead and pass some exams and give your boss the bill? If he pays it, then great; if not, then start looking for an employer who appreciates a certified IT engineer.
The bottom line here is to become the master of your own destiny and take action. In the past, I’ve cancelled my TV subscription and sold my guitar in order to pay for IT training. It has paid off so much over the years, and it will do the same for you.