How to Juggle Both an Education and a Career
There are many degrees that can only be pursued once the student in question has hard-earned work experience. This doesn’t just mean an internship over the summer. It means having a full-time career. MBAs, for example, will often require student applicants to have at least five years of experience in their career.
Five years is enough time to be promoted. Five years is enough time to make true headway in your career. You don’t just give that up to take a year or two off to go to university no matter how beneficial that MBA will be to your career.
The same applies for degrees like a Masters in Nursing. You don’t just leave the hospital in order to pursue your education. Job roles for those with an MA in Nursing include lofty titles like Director of Nursing, but you won’t receive that role if you don’t have a strong resume and ongoing experience to bring to the table.
No, when it comes to getting a practical Master’s, or, in other words, a Master’s designed to improve upon the skills and knowledge of their students, it is in your best interest to take the degree part time and to maintain your career.
With today’s technology you can take this part-time discipline a step further. Instead of going to night school at whatever local colleges or universities are near you, you can choose from the best universities in the entire world. Online learning has come a long way, and, coupled with this strategic guide, you can succeed at your career, ace your education, and have it all:
Before You Enroll
Jumping into a degree, even one done on a part time basis and online without any preparation can be foolhardy. Something will give. It will either be your work, your education, your social life, your health, or perhaps all of the above. You need to build up your habits and routines so that taking on the extra workload of a degree can be done seamlessly.
That is why, before you enroll or even think about where you want to enroll, you will want to make these lifestyle changes:
Improve Your Daily Routines
It takes a lot of energy to manage a career and a Master’s. You will therefore need your body to be in tip top condition. You will want to make these improvements before you enroll. Trying to start a healthy exercise routine and manage two workloads is not feasible. You need to build up your stamina and strength so that you can feel the full range of benefits from healthy living first, without the associated fatigue you feel at the start.
Start Learning and Reading Regularly
You will need to read a lot once you start your Master’s or continued education. To help ease you into the transition start reading during your spare time. Read nonfiction, articles, the news, or even just fiction. By getting familiar with reading and learning to enjoy it you can make it easier to study.
Inform Your Employer
There are three reasons why you should inform your employer. One, so that they know exactly how above and beyond you are going in order to shape your career. Two, so that they can be aware you are not available for, say, overtime shifts. Three, because you can ask for them to sponsor all or even a portion of your education.
Inform Friends and Family
Get your friends and family on board to help you! You can have your friends come over and help you prep your lunches for the week, or you can have them work with you on their own personal projects after work so you can feel like you are socializing.
Prepare Your Finances
One of the biggest benefits to online, part time learning is that you can spread out the costs. You will want to save up as much as you can so that you can transition from course to course without taking too long of a break between. This way you can maintain healthy routines and stay on top of all your work.
That being said, you should always research other possibilities. See if there is a fee help system that will allow you to pay back a student loan from the start in installments, or if there is a scholarship or grant you can apply for.
Research for the Right Master’s
Once you have a healthy routine, you can manage with ease what complements a work/education lifestyle – it’s time to get serious about enrolling into a Master’s program. You want to ensure that your choice helps propel your career, which means it needs to be exceptionally relevant, offers hands-on applications, and is from a university that carries high standing in society.
Choose One That Is Designed By Industry Leaders
A great way to narrow down your options when choosing a Master’s is to choose a degree that is designed to improve your career, like a Master’s in Business, Nursing, or Data Science. Then you will want to narrow it down further and choose the degrees that were created either by, or in conjunction, with leading experts in their field.
Choose One That Offers Practical Application
A degree designed by or in conjunction with industry leaders will likely be designed for practical application, but it doesn’t hurt to double check. These degrees are best to help you further your career. Degrees that focus on theory and thought are better suited for those aiming to pursue the academic career, and want to conduct studies and compile research.
Choose One From a Reputable Institution
Choosing a postgraduate study online should then be ultimately chosen based on the institution in question. James Cook University, for example, offers practical Master’s that were created by industry leaders. It also happens to be one of the top 2% universities in the entire world. As it is online, it also doesn’t matter where you are personally based.
After You Enroll
After you enroll you will want to:
Find a Great Co-Working Space
Co-working spaces are becoming increasingly popular as remote working, freelancing, and new businesses emerge. They work essentially by renting out a desk at a great location where you can access arrange of benefits from food, to meeting room use, to members only fitness classes. By finding a co-working space that fits your needs you can work in peace in a productive area without bringing the stress of the extra workload home with you.
Integrate Reading Times with Other Activities
You will in every likelihood have a long reading list to get through. Get through it by integrating reading into your other activities. If you take public transport to work, for example, read then. This will give you time every day to catch up with your reading list without it feeling like a chore.
How to Make Your Degree Go Further
One of the best ways to make your degree go further after you graduate and complete your Master’s, is to make full use of your benefits as an alumnus.
Make Use of Alumni Benefits
From networking opportunities, to job offers, to counseling and beyond. There are many benefits that alumnus (even online, part time graduates) can benefit from. In particular, you should see if your institution has a subscription you can access for academic journals. This way you can avoid the hefty fee and instead stay up to date with the latest research and trends free of charge.
Attend and Keep Up With University Events
If you attended an online university that is within reach of where you live, then keep up to date with their events. These are great networking opportunities and can help you to further your career.