Perhaps you’re great at your job, but you feel ready for the next step up — or maybe you’ve realised that you’re ready to pivot your career path. Either way, you’ve decided you want to go back to school. But education can be time-consuming, and perhaps you’re not quite ready to put your professional track on hold while you pursue a further degree.
But is it possible to do both? Thanks to increased flexible study plans and remote working options, aspiring professionals can study and work simultaneously more than ever before.
Here are the key steps to guarantee success on both your personal and academic journeys.
Choose Which Type of Work-Study Format is Right for You
In today’s world, there are many different options for someone looking to work while studying.
First, establish the reason you’re looking to do both simultaneously. Are you working to support yourself financially throughout your studies? Or are you seeking to maintain your current professional status from start to finish?
Your response to these questions will determine which type of programme is best for you, and how much time you are willing to dedicate to advancing your education.
There are a few main schooling options for working students:
A full-time programme includes at least 20 hours of weekly coursework, and are often held in person. Many students who go to school full-time also support themselves and their studies by working, and studies have shown that students who work between 10 and 15 hours per week can manage both their full-time study and their work.
If your primary goal is advancing your education, and you have the ability to dedicate the majority of your time towards a degree, a comprehensive full-time programme is the right choice for you.
Some students, on the other hand, choose a part-time schooling option to create a healthy balance between their study and work. Many schools — though not all — offer part-time programmes for students wishing to pursue a degree and their profession simultaneously. Advanced courses are often particularly accommodating to this type of student, and can be organised in various organisational and time structures, both in-person and online.
Generally, a full degree programme taken on a part-time basis will take twice as long as completing it full-time (although there are exceptions, depending on the programme).
For the student that is dedicated to their current professional life, or who has multiple personal commitments, flexible learning is the best choice for pursuing additional certifications, degrees or qualifications.
These programmes are almost always offered online in order to maximise flexibility, although the structure of online learning varies from school to school. These programmes often allow you to maintain a full-time work schedule while participating in coursework requirements on your own time.