A daunting and scary undertaking, you have made the leap of faith and have decided to complete a master’s degree while working full time. When it comes to studying masters while working full time, there are a number of challenges you will expect to encounter along the way.
Through the juggling of a full-time job, a well balanced social life and now the independent studies of a master’s degree, you can be excused from feeling overwhelmed from time to time.
Whether you choose to complete a master’s degree to further your career in your vocation of choice, or to complete a course in an area that has always been of interest, completing a masters is a recommended step into progressing further up the career ladder.
Within this blog we will review the top benefits of studying masters while working full time, as well as, our top tips, to help you study the fullest during these challenging times.
Benefits of studying a master’s degree?
Are you considering taking the further step and completing a postgraduate, masters degree? When it comes to this degree completed after a Bachelor’s, undergraduate degree, there are two options. You can either decide to complete a master’s degree full time, this will take a whole year to complete, while if you choose to a part-time degree, this will be spread out across a two year period.
There are many benefits to progressing your educational studies in your course of choice. From increasing and expanding your specialist knowledge in your particular field of choice, to career advancement and progression up the career ladder.
Students who have completed a master’s degree are more likely to see an increase in earning potential which could be potentially down to the enhanced skill set that is developed during this further year of education.
If you are teetering on the edge of signing up for a master’s degree, the benefits of this further year of studying are apparent and can be witnessed throughout your career.
Top 5 tips for studying masters while working full time
With many benefits that can be witnessed through the completion of a master’s degree; whether you choose to complete your chosen course as either part-time or full time, making the most of this limited time of study is paramount in coming away with your expected degree. For those planning for the year ahead, or perhaps you are midway through your course, juggling the expected responsibilities of full-time work and a master’s degree, reviewing and adjusting your priorities can be crucial for student well being. Here are 5 top tips to fully make the most out of your learning experience while balancing your work, study balance.
1- Keep your work happy
One of the first top tips for studying masters while working full time and that is to ensure that your work is happy with the further studies that you are about to complete. With most companies actively promoting staff to continue and further their personal development, if your job involves you working evenings and weekend shifts, taking the time out to discuss your plans with your manager could prove important with the juggling of your shifts within the near future. Any discussions that you choose to complete with your line manager could also feature the potential to reduce working hours, offering you the opportunity to focus more on your studies.
Communication is key and this open and transparent communication could help smoothen your workload while you complete your master’s degree.
2- Review your hobbies and interests
You have spoken to your manager and have found the time to knuckle down and study at the weekend, reviewing your hobbies and interests is also recommended. When studying masters and working full time, you can be expected to experience burnout from time to time. By reviewing your recreational activities and the amount of time that you spend socialising with friends, you could review your time management and find opportunities that you could put aside for much needed downtime. While the frequent completion of exercise and the time put aside to communicate and talk with family and friends vital for student well being, making sure that you have a well-balanced study, social life could help you achieve higher results within your studies.
3- Be more efficient with your time
One of the first things you will notice when studying a master’s degree when working full time and that is the struggle to effectively manage your time. With your day split between working and studying, where do you start? It is recommended that studies consider an 80/20 rule. By splitting your work and study time up within 80%, leave that 20% to those activities and hobbies that prove vital to your mental health and overall well being. It is also recommended that you consider ignoring those non-essential tasks and focus instead of jobs that are more significant and add to your productivity rating.
4- Create a separate study area
You have spent the whole day at the office working at tackling your ever growing task list and have just arrived back to the sanctuary that is your home. One of the last things on your mind is dragging yourself to the computer for your evening studies. Another top tip for studying masters while working full time and that is to create a separate study area. This separate study area can prove to be an added lifeline when morale and energy are at an all time low. If studying at home offers too many distractions, consider finding a local library or a quiet coffee shop where you can shut yourself away and focus on the task at hand.
5- Use every opportunity available
Our final top tip for studying masters while working full time and that is to use every opportunity available and to grasp any free time to study and get ahead with your assignments. Waiting until you have a free afternoon to begin your studies for your next assignment sounds ideal, but is less than realistic. With distractions continually rearing their ugly heads and with time-limited, making the most of every spare second is key to success when completing your masters. By gathering, collecting and putting the information down on paper, go back at a later date when you have time to organize and perfect your assignment.
As covered within this article, the benefits of taking the time to complete a master’s degree of your choice are abundantly clear. From a potential increase in earnings to the ability to take those exciting steps in the career of your dreams while progressing up the career ladder at a faster speed than those with just an undergraduate degree. Choosing to study a master while in full-time employment is a task that should not be taken lightly.
From the need to be strict with your time management, to the requirement of an honest and transparent conversation with your manager, studying a master while in full-time work will be a tiring and stressful experience. By following our recommended top 5 tips, you can instantly see a clearer and more precise path to follow as you complete your studies to a more successful future.
With the need for a healthy, work, study, life balance more imperative than ever before, student well being during these daunting times is key for a successful outcome at the end of your postgraduate course.
Have you studied a masters degree while working full time? We would love to hear from you and discover your experience and what you learned from this experience and the lessons you discovered from juggling and reevaluating your time management. Comment below and share your experience today.