Earning a master’s degree can open up a lot of new and exciting opportunities for you as a professional. An advanced degree can not only expand your knowledge, but also increase your chances of receiving a higher salary. After all, many prestigious companies prefer master’s degree holders as potential candidates for senior positions.
On that note, you may be thinking of pursuing an advanced degree while working a full-time job. Some people consider this to be a practical path, as it allows them to continue earning money. Granted, getting a master’s degree does require a great deal of time and commitment. However, with the right mindset and practices, it’s more than possible to balance your professional and educational lives.
Continue reading to learn six effective tips for earning your degree while working full-time:
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Choose a Program that Best Suits Your Goals and Lifestyle
The type of graduate program you choose is crucial if you plan on working full-time. When searching for potential programs, be sure to apply to those that can accommodate your lifestyle and career goals. You’ll find that certain programs are actually built with full-time professionals in mind.
For instance, some schools offer degrees that can be completed online or through a hybrid setup. Others may offer more flexible schedules, with classes taking place in the evening rather than during the day. Some schools even have programs that can be completed in a shorter span of time.
Many universities offer a comprehensive overview of their master’s programs through a webinar, digital brochure, or website, so be sure to check them out during your research process. This way, you can choose the best program to support your needs as a student and professional.
Maintain a Regular Study Schedule
Establishing a study routine is a must when you enter a master’s program, especially with a full-time job. On that note, make sure to schedule study sessions at a time that works best for you. These periods must be consistent in order to be effective, so be sure to choose blocks of time that you can really commit to. A disciplined study schedule will ensure that you always complete your coursework on time, even if you’re balancing it with a full-time job.
For example, you could have study sessions in the evening after work or during your daily commute. If you have a fairly long lunch break, you can also use it as a mini-study session. If you don’t have enough time to study during the week, you can opt to have longer study sessions on the weekend.
Use Organisational Tools and Methods
Proper organisation is the key to success, especially when you’re managing multiple commitments. Without a good method for organising your deadlines, schedules, and coursework, you may find yourself feeling overwhelmed. Luckily, there are plenty of helpful tools and resources out there to make organising easier. If you enjoy the convenience and speed that come with using digital platforms, you can opt to download productivity software on your device. Many applications offer nifty features like kanban boards, calendars, databases, and progress trackers all in one place.
If you prefer analogue methods, you can opt to use a planner or journal to keep track of your responsibilities. You can even purchase handy office supplies like markers, coloured pens, and index tabs to help keep your notes, to-dos, and engagements neat.
Keep an Eye on Your Progress
Tracking your progress gives you a full picture of how far you’ve come in your career and education. It also serves as a helpful roadmap for accomplishing your goals. Break down big goals into small and concrete tasks, then list them down. Each time you complete a task, be sure to cross it off your list. This gives you a simple yet clear visual of your progress towards a particular milestone. Seeing your progress not only keeps you productive, but also encourages you to stay motivated as you pursue your studies.
Take Some Time Off
Given the busy schedule that comes with both full-time work and a master’s program, you may not have a lot of free time on your hands. However, this shouldn’t stop you from taking regular breaks. In fact, breaks are an integral part of learning and working. Without them, you may experience stress and burnout more frequently, which can be detrimental to your performance and productivity.
So at the end of a busy day, try to find some time to do at least one thing you’ll enjoy. It could be a hobby, a nice long nap, or some quality time with loved ones. You can even take a one-day study break after accomplishing a certain milestone. Whatever you choose to do, be sure that it leaves you feeling refreshed and ready to conquer your upcoming tasks.
The journey towards a master’s degree has its fair share of challenges, especially when you’re balancing it with a full-time job. However, the potential career growth that comes with it is likely to be worth your time and effort. With the right program, proper goal setting, organisation, and a healthy work ethic, you can have a flourishing educational and professional life.