Among the many ways to push your career forward, getting a master’s degree in your field – or a field you are passionate about – is the best way to go. With a master’s degree added to your CV, you can pursue that promotion you have always wanted, make a career shift if you choose, or enter an entirely new field that is in line with your passion.
Getting a master’s degree, particularly an MA or an MBA, is challenging. Don’t let the challenges stop you from getting an MA. Here are the best tips and tricks to use if you want to get your MA without compromising your fulltime job.
Find an Executive Program
More and more graduate courses are now tailored for executives working fulltime. The classes are scheduled in the evening or during the weekend. Assignment loads are also tailored to better suit executives pursing a master’s degree. To make it even better, executive programs are relatively shorter than conventional courses.
A standard executive or accelerated graduate course can be completed in as little as 12 months. Most students, however, acquire their degrees after 15 to 18 months. While the course is shorter, students are still required to meet the required credit limit as well as follow a strict set of standards to graduate. You can’t expect the executive course to be an easy way of getting a master’s degree.
Another great solution if you want to get an MA without compromising your current job is studying online. Top universities are making their distance learning programs and online courses available to those working fulltime jobs. These online courses offer some extra advantages that will benefit workers too.
For starters, there is no need to attend classes at all. All learning sessions are conducted online through an online learning platform. This means you don’t have to relocate closer to the university – or commute – to attend the program. You save a lot of money on transportation and other related costs.
Online degrees are also affordable. An accredited online MBA program costs up to 40% less than the equivalent offline course. This is a great alternative if you think a master’s degree is too expensive, plus there are financing options and scholarships designed specifically for online students too.
Last but not least, there is the fact that online programs are very flexible. You still need to study regularly and complete assignments to graduate. It is recommended to allocate at least an hour every day for studying in order to keep up with the course of your choice.
Choose a Major You Like
Another big challenge to overcome is staying motivated. When you have a lot to do at work, it is easy for the course assignments and other tasks related to the master’s degree to get forgotten. You’d prefer getting a good night’s sleep instead of attending a night class or spending an extra hour studying, wouldn’t you?
This is where choosing a major or field of study you like matters. When you are already passionate about the subjects, studying is less of a challenge and more of an adventure. You don’t have to gather enough energy to go through the course materials and start working on assignments. You wouldn’t even have to talk yourself into studying.
Another big advantage of taking a degree you are passionate about is the impact the course will bring to your career. When you are passionate about something, you tend to produce better results and work more efficiently. You can be more creative at work and contribute more to the company. All of these things are key to the future of your career.
Stick to a Schedule
Whether you choose to take a night program or an online one, you need to allocate different parts of your day for different purposes. Remember that you still have to balance between work and school. The best way to do this is by separating the two completely.
Spend the day working at the office and don’t worry about the course assignments you have to complete. After work, allocate one or two hours during which you focus on school and nothing else. Yes, pursuing a master’s degree while working a full-time job will require hard work at times, but sticking to a schedule helps keep your workload in check.
You can also get the support of your employer. Many companies now offer financial and non-financial support to employees who pursue a higher degree. Some startups let employees spend an hour of their time at the office for studying; they even provide a comfortable study room and plenty of books to support their employees.
Is it possible to pursue a master’s degree while working a fulltime job? It certainly is. With the tips discussed in this article, you can balance the two parts of your life better and earn a master’s degree in no time.