Getting Through Grad School While Working a Full-Time Job
For working professionals, going to grad school can help them grow in their knowledge and skills, get the job or promotion they desire or even help transition to a different career. However, going to grad school while working a full-time job can be daunting. So, how can you make this happen while maintaining a good balance in your overall life? Consider the following tips.
Do Your Research Well
Firstly, you need to research well and find the degree that aligns with your career goals. What are your long-term career goals and how can the degree push you closer to those goals? Secondly, when it comes to your grad school application, go for an institution with a schedule that is most suitable for you. Since you are working full time, a full-time course may not be a good option for you. Evening classes, weekend programs and online classes could be a better fit.
Also, consider factors such as location, especially where you will not be completing your degree online. Thirdly, check what others have to say about the program before you sign up. You can check reviews from alumnus and professional reviews. Reviewing the tutors’ or lecturers’ profiles is also essential.
Have a Financial Plan
Grad school is expensive and thus you need to have a financial plan in advance. If you are thinking of going to graduate school in the future, you can consider setting up a savings account specifically for college. With some savings, it can be easy to get through grad school without drowning in debt. Also, make a budget and find a way to cut some expenses. Other than savings and loans, check scholarships and employer support.
Keep Your Employer in the Loop
Even with a course that works well with your work schedule, you still need support from your employer. For instance, you may have to request your employer to allow you to take your leave days when you have exams. Also, on some days you may require some changes in work schedules or clumping shifts together to have a longer time to study. And as mentioned above, some employers may have an option to support you financially. Therefore, make sure you let your boss know your plans for grad school.
Make a Schedule
When you join grad school, you will have more to do in a day than before. Making a schedule and sticking to it is the best way to ensure you don’t overlook any important task. As you make your daily or monthly schedules, remember three key things. One, always prioritize the urgent tasks. Two, your schedule should not focus only on work and school. You need time to take care of yourself and also some time for family and friends. Three, look for activities you can quit or reduce the time you spend on them. This will leave you with more time to focus on your studies and other essential things.
When planning your time, you can make use of technology to write the daily to-do lists and set reminders or create alerts. However, if a paper diary works best for you, don’t hesitate to go for it. Also, don’t copy anyone’s schedule. Stick to your preferences and what works best for you. People are different. For instance, some prefer to study early in the morning whereas others would rather do it in the evening after work.