There’s an adage that says that a wise person never stops learning. Whether you’re learning more about something you’re passionate about or acquiring a new skill, education is an ongoing, lifelong process, especially work-related education. Some fields such as engineering and medicine require providers to earn continuing education credits on an annual basis. You may work in an industry or company where additional formal education provides advantages to your career, leading you to consider going to school while maintaining your full-time job. Here are some things to ponder.
Understanding the End Goal
Whether you’re going to college for the first time, to complete a degree or earn a new one altogether, it’s important to have a clear idea about your end goal. Are you wanting to enhance your career with the knowledge gained? Are you looking to change professions entirely? Maybe you need to look for a professional certificate instead of a full degree. It could be that you just want to formalize your new knowledge with an undergraduate or graduate program. Having a clear understanding of what you want to accomplish helps you find the best plan and keeps you motivated.
Counting the Costs
When it comes to getting your degree, you’ll need to consider the cost. There will be costs related to tuition, books and fees that will need to be addressed. Keep in mind that being employed full-time may make you ineligible for financial aid, but your employer may have a tuition reimbursement program to help defray costs. You’ll also need to consider expenses associated with education such as equipment and transportation. For example, you may need to secure a laptop or specialized software to complete your coursework.
Managing Your Energy
One of the major challenges with working full-time and attending college is time management. You’ll be expected to meet the demands of coursework while also taking care of your work responsibilities as well as your home life. Managing your energy will be very critical. Recognizing that home, work and school will require different measures of attention and creativity will help you to be successful at staying balanced. Make sure to take time to rest and recover.
Working Smarter Not Harder
There’s nothing easy about juggling a full-time job and school, regardless of the degree that you’re trying to attain. One thing that can help you with your journey is finding ways to work smarter. If there are ways to incorporate work goals into school goals, you can save time and effort. Getting buy-in from your employer, colleagues and other people in your life can also help. You’ll be doing all the hard work but getting support from others goes a long way.
The decision to work on a university degree while working full-time shouldn’t be arrived at lightly. While the professional rewards may be obvious, personal satisfaction can also be your biggest motivator. It’s important to have a clear vision and purpose for the planned course of study. You may be wanting to enhance your expertise or forge a new career path altogether. Come up with a plan and manage your time and energy accordingly.