Advantages of Going To College Part Time While Working Full Time
There are a many advantages to going to college part time while working full time. I learned this first hand... as I received an Associate's Degree, Bachelor’s Degree and Master’s Degree while attending college part time, and working full time. The whole shebang was definitely challenging, had some starts and stops and took more than 10 years, but it was worth it.
Here is a recap of what I view as the top 5 advantages of going to college part time while working full time:
1) It’s Much Cheaper: Since most companies offer tuition reimbursement, the average part time student who is also working full time, should be able to cover a majority of their courses using these benefits, especially at the undergraduate level. In my experience, my companies’ tuition reimbursement plans covered about 80% of my college education. Since my Master’s program was on the expensive side, that’s where I had to fork out more of the expense. In the end , I did not have to take out any loans and am PIF while many of my friends are still paying them back from classes they took 20 years ago.
2) You’ll Be More Effective In Your Day Job: If you have some work experience, college classes will be more relevant. If they’re more relevant, they’ll hopefully be more interesting, you’ll be more engaged as a student and ultimately learn more. Then, you can immediately apply what you’ve learned to your day job.
While I was attending classes, I learned some great project management, presentation, writing and team building techniques. One class on business ethics, was very relevant at a time where my company had made some difficult layoff decisions. If you want to move up to management, there are many “how to” classes available as part of standard degree programs
I also found that taking classes was a nice break from my “day to day routine” and helped spur some creative thoughts and ideas- related to my day job. Frequently, I’d be sitting in class and have one of those aha moments and jot down ideas to look a the next day at work.
3) Offers Great Networking Opportunities: Part time college classes are a great way to make new friends, meet new business associates and even strike up some romance. Over the course of several years, you’ll have the opportunity to meet hundreds of other students and faculty. (When you go to college full time, you tend to stay with the same class of students for your entire degree program. Part-time, you have different mixes of students in every class.)
There are some college professors who are experts in their field of study- and they know all the other experts in their field of study. They can be instrumental in helping you connect with the right people and may be willing to give you job recommendations.
Once you graduate, Linked In is a great tool to stay in touch with your classmates and faculty.
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4) Protects Your Income In This Down Economy: We all know that we are in the midst of a challenging and unpredictable economy. In the past, a husband, wife or domestic partner, may have considered quitting their job to pursue their MBA full -time, while their significant other continued to pay the bills and support the household.
Today, 401K and investment balances are plummeting and more layoffs are announced daily. Quitting your day job to go to school could be very risky. Your partner might lose their job and there may not be another job for you after you graduate.
5) You Can Make Your Own Schedule: Many top colleges are offering part-time degree programs online. You can work at your own pace, and complete college work almost anywhere by leveraging online tools.In addition, you can choose exactly which on site classes you want and what nights or weekend days you want to take them. You can design a part time schedule around your unique requirements.An alternative view.. To present a balanced picture, there are definitely some challenges when you work full time and go to school part time. The number one issue is time management. It’s a challenge to fit in the homework, time with your family, time for hobbies- AND the time you spend at work or in classes. It can be very stressful when big tests are coming up or papers are due and you have something big going on at work. Lots of pressure!And, the whole process to get your degrees will take longer.
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