Working while studying used to be an impossible prospect. Then night school became a possibility. Even with night school, however, it was hard to juggle work and study, and the added commute to work, to night school, to home was difficult on so many.
Enter, online education.
What was at first a clunky prospect has truly flourished in recent years, and now offers working professionals easy and effective ways to learn while continuing their career. All that is left is to improve your own routine, adopt some new study habits, and to use it all to help push your career, even long before you graduate:
Everything Hinges on the Right Degree
No one likes making bad decisions for themselves, and when money is on the line the stress and pressure of choosing the right degree piles on. Forget about that pressure.
There are only three things you need to make sure you have enrolled in a great degree:
1. The quality of the institution
For some industries which you get the degree from matters less than the fact that it is accredited. In these industries, you need to have an accredited degree to qualify to take the licensing exam.
Those industries are few and far between.
For most, you will want to choose a degree from a university that is recognized internationally (or at least nationally), as well as one that is well ranked for student satisfaction and ideally ranked highly in your department.
This is how you can determine the quality of your degree. You’ll know you found a good one when the alumni not only credit their success to their degree but are mostly in careers and roles you aspire to.
2. Designed for working professionals
The degree for you needs to be designed for you. It should be entirely online, affordable, and flexible. You should be able to log in and do work any day of the week, including evenings. Otherwise, you won’t be able to master the work/study lifestyle successfully.
3. Builds skillset and expands knowledge
As for the degree itself, choose one that will help give you the skillset and knowledge to direct your career towards your goal. You will rarely take a Master’s degree in what you have already specialized in during your career. Instead, you will be looking for adjacent degrees that give you an edge over the job competition.
A marketer, for example, wouldn’t take a Marketing MA, but instead a Master of Business in Marketing for a more global scope.
A policymaker will want to specialize in the area of work they are most passionate about. In 2020, for example, health policy is huge, which is why this Master of Public Health degree has become such a popular option for working professionals.
Don’t take a degree in what you do, take a degree in what you want to do. Find that, and you will have taken a great step towards your future.
Routine Tips for the Work/Study Lifestyle
Possibly the biggest barrier to your success as a working student is your energy levels. It takes a lot to finish a long day at work, and then to go ahead and work on your degree or study. The best way to accomplish this additional goal is to improve your health with your routine.
Start well before your degree does to find the right combination of tips and tricks. This could be using black-out curtains, lavender essential oil on the pillowcases, or going to bed and waking up at the same time.
Foods high in fat and sugar are damaging in two ways. One, they are hard for the body to process; they also provide a lethargic feeling or even a crash. By cutting out refined sugars and saturated fats, and switching them for alternatives found naturally (fruits, nuts, etc.), you can prolong the energy your snacks give you.
This is another part of your routine that you are going to want to start before your degree. Exercise is great for energy levels, but when you first begin the physical effort is exhausting. By giving yourself two weeks where you do an easy, thirty-minute exercise routine per day, you can start to enjoy the energy-boosting benefits by the time you start your degree.
Study Tips for Online Learning
To help you improve your revision and comprehension, you’ll want to use these three tips:
Write Your Own Notes
We all learn differently. Not only that, but we all understand concepts in unique ways. Chances are there are better ways for you to write out what you are learning to understand it better and to memorize it better.
That is why you should write out your own notes. Taking the time to do this is perfect for letting the concepts sink in, and will also give you a great set of cheat-notes later on if you ever need to refer back to something.
Create Voice Notes
If you drive or bike to work, then you won’t be able to study or read on your commute. The solution? Voice notes. You can either use the text-to-voice feature offered on your phone or computer, or you can read your own notes aloud to listen to on your commute.
Form a Study Group
We are social beings, and one of the best ways we learn is together and in a group. That is why you should either join or form a study group. It doesn’t matter that your degree is online – you will be able to form a digital group with your other classmates and create a syllabus of your own in terms of what you talk about, what notes you share, and more.
Working and studying at the same time isn’t just possible today; it is how you can flourish. Push your career in a brand new direction by achieving a master’s degree, or reach a new level with a degree that will allow you to qualify for higher-level positions. So long as you choose the right degree for your career, and follow the rest of the tips and tricks outlined in this guide, you’ll be able to succeed academically, and professionally.