Don't Quit Your Day Job -- Study Part Time
By Susan Aaron, The Learning Coach
September 03, 2008
Working and going to school at night is no picnic: Getting a degree seems to take forever, and the toll on social and home life should not be dismissed either. Nonetheless, working and being a part-time student is the best option for many ambitious employees.
Bring the Work World into the Classroom
Many graduate programs prefer that students have some work experience under their belts to provide an outside reference for what is being taught in school. Working students:
- Enjoy a dynamic work-school experience. They can translate their education into the workplace immediately, becoming better workers.
- Can enhance the classroom experience by providing salient questions and real-world applications to classroom learning.
More Time for Learning
Stretching the program completion time may actually be a benefit. Working students:
- Have longer timeframes over which to network and make their presence known at school.
- Have more time to absorb a school’s philosophy. Spreading courses over time means a deeper understanding with each successive course.
Get the Company Involved
Workers getting more education are usually more desirable employees. Often, companies are willing partners in an employee’s learning experience. Working students:
- Have the company’s moral support. For instance, benefit from informal arrangements, such as flexible hours during exam times.
- Enjoy their colleagues’ real-world reference. It’s good to be in contact with people who put the theories you’re learning in school into practice.
- May enjoy financial support. Many companies include educational support as part of their benefits packages. Employees can accept up to $5,250 tax-free annually from an employer for educational expenses.