Read This If You're Considering Part-Time Study | Student Reviews & University Rankings EDUopinions

Read This If You’re Considering Part-Time Study


The Rise in Popularity of Part-Time Study

Study programmes are often designed to take up all your time. It is a full-time job. However, it has become more common for universities to offer part-time degree programmes. In these programmes courses run in the evening or weekends. This gives people the chance to combine work and study. As a consequence, time is spent studying or working, and social and family life can take a back seat. Part-time study has advantages, but  it is not for everyone.

Why and When Should You be Studying Part-Time?

Of course, the main advantage of studying part-time is that you will still have an income. Often people choose part-time degrees that are relevant for their current job. This is great for their study performance, as the knowledge they are gaining can often be directly applied. When studying part-time, your manager can directly witness the growth in your performance, and you might be able to get assigned to new exciting projects or positions while completing your degree. Income and direct career progression are the two key advantages for studying part-time.

For part-time study to be an advantage you need to have some work experience. More importantly you need to like your career and want to progress in it. You need a drive for the next level.

You might also consider studying part-time if you are self-employed or building your own business. The combination between networking with fellow students, learning new concepts, and fleshing out your business is a great mix.

When not to Study Part-Time

Of course if you do not like your job, your career will not benefit from combining study and work. You might even lose your job, as you signal to your employer that you are not happy with what you are currently doing. If you want  to switch careers, it is better to take the time out and consider what you want to do. Hire a career coach, if you need to.

Another reason to not combine work and study is the increased workload you are going to have. Consider carefully if your family can deal with your prolonged absence. A part-time degree can take two years and longer. During that time you will spend evenings and weekends studying. Of course it will not be every waking hour, but a large chunk of your currently free time will be devoted to your study.

The Next Step

Have you evaluated your private life and is it ready to take up the challenge? Are you happy with your career and  driven to achieve more? Now, pick a degree that suits you. If you are tied to a location, begin with searching on EDUopinions for what is offered in your city. If you are not tied to a city, why not look for a part-time programme in another city or even country ? If traveling is your thing, check out what part time programmes open universities around the world have to offer. Good luck!

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Written by
Katerina Bohle Carbonell, Ph.D, writes on topics related to higher education and people management in companies in high ranking international journals and on her personal webpage. She obtained her Ph.D in organizational behavior at Maastricht University. She currently teaches at Northwestern University’s and works on products and services to increase the use of data-driven decision making at Maastricht University.

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