A job and pursuing an educational degree

Managing a job and pursuing an educational degree simultaneously can be a challenging task for any working professional. A few experts suggest ways through which you could strike a balance between your academic pursuits and work commitments.

Many working professionals choose to go for some kind of further education while they are already working in order to enhance their professional skills. But devoting equal time to your job and studies and doing justice to both can be grueling. So, what are the colleagues working professionals usually face while managing work and studies simultaneously? There are two types of professionals who typically choose to pursue a professional degree while continuing to work. Some professionals are career enhancers and wish to further their career within the same organization while the rest are career switchers who prefer to retain their current income to support the pursuit of an educational degree. Perhaps the biggest challenge that these professionals face is time management and an inability to strike a work /life balance.

Most educational institutions expect the same level of sincerity from working professionals pursuing part time courses as they would from full time participants. On the work side even though organizations do offer full or part subsidy towards course fees, but at no cost do they expect employees’ productivity to go down in period.

The challenge really is to juggle three balls (read: Work education and family) in the air and not let even one fall.

First prospective student must think trough his /her goals for pursuing the degree and determine the kind of program that will meet his /her professional and personal needs. Part time programs typically are completed in three five years. These programs frequently include evening classes and some have online components as well. Executive MBA programs which are designed for experienced managers, also offer students the opportunity to work full time while pursuing the degree (often with the financial support of their employer) Most programs can be completed in less than two years classes are generally conducted during the weekend. Some business schools now offer online MBA programs. Students complete these programs at their own pace as they do with the part time MBA.

We usually ask our employees to ensure that their team members and supervisors are informed about their study schedules well in advance, so that they could plan their day and are able to meet all deadlines at work and school. If it is company sponsored course they are pursuing utilize your leaves carefully keeping in mind the lectures and personal commitments and approach HR to discuss your grievances.

Firms are now offering them the option of pursuing part time programs and in some cases, even providing them partly or full sponsorship of the programs. Some organizations are open to flexi time for their employees so that they can attend early morning or evening classes and also login in the desired hours at work.

Employees must add to their existing skill sets as many a time one is expected to perform cross functional duties which require more knowledge and competence. It would act as advantage to them in long run.

A learning organization is the term given to a company that facilitates the learning of its members and continuously transforms itself. Realizing the need for this, many companies these days have provisions for facilitating the upgrade of skills and competencies of their employees. In the face of still competition most organizations deem such initiatives necessary for sustenance and employee retention.

Hence, if your are determined to add some more value to your profile, go ahead with it and make sure you manage your job and your studies well by giving equal time and devotion to both.

  • Himanshu Kalra

    Plz guide me some short term management courses.