Working Full Time and Online Degree Program: Can It Be Done?

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If you’re an educator who is thinking about returning to college to improve your skills and expand your career possibilities, you might want to consider enrolling in an online university program. One of the many advantages of pursing higher education virtually is that you can continue working full-time while attending classes.

The Major Benefits

Many of today’s master’s degree candidates are successfully balancing their job and family obligations with school, by taking advantage of the many dimensions of distance learning:

Distance Learning for working professionals*   Access your courses and materials at your convenience, wherever you find an Internet connection. Whether you’re at home in the evening, at office during your lunch break, at a coffee shop on a Saturday morning, or in an airport on your way to a favorite vacation spot, you can attend a class, review a lecture or download an assignment.

*   Online education features interactive, participatory lectures with instructors who are skilled in teaching adult learners through a virtual environment. A lot of students report a higher level of engagement than with traditional campus settings. And when they need extra assistance, instructors are completely accessible – usually just an email or phone call away.

*   Collaborative relationships with others are encouraged and facilitated through the use of virtual chat rooms and message boards. So, even if you don’t meet your fellow students in person, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to make connections and get to know them through the web.

*   If you are a student with physical disabilities, a digital setting may be an ideal way to advance your career – because there is no need to travel to a campus. Those who experience challenges learning in a traditional setting may also benefit from web-based courses. Studying at your own pace, taking extra days to turn in assignments, and interactive testing methods may prove to be your key to college success.

Pursuing a Degree While Working Full-Time

It is possible to work and pursue a distance education program simultaneously. Millions of graduates all over the world have done it, so why not start planning to join their ranks? Here are six strategies for efficiently doing a job while enrolling into a web-based college courses.

1.    Stay organized. You’ll attend asynchronous courses whenever your schedule allows, so you’ll need to determine where each class will fit. First, create a master schedule of your fixed activities, such as preparing meals, caring for your family and sleeping. After the fixed activities are all accounted for, you’ll see the available hours where you can log into your web account, attend lectures and discussions, and complete assignments. Treat your studies as a top priority. A consistent schedule can help you feel more in control.

2.    Find more time. While gearing up for your new job-school curriculum, pay attention to how you currently spend your energy, and discover ways to free up time for homework. For example, if you find yourself with unproductive habits, consider eliminating these activities and replacing them with necessary tasks (laundry, preparing meals). You may realize you had plenty of opportunities to attend online classes all along!

3.    Create your ideal study environment. Everyone has a set of ideal circumstances that make learning more productive. It may be an absolutely quiet place, or an active coffee shop with plenty of background buzz. Chris might require a cool room, while Kristin prefers to be warm. Think about what makes you comfortable, relaxed and ready to learn – and then create a space for yourself that incorporates all of these factors. You’ll be pressing hard for your master’s credential, so you deserve a space that will enhance your experience. 

4.    Stay positive. Creating a healthy environment, and keeping a positive attitude, can go a long way toward your success in an e-learning program. The demands of employment and school can make things tough, but with a positive outlook, you’ll not only have a better chance of managing all your responsibilities, you just might enjoy the process.

5.    Keep your stress level under control. What do you do for fun and to relieve stress? Whatever you enjoy, it’s important to keep it up, even if a job and school take the majority of your time. Running, bicycling, taking your kids to the park, or meeting friends for lunch are important de-stressors that can actually help you juggle your responsibilities more successfully. Being relaxed and doing exercise can improve your grasping power, too. Ensure to include some moments of fun in your master schedule.

6.    Share your good news. When you’re undertaking something as serious as a post graduate degree, let the important people in your life know. Otherwise, they can’t support your efforts. Tell your employer, friends and family you’re attending an accredited academic institution, and that you might need their help and understanding along the way.

Finding the Best Classroom Is Step One

There are many benefits of distance degrees, having the flexibility of accessing them from anywhere, to a more engaging level of instruction. By following these six strategies, working students can make their academic dreams a reality!

Discover Dominican University’s Online Masters in Reading Program. 

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