Whether you are a considering work to cover your tuition fees while studying abroad or you are a working adult looking for studies leading to a career change or promotion, combining work and study is an important choice that will greatly influence your future.
Growing tuition fees and flexible study options such as blended or distance learning encourage students to seek jobs and not take the time to understand how this choice might upset their schoolwork. However, such an important decision should not be taken lightly. Here is a list of benefits and challenges that may help you decide whether you want to work while studying.
If you still haven’t decided where and what to study abroad, you should know that popular destinations for a Master’s degree are:
- Masters in the USA;
- Masters in Canada;
- Masters in Australia;
- Masters in the UK;
- Masters in Germany;
- Masters in France;
- Masters in Netherlands.
Five benefits of combining study and work:
- You get to keep your current job. This way you avoid the stress of having to find new employment while your new degree will improve your CV and may result in a promotion.
- Develop a brand-new set of skills. You will likely improve your time management skills, learn to set goals, keep a positive attitude and work harder.
- Less worries about tuition fees. A good job is a great way to student avoid debt and focus on long-term plans.
- Gain invaluable work experience. The extra years of employment may open the way to better job opportunities and more advanced study programmes that require extensive work experience, such as an MBA (Master of Business Administration).
- You will not be alone. Many students choose to study and work. This means that universities have also adapted their programmes, offering more flexible part-time and online study options.
Five challenges to combining study and work:
- Less time for yourself and your family. Studying for a degree while working full-time could be time-consuming for both you and your loved ones. Most likely, you will have to put many of your hobbies on hold for a while.
- More stress, less energy. Students with jobs that require creativity, such as writers, may experience occasional creative blocks, due to fatigue.
- Less time for school activities. A great part of university life is about creating new contacts and building a future professional network. Your job may interfere with your social life at school.
- Expect the unexpected. Unpredictable events may interfere with your schedule, such as an unplanned important business meeting, working overtime or extra schoolwork.
- Beware of financial aid risks. Some universities offer financial aid exclusively to unemployed students. Holding a job might affect your scholarship eligibility. Low grades might also cancel your scholarship.
How to find the right balance between work and studies
College studies and full-time work might seem challenging but there is a considerable number of options, which will greatly improve your chances of success. To help you push through your study-work experience, here are a few popular options:
Try part-time work or part-time study
Taking some of the pressure off either from work or study reduces stress and improves overall performance. As opposed to the work-study option, part-time work has no restrictions on salary or chosen job. Evening or night-time studies are also common options offered by most part-time study programmes. You can always choose both part-time work and part-time study to get the best of both worlds. Some universities that offer part-time studies are:
- University of Birmingham, in the UK
- Valparaiso University, in the USA
- University of Tasmania, in Australia
- Hertie School of Governance, in Germany
- Toulouse Business School, in France
Go for an online degree
Distance-learning options are increasing in popularity due to a high demand of flexible study programmes. They are a great way to save time and money and keep in contact with students and teachers through modern online technologies. Some examples of universities that offer affordable online Masters are:
- CQUniversity Australia;
- Southern Cross University Online;
- Thompson Rivers University;
- De Montfort University;
- Curtin University.
Apply to a work-study programme
This is a form of financial aid offered by some universities in addition to scholarships and grants. It is a way to help students cover part of their tuition fees by working on campus. However, work-study jobs offer minimum wage and usually don’t fully cover tuition fees. By working on campus, students avoid long commutes and have more time to focus on their studies.
Consider taking internships
Even though some internships might not offer a salary, they are an invaluable source of business experience and free training. A good internship is the promise of a job in a respectable company, while leaving more time for your studies.
Here are a few tips for success
- Try to get the class schedule as early as possible in order to plan ahead of time.
- Keep in contact with your classmates and find ”the inside man” to keep you updated.
- Inform your teachers and employer that you are a working student. They may be more flexible if they are aware of your situation.
- Make sure your loved ones support you. Their help will be your most valuable asset.
- Save some time for relaxation and play.
- If you feel overwhelmed, seek alternative options. Some universities may let you switch from full-time study to part-time study, mid-study year.
Apply right now to a Masters’ degree abroad
If the pros of doing a Master’s and working have convinced to choose this path, Studyportals can help you apply right now to universities in Italy, Turkey, Ireland, Australia, or the United Kingdom. First you should check them out and see which of the degrees they offer match your background and interests.
After that go to the “Apply through Studyportals” tab and click the “Apply” button. Now you’ll be able to start the application process by talking to Betty, our lovely application specialist who can guide you through admission requirements and help you with your application.