Should you pursue a part time masters of full time masters degree? Are you looking for an option to pursue a part time degree program that takes into account the demands of your full-time job? What direction should you take in your studies? When considering pursuing a masters degree, one of the options you are likely to contemplate is whether to go to school full time or part-time.
In the past it has not been uncommon for graduate students in business, for example pursuing an MBA to make the decision based mainly on whether you want to continue on your current career path or whether you are in the process of changing careers or industries.
In the current economic climate, many people prefer to hold onto their current jobs as opposed to resigning to pursue full time studies. More prospective masters degree candidates are trying to keep their current position and pursue their studies part time.
Most masters programs take about two years to complete. When pursued part time, this can extend out to three or four years. This of course depends are how many classes you are taking at a time. Programs may define this differently but one or two courses a semester or quarter may be considered part time.
Part-time, evening, weekend, and online programs make up approximately 50% of current masters students. In the case of MBA programs, the other 50% are enrolled in executive, online learning and smaller programs.
Some questions to guide you decision making may be of some help in the process. Ask yourself questions like, “How soon do I need to be done with the degree?” “Why do I need to pursue this degree part-time?” “What is my goal when I graduate from the program?” “What are the pros and cons of full-time vs. part-time studies?”
Again when weighing the options think about the advantages and disadvantages of full time masters vs part time masters programs. The advantages of part-time programs include: Flexible scheduling, smaller course load, and reduced financial stress. Enhancing your skills and knowledge in your area of specialization and simultaneously developing additional credentials is a big plus.
Part time masters students also have unique opportunities to integrate what they are learning in their program into their current professional roles. Some programs even prefer for students focus on projects that are related to their work.
The disadvantages include: Part-time students may miss out on opportunities offered to full-time students for example Graduate Assistantships and tuition remission. Another con is that the program requires a longer time commitment in order to fulfill all program requirements.
In addition to part time masters programs taking longer to complete, students need to commit to their studies while simultaneously juggling hectic work and family schedules.
As with anything else, however, a part time masters is a popular option and once committed, you should follow to get the most out of your time and financial investment. However, making the decision as to whether to earn your masters degree while simultaneously working full time is a personal decision that each individual must ultimately make.
Online part time masters in business (MBA)