Further education is a huge part of teaching. There are always opportunities for people to go back to education and improve their skills, and this is a common occurrence with teachers.
With opportunities to change careers, or simply take your current career to the next stage, there are lots of reasons to consider going back to school. For many people though, the big question will be how to do this while maintaining an income.
Luckily, there are a wide variety of education degrees that are built to fit around your life. Balancing a degree with work isn’t easy though, so here are some tips to help you get the most out of your studies.
Choose the Right Course
The first and most important step is choosing the right course.
There are many elements you need to factor into your decision, so it’s important you take your time on this. You want to find the course that’s going to give you the best career prospects, but you’ve also got to think about how it fits into your work schedule.
Be realistic with the amount of time you can commit to studying and then work from there. There’s no point overstretching yourself because you won’t be able to achieve your maximum potential.
Look at your finances, the amount of time you have available, and your future goals, and see what courses best fit your circumstances. Online EdD programs come in all shapes and sizes, so there’s bound to be one that works for you.
Consider Online Vs In-Person Courses
Online degrees have seen a huge increase in popularity in recent years. Technology only gets better and this has meant it’s possible to receive a top-class education all through your computer.
When it comes to balancing work and studies, this is an ideal option for many students.
Studying online is a little bit different from a traditional education though, and it’s important that you understand the challenges. You’ve got to be completely accountable for what you do and find ways of motivating yourself to study, even on those days where you don’t feel like it.
Of course, this comes with big benefits as well. You can work from wherever you want, and you’re in control of your schedule. This is vitally important for anyone looking to work and study at the same time, so it’s definitely worth considering.
Get into a Routine
It’s hard to underestimate the challenge of balancing work and studying. After a tough day at work, the prospect of studying isn’t very appealing, but you’ve got to find ways of making sure you get the work done. One process that makes this much easier is creating routines.
When you’ve got a schedule you’re used to following, it almost becomes second nature. If you’re fitting in work here and studying there though without a set pattern, then it can be much more difficult.
Not every job allows for good routines, but if at all possible, it’s important to be able to plan out your days, weeks, and months.
When your time is stretched, time management becomes one of your most important skills. You can set schedules and get into routines all you want, but you’ve still got to be able to manage your time effectively in order to make them work.
Everyone can agree that balancing an education degree with work is extremely challenging. Throughout your studies, you will face difficult times, and two factors in particular can hold you back, which you simply can’t afford when you’re short of time—procrastination and distractions.
When you’ve got time to study, you’ve got to get to it quickly and create an environment where you can give 100%. If there are distractions competing for your attention, then it’s going to hold you back.
Think about your study environment and ask yourself if it’s the right set-up. If there are too many distractions, then look at the changes you can make.
Think About Your Career Path
What do you want your degree to lead you to?
It’s alright if you don’t have an answer to this question, but it can be a motivator that can help drive you forward throughout your studies.
Education is a broad subject and it’s one that can take you in many directions—this is a reason why so many people pursue a career in it. If you can spend time thinking about where you would like your degree to take you, then you can plan your course accordingly.
That could mean looking at certain internships, following a certain course trajectory, developing certain skills, and so on.
If you have a clear picture of what you want your career path to look like, then it makes it that bit easier to plan out how you’re going to get there.
It’s hard to underestimate the importance of good goal setting.
Just having the goal of getting a degree isn’t quite enough. You need to have short-term, mid-term, and long-term goals that give you the motivation to go out and succeed each and every day.
When times are difficult the goal of simply graduating can feel a long way off, but if you’ve got shorter-term goals that are always in reach, then you’ve always got an objective to push you forward.
Good goals are at the heart of many great accomplishments, so make sure you stay focused throughout your studies. Remember that the best goals are SMART:
Have an Open Conversation with Your Employer
One of the most important people in this equation is your employer.
If you can get them on your side, then it will make everything that little bit easier. In many cases, particularly if you’re already working in education, then your employer will see this as a positive prospect. After all, it’s a sign they have a motivated employee, and at the end of it all, they will have a more skilled staff member.
However, it’s important to have an open conversation about what you’re doing and be upfront about what you need.
You might be able to come up with a schedule that works well for both of you and allows you to strike the best balance between work and studying.
Discuss the Process with Your Loved Ones
It’s important that your loved ones understand what you’re doing and can help you through the process. The more people you have on your side helping you out, the easier it will be, so don’t be afraid to discuss it with them.
If people know you’re working hard to maintain your job while studying, then they’ll understand when you don’t have as much time for your relationship. On the other hand, if they’re not aware of the challenges you’re facing, then they might become worried about the relationship.
Whenever you take on a challenge like this, it’s always good to be as open with your communication as possible.
You will have to make sacrifices and prioritize at some point during your education degree.
There will be a time when your friends are going out for a meal, or you want to take a quick vacation but you just don’t have the time. This can be difficult to deal with and you might feel like you’re letting people down, but remember your goals and why you’re doing this.
In the long run, completing your degree is going to allow you to live the life you want to live, and it’s well worth making these small sacrifices.
Equally, be aware of the times when you need to prioritize your relationships—there’s always a balance to be struck, so be aware of this.
Look After Yourself
Working and studying for an education degree at the same time can put a lot of pressure on you.
There will be times when you’ve got to take a little break and relieve some of the stress. It’s not healthy to let it keep building, and no matter what you’re trying to achieve, your health should always come first.
Make sure you’re factoring breaks into your schedule and not overstretching yourself.
Remember, if you are struggling, there are people you can reach out to for help. Speak to your university and make sure you get the resources you need.
Studying for a degree in education can be extremely rewarding. It brings great learning opportunities and can unlock numerous doors throughout your career.
It’s never easy to balance your studies with your work schedule though, so good planning is crucial. If you can create a clear strategy, and understand the challenges that are ahead of you, then it will give you a much better chance of achieving the results you want.
Starting a new degree is an exciting time to look forward to, so embrace the new challenges and see where your degree in education can take you. There are lots of fun avenues to explore and a rewarding career to be had.