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Full-time job and Full-time masters

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  • View Poll Results: Did you work alongside masters/phd or other postgrad courses?
    yes, I worked full time and completed a full time masters/ postgrad qualification
    0
    0%
    yes, I worked full time and completed a part time masters/ post grad qualification
    2
    22.22%
    yes, I worked part time and completed a full time masters/ postgrad qualification
    3
    33.33%
    yes, I worked part time and completed a part time masters/ other qualification
    0
    0%
    No, I did not work.
    4
    44.44%

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    Did anyone do a fulltime masters alongside working five days a week? I really want to do my masters this year because in my field more and more people are getting masters and I feel it could further my professional development.

    I am going to take some online classes and others are weekends and evenings. Is this do-able?

    Have you worked alongside masters? I worked alongside education since I was 16 but that was only 15-20hrs a week as opposed to full time
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    I would work part time as it’s not worth the risk of getting a lower grade in your masters for the sake of working any extra 10 hours a week. It’s only for one year is there no way you can move home to make it cheaper for yourself so you can afford to work less?
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    Realistically, no. Most of a college education is about class discussions, group work, contact with academics, etc. for which you need to be on campus and at your full intellectual potential, i.e. not after working an 8 hours shift. Don't do a master's just for the sake of saying that you have a master's, because if you don't attend a good school, obtain good grades and make connections it will be essentially worthless.
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    (Original post by tradingmyheartforyours)
    Did anyone do a fulltime masters alongside working five days a week? I really want to do my masters this year because in my field more and more people are getting masters and I feel it could further my professional development.

    I am going to take some online classes and others are weekends and evenings. Is this do-able?

    Have you worked alongside masters? I worked alongside education since I was 16 but that was only 15-20hrs a week as opposed to full time
    As someone who has done a part-time master's alongside a full-time job, I'd say you'd be setting yourself up to do really badly at one or both of them unless you're one of those people that can get by on 3-4 hours of sleep a night. I'm assuming you don't want to give up your job, so I would suggest doing the master's part-time. That will be tough enough as it is. Don't forget that apart from your classes you'll still have to find time for reading and assignments.
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    (Original post by tradingmyheartforyours)
    Did anyone do a fulltime masters alongside working five days a week? I really want to do my masters this year because in my field more and more people are getting masters and I feel it could further my professional development.

    I am going to take some online classes and others are weekends and evenings. Is this do-able?

    Have you worked alongside masters? I worked alongside education since I was 16 but that was only 15-20hrs a week as opposed to full time
    No. This is far too much work; you would crash and burn out as soon as it came to exam periods.

    A friend of mine worked full-time and studied part-time, but this required the support of her employer who allowed her to miss certain hours when classes were on and make them up.

    Often the problem is not the total amount of hours, but the sheer inflexibility of both systems. Most full time jobs are some variant of nine to five, and this is when you are most likely to have your classes too. If your masters is more flexible than perhaps you can get around this problem, but it would still require you to be extremely organised and forgo a lot of other things for a year.
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    I'm just finishing up my full-time MSc at Birkbeck and I've been working 25hrs/week for most of this degree (and spent 10hrs/week on the tube to and from work). It's been incredibly full-on to manage both work and study and the only reasons why I've managed is because:

    A) although I was working 5 days/week, it was two full days and three half days which gave me three afternoons and all weekend to do my uni work
    B) at my uni I only had two lectures a week and both were in the evenings (6-9pm) which meant that I could go straight from work to uni for those two days
    C) two of my modules each term were through distance learning which meant it was very flexible when I would need to do my readings and post on the online discussion boards
    D) I have not had any social life or proper spare time for a year

    Most people on my course work full-time and study part-time over two years and they find it quite full-on as well. For us full-timers there is a lot of stuff to juggle just by doing the course itself, but if you're working then you have to be very motivated, very organised and have excellent time management to get everything done and not burn out. If I had been able to work a bit less (maybe 15-20hrs) I would have, but in order to cover my living costs I needed to work this much in order to earn enough. Looking back over my results I definitely think that me working has affected my results in a negative way and I would not recommend anyone to work more than 0.5 FTE unless you have no other choice as it's just too much and you are very likely to burn out quickly.
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    It is doable but very very hard going. I had a friend at work do his MBA this way and he ended up taking a few weeks leave to finish his dissertation so it took him somewhat longer to complete than full time but was also shorter than part time.

    I also knew a girl who worked full time whilst doing her PhD full time - it was pretty brutal though. She worked in a post office sorting centre in the early mornings then worked through on her PhD till ten pm most days. I was also friendly with a woman on my undergrad course who worked pretty much full time as a nurse and had a baby (during the degree) and two older kids - she barely slept for three years.

    People can do some amazing things if they are motivate but you have to ask yourself whether it is worth the sacrifice.
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    I'm in the final stretch of my Masters course right now and I haven't worked for the past year. I took a year out between my undergraduate and my postgraduate to work and save money that I could use to support myself this year.

    It's been tough not having a steady income and watching my savings decrease, but I know that if I had taken up employment while working on my research projects, I wouldn't have done nearly as well.

    If you have the financial structure in place to not have to work while you study, then do things that way. The less distractions you have in your life, the better you will perform.

    Taking a year out to work was the right choice for me, becuase while I was able to build up a financial base to support myself on during my studies I was also able to analyse whether getting a postgraduate education was the right choice for me or not. Turns out it was, and I entered my MSc with a strong desire to work hard and achieve something.
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    (Original post by Jessica-Fox)
    I would work part time as it’s not worth the risk of getting a lower grade in your masters for the sake of working any extra 10 hours a week. It’s only for one year is there no way you can move home to make it cheaper for yourself so you can afford to work less?
    It's pretty much all our nothing within the profession so I need to take this chance to get my foot in the door. I do live at home so it's not the expense that I am worrying about.


    (Original post by Ghost6)
    Realistically, no. Most of a college education is about class discussions, group work, contact with academics, etc. for which you need to be on campus and at your full intellectual potential, i.e. not after working an 8 hours shift. Don't do a master's just for the sake of saying that you have a master's, because if you don't attend a good school, obtain good grades and make connections it will be essentially worthless.
    Fair point and I agree with that especially because the career is pretty tiring in itself and isn't something which I can leave in work but rather I'll need to be doing a lot outside work too. Thanks again.

    (Original post by sj27)
    As someone who has done a part-time master's alongside a full-time job, I'd say you'd be setting yourself up to do really badly at one or both of them unless you're one of those people that can get by on 3-4 hours of sleep a night. I'm assuming you don't want to give up your job, so I would suggest doing the master's part-time. That will be tough enough as it is. Don't forget that apart from your classes you'll still have to find time for reading and assignments.
    I love my sleep so fair point. Can you give me any tips for managing the workload?

    (Original post by evantej)
    No. This is far too much work; you would crash and burn out as soon as it came to exam periods.

    A friend of mine worked full-time and studied part-time, but this required the support of her employer who allowed her to miss certain hours when classes were on and make them up.

    Often the problem is not the total amount of hours, but the sheer inflexibility of both systems. Most full time jobs are some variant of nine to five, and this is when you are most likely to have your classes too. If your masters is more flexible than perhaps you can get around this problem, but it would still require you to be extremely organised and forgo a lot of other things for a year.
    Yup, The classes are evening and in a manageable distance but I agree about the crash and burn aspect.

    (Original post by thewaythingsare)
    I'm just finishing up my full-time MSc at Birkbeck and I've been working 25hrs/week for most of this degree (and spent 10hrs/week on the tube to and from work). It's been incredibly full-on to manage both work and study and the only reasons why I've managed is because:

    A) although I was working 5 days/week, it was two full days and three half days which gave me three afternoons and all weekend to do my uni work
    B) at my uni I only had two lectures a week and both were in the evenings (6-9pm) which meant that I could go straight from work to uni for those two days
    C) two of my modules each term were through distance learning which meant it was very flexible when I would need to do my readings and post on the online discussion boards
    D) I have not had any social life or proper spare time for a year

    Most people on my course work full-time and study part-time over two years and they find it quite full-on as well. For us full-timers there is a lot of stuff to juggle just by doing the course itself, but if you're working then you have to be very motivated, very organised and have excellent time management to get everything done and not burn out. If I had been able to work a bit less (maybe 15-20hrs) I would have, but in order to cover my living costs I needed to work this much in order to earn enough. Looking back over my results I definitely think that me working has affected my results in a negative way and I would not recommend anyone to work more than 0.5 FTE unless you have no other choice as it's just too much and you are very likely to burn out quickly.
    Is it bad that I kinda want to regain a social life at the same time as studying and working. For the past five and a half years I haven't really had proper weekends off so I was anticipating that my Saturdays would become more flexible. How have you managed?



    (Original post by Jake22)
    It is doable but very very hard going. I had a friend at work do his MBA this way and he ended up taking a few weeks leave to finish his dissertation so it took him somewhat longer to complete than full time but was also shorter than part time.

    I also knew a girl who worked full time whilst doing her PhD full time - it was pretty brutal though. She worked in a post office sorting centre in the early mornings then worked through on her PhD till ten pm most days. I was also friendly with a woman on my undergrad course who worked pretty much full time as a nurse and had a baby (during the degree) and two older kids - she barely slept for three years.

    People can do some amazing things if they are motivate but you have to ask yourself whether it is worth the sacrifice.
    That sounds really bad, so I think I will re-consider my options and see if I can work something out easier.

    (Original post by IShouldBeStudying)
    I'm in the final stretch of my Masters course right now and I haven't worked for the past year. I took a year out between my undergraduate and my postgraduate to work and save money that I could use to support myself this year.

    It's been tough not having a steady income and watching my savings decrease, but I know that if I had taken up employment while working on my research projects, I wouldn't have done nearly as well.

    If you have the financial structure in place to not have to work while you study, then do things that way. The less distractions you have in your life, the better you will perform.

    Taking a year out to work was the right choice for me, becuase while I was able to build up a financial base to support myself on during my studies I was also able to analyse whether getting a postgraduate education was the right choice for me or not. Turns out it was, and I entered my MSc with a strong desire to work hard and achieve something.
    I admire that sacrifice of having an income but would find it hard to sustain myself and already hate seeing my bank balance decrease. I agree about the distractions. I am excited about my masters and believe it is the right choice. I just need to co-ordinate it around everything else I guess.
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    (Original post by tradingmyheartforyours)
    I love my sleep so fair point. Can you give me any tips for managing the workload?
    So it sounds like you'll be going part-time? I think that's a good choice, and you will be so busy the time will fly by anyway!

    Re your question above: the one-word answer is discipline. Once you have your class timetable and have an idea of how many hours a week you'll need, set yourself a plan (say, working 3 or 4 hours a night, including classes on the evenings you have them, but keep to the hours when you don't). It seems a mission at first when you're tired after a day's work but once you're in the rhythm it should be fine. I did find that I needed to spend some weekend time as well, especially when I had assignments due or coming up to exams, but I also had a very reading-intensive master's - not sure if yours will be the same. To some extent this will also depend on your aims - do you just want to get the degree, or do you particularly want to do well in it? I wanted to do well, and could have got by with a bit less work if my aim had been only to pass.

    If it's important for your work, which it sounds like, best to get your employer on-sides too - I was lucky in that mine offered to pay for my master's. I did find though that I needed to take some extra leave around exams over the usual study leave provisions my company has, so check into their policy on that as well.

    Two final comments: first, I'd take with a pinch of salt the comment about needing to study full-time - that's not true. In the environment I work in, some well respected degrees (eg LSE's MSc Finance, NYU's MBA) are offered part-time and many do well in them, and in fact you might find you actually get more out of your master's if you are working in the field at the same time, as you get a positive feedback loop emerging between your work and your academics - this is certainly something I found.

    Second - at the start of it, it seems like a big undertaking in terms of thinking of doing this for two years - but as I said above, it really does go quickly.

    Good luck!
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    (Original post by tradingmyheartforyours)
    Is it bad that I kinda want to regain a social life at the same time as studying and working. For the past five and a half years I haven't really had proper weekends off so I was anticipating that my Saturdays would become more flexible. How have you managed?
    I moved down to London from Edinburgh to start my degree and although I had a month down here of just working before my course started I deliberately chose not to make new friends outside of work as I knew once uni started I wouldn't really have time to see them until September this year.

    Having said that though, I do feel that my social life has been at work and with my fellow students at uni. I've been at work five days a week in a role where I've dealt with a lot of people within the organisation and the general public. Twice a week I've had lectures at uni where everyone comes in 15-20mins early so we can all catch up on the latest ongoings before the lecture starts as well as during the 20min break in the middle of the lecture. My friends are all part-timers who work full-time, so in that respect I've now got contacts there with people are are currently working in the right industry (HR, management development, recruitment, various management roles) which is very useful going forward and it has helped me work out just what it is I need to do next in terms of my career.

    If I compare workload between those doing my course part-time (like some of my uni friends) and full-time (like me) I definitely see a difference in how much spare time and social life the part-timers have compared to me who have been working part-time and studying full-time. The overall workload is similar for those doing FT study + PT work and the people doing FT work + PT study, but the part-timers have a lot more time to digest what we're actually studying (they have done three modules per term compared to five) and they seem to get better marks too.

    As far as keeping in touch with old friends Facebook and other social media makes it very easy. You may not see them in person, but you can easily stay in touch and keep up-to-date on what's going on in each others lives so I've not found that much of a problem to be honest.

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