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Top 3 tips for juggling an MA with a full-time job

Wed 03 Jul 2019

Top 3 tips for juggling an MA with a full-time job

So you’re a full-time creative professional considering studying for a masters degree – whether it be to grow your career opportunities, get a promotion or a better salary, or simply to upskill. You might be thinking, though, that combining studies with your full-time job will be an impossible juggling act. But it can be a lot easier than you may think.

Here are our top 3 tips for juggling an MA with a full-time job:

1. Speak to your manager

Letting your manager know that you’re planning to study an MA can help you in several ways. Firstly, if the MA you’re looking to study is closely related to your work, then it’s likely that your manager can get your organisation on-board with your study plans. This can be a great benefit for you, as your organisation can not only support you by giving you allocated study days, but also financially by funding some or all of your degree. Also, by letting your manager know you’re planning to study an MA, they can support you at an individual level by giving you flexible working arrangements where possible so that you can manage your studies alongside your work. Don’t forget – your organisation also stands to benefit from you studying for an MA as you further develop your knowledge and skills and are able to better perform within your role and organisation. So be open and communicative with your manager about your study plans.

2. Manage your time effectively

Getting in the habit of working – and studying – more efficiently, and effectively managing your time and priorities, is key to juggling an MA with a full-time job. Cut out the distractions and non-essential tasks and make each hour you spend working and studying count. By simply cutting or minimising things like regular extended lunch breaks, non-essential meetings and social drinks after work, you might be surprised how many hours you can free up each week to focus on your studies. Increasing your productivity by managing your time and priorities more effectively in even the smallest of ways can give a big boost to your capacity to juggle your MA with your full-time job.

3. Pace yourself

Some people see the idea of studying on top of their full-time job as daunting simply because they assume studies will take up a huge chunk of time in addition to their already busy work schedule. But the reality is that there are many online MA courses available that are designed specifically to fit around the busy schedules of full-time professionals. Online MA modules are usually broken down into manageable weekly chunks so you can pace yourself each week and comfortably manage your studies alongside your work. So, if you want to effectively juggle your MA with your full-time job, you just need to stick to setting aside some part-time hours each week – usually around 10-20 hours – for your studies. Instead of waiting till the final week of your module to frantically study and complete an assignment, pace yourself comfortably and study bit-by-bit as you go along each week. Remember, with an online MA you can study when it suits you, so you can decide how you plan your week according to your weekly study topic.

If you’re looking to study an MA that you can comfortably manage alongside your full-time job, Falmouth Flexible has a range of online courses that can help you take the next step in your career.