All about work-study life

What You Should Know About Work-Study Life

Over the years, there’s been an increasing need for college graduates to consider going for advanced degrees. And because of the cost involved in pursuing one, some have decided to work alongside grad school. This way, they can pay their way through the entire program. That’s how the work-study life begins.

Some who has a full-time job, but for some reason decides to go for a master’s program. They also want to be able to retain their jobs while schooling. But the challenge with this is being able to balance the two.

Whether you have a job and want to continue with it during a graduate program. Or you want to take on a job when you get admission. You want to know how to balance them so that none suffers for the other.

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This is why we have put this article together just for you. This article will show you the benefits of having a work-study life . It will also show you how to maximize those benefits. So that you can really eat your cake and have it. Even more, this article will help you see the need to take a holistic approach in your decision-making. So that you can answer the question: Do I really need to work and study at the same time?

READ: The Key to Working in the United Kingdom After Your Studies

Why People Work and Study at the Same Time

PS: Why people take up a work-study life shouldn’t form an express rule for you to do the same. You’ve got to figure out why you should and then decide if you should. Of course, learning from others can help you make an informed decision if you are not yet sure about it.

One reason some people work and study at the same time is that they wish to minimize their opportunity cost. By opportunity cost, we mean letting go of one for the other. So, they literally just want to eat their cake and have it – work and study simultaneously.

However, a more concrete reason will be globalization. Globalization in itself has made the labour market more competitive than before. So, some companies outsource some jobs to people in developing nations because the labour is relatively cheaper. Globalization is also a culprit in the increase in college graduation rates. Looking ahead, the current figures on the increasing rate at which students pursue higher degrees are not likely to drop soon.

The drive for some others is relevance and nothing more. Ever heard of the saying that “a college degree is the new high school degree”? Oh, that in itself is a reason for the work-study thingy. So, many students now resort to advanced degrees like a master’s degree or PhD to distinguish themselves from the crowd.

In the light of this, we often advise that those who choose to put all their eggs in the “grad school” basket need to be mindful of being blindsided. They could have so much education, but with little experience. That’s because this in itself can be counterproductive. The school of thought compares that with a steady work-study balance life. Choosing to work and study at the same time gives an individual a sense of security that is often alluring.

READ: Work Opportunities for International Students in Canada

The Perks of a Work-Study Life

One major benefit of work-study balance is that companies can also wade in to help with the costs of the graduate education. Financial support from these companies is also referred to as company sponsorship or tuition funding programs. And in recent years, the number of these programs has increased significantly. According to statistics, the number of such programs rose from about 50% to 85% between 2007 and 2010.

These sort of programs has helped many students with the common problem associated with student loans – debts.

This is not to say that these programs will automatically fall into the laps of any grad student who is able to balance work and study life. It is important to note that they are often always very competitive. The lucky ones, however, will be company-sponsored employees. These lucky ones can even start their dream graduate programs without owing a dime from the start.

One may also need to consider the fact that being able to study and work at the same time is one way to get a good head start in one’s chosen career. And there’s hardly any company that is not tripped by employees who are ambitious and self-motivated. That is what being able to balance school and work will help an individual to achieve. More so, such companies that are willing to sponsor their employees to grad school understand the extra burden the individuals have to carry. So, they try to relieve them of the workload. Although difficult and quite demanding, being a working graduate has a good number of rewards that the individual can maximize properly.

One more benefit of the work-study life is that there are many career advancement opportunities one can take advantage of. High-paying jobs, for one, ask for advanced degrees like a Master’s at the application level. According to Forbes, fields with Master’s degrees that provide good returns in pay are Computer Science, Medicine, and Civil Engineering.

READ: Working in Australia as an International Student

How to Strike a Work-Study Life Balance

It would be a crime to leave you with just the perks of work-study life and leave out the challenges that come with it.

So what makes it challenging?

For some people, the program they opt for may be quite rigorous on its own. It may require really tight schedules, and no flexibility in the time between classes. To add such a study life to the rigours of a job becomes a tad bit stressful and demanding.

One will feel the impact of this lifestyle in relationships with friends, family, classmates, and colleagues at work. Of course, the ability to fully take on the responsibilities an individual has to his profession and academics depends on the level of assistance the sponsoring company offers.

So, we advise those who haven’t made the choice of a graduate program yet to evaluate their options. Weigh your options in the light of other important factors and make a choice that is less time-consuming and demanding. For instance, it is only someone who is exceptionally disciplined that should consider going to medical school and working at the same time.

Hope is certainly not lost if you are actually keen on enrolling in a rigorous program while you retain your job or pick up a new one. You can check with your department in school to see if they have any special plan for students who wish to juggle work and study life. Some schools/programs are able to fine-tune the student’s study load in order to achieve a balance between the two worlds.

What Truly Matters

There’s hardly any graduate program that comes easy. None at all, to be more exact. And the same is true for beginning a professional career. This is why putting both worlds together is considered a really daunting task. However, as we have mentioned over and over again, the benefits of having a balanced work-study life far outweigh the challenges. And in most cases, it yields significant returns. These benefits are often worth the time and effort invested by the individual.

In any case, what’s important is that you take a holistic approach to making decisions before you decide on what to do. For instance, we mentioned why it is important that you make an evaluation of the program you would be enrolling for. That’s to see if it offers any form of flexibility at all. Again, if what you would like to go for offers little to no flexibility, then you should consult your program’s adviser. Get his or her advice on what assistance can be offered to be able to successfully juggle between the two worlds.

Remember it requires a great deal of time investment. So, in taking up a work-study life you must consider the fact that you won’t have as much for the things you’ll love to do unlike working or studying alone.

What do we mean? If you didn’t have to work and study at the same time but do just one, you’ll definitely have more time on your hands to go to the movies. You can have fun, dance in the rain, play golf, or go scuba diving or just about anything you want to do – even with family and friends. But when it comes to juggling the two, it means you have to put in twice as much effort and time to get a good balance of both choices.

So if you choose to go to grad school while retaining your job or pick a new one, then you’ll need to sit down and make a realistic evaluation of what is at stake. Don’t we all love to kill 2 birds with a stone? But to do that, like earning a graduate degree and working at the same time, you’ll need to count the cost.

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