Balancing Work and School: A Guide to Success in Your New Technology Program
Today, it is often necessary for adults to return to school to advance in their careers. This is because the field of technology is constantly changing, and the skills that you learned a few years ago likely need to be updated if you want to move into a management position.
Alternatively, you may be tired of being unable to move forward in your current field, and you are ready to embark upon a completely new career that is more aligned with your interests and goals for the future.
While going back to school fills you with excitement, you also know that maintaining your current job while pursuing higher education is a balancing act. Use this guide as you begin your new educational program to successfully balance work and school so that you are set up for success.
Choose a Flexible Program
Scheduling issues are one of the most common challenges for adult learners to face when they go back to school. Sit down and take an honest look at your current daily routine to determine how you will balance classes with your schedule.
A quality technology training program should offer several options for scheduling to help you avoid having to miss class. For instance, you may find that attending classes during the evening makes it easier to complete your coursework if you work in the early daytime hours.
It is also important to decide if you prefer to attend school part-time or full-time. As you calculate the number of hours that you plan to attend school, make sure to also balance the time for studying at home or completing an externship where you shadow professionals to learn new skills in your future career field.
Understand Your Financial Options
As a prospective student, you have many financial options available that will help you further your education. Understanding all of your options allows you to take full advantage of every opportunity that is available, this way you can focus on your studies instead of the cost of your education.
Depending upon your circumstances and campus availability, a College Work Study Program may be an option that helps you balance your time to help cover the cost of your education.
Due to the diverse range of potential options, it is best to schedule a consultation with a prospective technology program’s financial aid office. There, a member of the staff can tell you about financial aid options such as federal loans, grants, cash payment plans and veteran assistance that could help you cover tuition and books.
Combine Your Academic and Career Goals
After working for several years, you have already gained a unique set of skills in your career field that can be used to advance your studies. For instance, you may find that combining your current work experience in sales with a Business Management degree boosts you to the top of the list for your next promotion.
Set Aside a Specific Time for Study
Participation in a hands-on training course, such as those in information technology, typically involves very little homework. However, you will still need time to review your notes and prepare for your next classes. Schedule study times into your workweek, such as reviewing course materials during your lunch break, so the material stays fresh in your mind.
Turn off Distractions
It is almost impossible to study when Instant Messenger is ringing every two seconds. When you are studying for school, make sure all devices are out of reach and family members know that you need time to concentrate. No Facebook, Instagram, Zoom, or smartphones, TV or podcasts to distract you from your studies.
Seek Employment Assistance
A technology college will probably have a high placement rate for graduates, and you should ask for help with creating a resume and finding employment opportunities after you graduate.
However, it is also helpful to choose a school that also provides assistance with finding part-time work during your academic studies. This gives you a backup plan in case your current employment position does not work out, and these part-time positions are often more flexible for student workers.
Create a Support Network
Whether you have family members to take care of or just want to go back to school to advance your career, you have a whole support network all around you. Bring together your family members, coworkers, instructors, classmates and everyone else in your life to create a support network to help you balance your education, while still providing for your family and paying the bills.
You can create a study group with classmates to help you prepare for class. You can have an older sibling babysit younger siblings or take on household duties to free you up to study. There are many options to both go to school and continue to earn so use your creativity and ingenuity to help further your career.
Both paying the bills and advancing your career are equally important. Do your best to balance work and school to get that dream job. When you love what you do, you will not feel like you are working. Let the Interactive College of Technology help you achieve your career goals with our many vocational options. Increase your earning potential and start a job you love. It’s a win-win.
At Interactive College of Technology, we prioritize helping students every step of the way in their journey toward a better career. Contact us today to find out your options for obtaining a degree while you are still employed.