Finding a balance between work, school, and family time is one of the reasons why so many people decide not to return to college after high school, or after a long break from school. However, with new advances in technology, and the proper time management skills, you can return to college and earn your degree quickly, even if you are working full or part-time. While it may not be the easiest challenge, it is definitely something that you can do successfully.
Organization is Key
Being organized can help you balance work, school, and personal time. These are three things that you need to have under control when you want to earn a degree quickly, while working at the same time. Purchasing a quality planner or smartphone app to remain organized is something you should do once you begin contemplating returning to college. It is important to find balance and have a solid plan in place well before you begin attending classes. This helps you visualize what it is that you want to accomplish every day, and it will help you manage your time effectively.
Create a goal or milestone list. As you accomplish these goals, cross them off of your list. Be sure to include milestones that are actually achievable. Create multiple lists of goals, such as short-term and long-term. Develop a plan that includes the amount of time you are giving yourself to achieve each of these goals, and stick to it.
Cut Out the Extras
Doing those extra things can be costly, in terms of finances and time management, which is why you need to cut them out. Earning a degree requires a lot of sacrifice, especially if you are working full or part-time while attending college. Make a list of your priorities, in terms of spending, school time, family time, and work. Go over that list and cut out any of the unnecessary items. You do not have to cut out your entire social network or spending, but make sure you determine what is necessary, and what you can live without.
Family, Social, and Work Support
Receiving support while you are in school is extremely important. When you decide to return to school and earn your degree, you should inform your employer so that you can create a schedule that allots time for school and work. Most employers will assist you with this process, especially if you are using the employer tuition assistance program. Your family and social network will need to help you as well. This includes your spouse, parents, children, friends, and associates. Do not be afraid to ask them for help with your personal commitments. Delegating responsibilities amongst your family and social network will help you master a schedule as you work to earn your degree quickly.
Colleges for the Working Student
One of the best options for students that work full and part-time, but want to earn a degree quickly, is to attend colleges that are specifically designed for the working student. NKU PACE has programs that are designed with the working student in mind. The courses are accelerated, and offered in 8-week sessions. You have the option to take one or two courses per session. These accelerated adult education classes only meet once a week, which gives you plenty of flexibility with work, school, and personal time.
Online Colleges and Universities
Centuries ago, attending college online was impossible, but thanks to the advances in technology, you can do almost anything from your computer, tablet, smartphone, and other gadgets, including earning your degree online, and quickly. There are a lot of credible universities and colleges around the world that offer stellar degree or certification programs that you can sign up for. When attending college online, you have the advantage of working around your work and personal schedule. You are also able to take courses year-round, which help you complete your degree or certificate program quickly.