8 Factors to Consider Before Pursuing a Master’s Degree Mid-Career

by Josh Biggs in Tips on 5th March 2022

Landing your dream job in the field of your choice is a huge achievement. After all, you put in countless hours in college to gain the necessary skills and education. Many of your peers might still be struggling while you are already on your way to a well-established career. What more can you want?

There is no harm in aiming for a better position in your firm. A bachelor’s degree in marketing can only get you so far in your field. There are positions in a marketing firm that require experience as well as extra qualifications. You can cover the relevant experience criteria, but what about education? Is it feasible to pursue a master’s degree while working full-time?

Studying while working has its fair share of challenges. If you are thinking of pursuing a postgraduate degree in the middle of your career, you need to consider the following factors.

  1. Online degrees have the same value as on-campus degrees

Full-time MBA programs usually offer classes every weekday. This makes it almost impossible to juggle your career with your studies. 

Nowadays, online education has become prevalent due to lockdown restrictions. Many esteemed institutions offer full-time and part-time degrees that are completely online. As it is becoming more and more common, online marketing MBA program has the same value as a regular full-time MBA program offered on-campus. 

If you wish to start an MBA program mid-career, you don’t need to consider relocating near school anymore. Gone are the days when you would fear missing an important class because you had to travel for work. You can always opt for an online program and stay on top of your classes as well as your career. It will go on your resume as a full-time accredited educational achievement.

  1. You don’t need to quit your job

While online classes have taken much of the pressure off, there are still times when you cannot log on to classes. You may experience connectivity issues. It is possible that an important office meeting is scheduled at the same time as an important class. Does this mean you have to quit your job to pursue higher education? 

Absolutely not! Where there is the flexibility of attending classes online, you also have the option to catch up to missed classes by going through the recorded lectures. Some institutions have a set of goals you have to achieve by a certain time frame. You can work on those goals when you get free from work.

Your job also helps you cover the expenses that come with the degree program. It includes tuitions and projects.

  1. Your prospects will increase

An advanced degree can increase your chances of landing a better job. Marketing is an extremely competitive field. There is always someone who is better qualified and more experienced than you. If you wish to be a part of this race, you need to be equipped accordingly.

Your degree does not guarantee you a job immediately after you graduate. Some people have to wait years before they land a job in their field. If you go for a master’s degree program while working in the industry, you have the financial security that others don’t have. 

Earning a master’s can improve your job prospects and promise you a competitive salary. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the annual median pay for market research analysts was $65,810 in May 2020. 

  1. Networking won’t be a problem for you

Networking is important if you want to thrive in the field of marketing. Fresh graduates don’t have enough connections at the start of their careers. They have to work extra hard to make their name in the industry.

This is where you have the upper hand. You already have the social network that is necessary to flourish your career. Combined with an advanced degree and years of experience, you might be the best choice for a potential promotion at your firm. 

  1. Managing time between studying and working will be difficult

Time management is always an issue. Even if you make a timetable, it can sometimes be tough to follow due to unforeseen circumstances. An online degree gives you enough flexibility to choose your courses and schedule your study time at your leisure. Even then, you may have an important meeting during your exams. A work project may coincide with your postgraduate project. 

To avoid such discrepancies, it is important to manage your time well. Keep a margin for unusual circumstances that may disturb your schedule. Stay on top of your studies and avoid procrastination. Above all, stay disciplined. 

  1. Your social life will be put on hold

Socializing is the way to go if you want to relax. Whenever you find some free time, you wish to spend it with your friends and recharge your emotional battery. Your social circle is just as important as your family.

Unfortunately, once you start an advanced degree while working full-time, you may have to say goodbye to these hangout plans. All your free time will be taken up by your coursework. This will leave you no time for friends or hobbies. Any free time you get, you will wish to spend it resting or studying. 

  1. More than once, you will have to reassess your priorities

When it comes to priorities, you cannot set them permanently on work or studies. There will be times when you will have to put your career before your degree. Other times, your degree will come first, for example, during your exams. It will be up to you to assess the situation at hand to set and reset your priorities from time to time. 

  1. You will often feel more burnt out than your peers

Many students opt to leave their jobs to pursue their studies. It helps them focus their attention and concentration completely on their coursework. 

Working and studying at the same time leaves you little to no time to yourself. Your mental health will suffer and you may feel burnt out. Watching your peers relax during their time off may leave you feeling frustrated and demotivated. These 2 to 3 years will be tough, but keeping your eye on the prize may help you feel motivated.

To Conclude

The debate of studying mid-career is ever-going. Everyone has their own point-of-view about this topic. While it is a safe option to continue working while studying, you should carefully consider all the pros and cons. Ultimately, the only person affected by your decision is you. After all, a successful career is achieved through resilience and hard work.

Categories: Tips