Many people never pursue an advanced degree because they work a fulltime schedule and oftentimes even have a family at home to take care of. There is no time to take classes towards a master’s degree and even if there was, classes are typically scheduled at times when they are at work. If you have an ambition to further your education in the public health arena, you can get a public health degree online even while working and raising a family. No, it won’t always be easy but it can be done.
There Is No Longer a Stigma Attached to Distance Learning
There was a time in the not so distant past that there seemed to be a sort of stigma attached to getting an online degree. It could have been because of the level of education being offered at first, many colleges were not accredited and those that were, were not listed as first rate educational institutions. Now all the leading universities offer online degrees and so it is difficult to find fault with that. If the top ten schools across the nation are doing it, it must be okay. In fact, even employers who had once frowned upon distance education are now embracing online degrees wholeheartedly.
Choosing Your Path Wisely
If you are wondering how to get your schooling and your home life to coexist without the usual tensions, the one thing you should do is choose your path wisely. First you need to choose your area of concentration when pursuing an advanced degree such as a masters in public health online, then think about a realistic schedule. You know that you work at least 30 to 35 hours a week, sometimes even more, and that you have responsibilities at home. Think about how many hours you can dedicate to your studies and if your planned degree will require more than you are able to give at the moment. Bear in mind that some courses of study require you to complete them within a finite period of time while other universities may be a bit more flexible, allowing you an extra semester or two.
Flexible Study Hours Should Not Be Flexible
While the school of your choice will tell you that your online schedule is flexible and you can study at your own leisure, that shouldn’t be your mindset. This is the biggest mistake you can make. You know when you work and which days your children need you to be available to them in the evenings after school, so plan your study times around that. Actually make a schedule for yourself and stick to it. For example, tell the kids that on Mondays, Wednesdays and every other Friday you will be in the den working on your classes and they should ‘pretend’ that mom isn’t at home. Unless there is some major medical emergency you are not to be disturbed. Flexible is only flexible in the sense that you can choose when you want to study, be it 3 AM or 7 PM, but your class time once you’ve set a schedule for yourself is no longer flexible. The best advice is to set that schedule in stone!
So yes, working full time and pursuing a master’s degree can coexist but it will take cooperation from the family as well as a commitment from you that you will stick to your plan. For a couple of years it will be hard work, but the rewards at the end of the rainbow are that proverbial pot of gold – your master’s degree in public health. Anything worth having is worth working for but it’s all about commitment. Are you committed? Time will tell.