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Mixing Continuing Education With a Full-Time Job

Mixing Continuing Education With a Full-Time Job

Steve Berman | LedgerLink

June 10, 2010

Treat School Like It’s Your Job

Many people are tempted by online schools because they think the curriculum will be easier than traditional in-the-classroom schooling, like the difference between an open-book or closed-book test. Wrong. As online schools become more mainstream, their reputations are at stake. As a result, the curriculum at online universities and colleges can actually be more intensive than what you’re used to.

If the way you attend class is at home via your computer, treat it like any other kind of school. Give yourself a private area to study where loved ones or the TV can’t distract you. And if you’re attending classes after work in an actual classroom, don’t be tempted to skip out because of an unforeseen distraction. It’s really true that a large part of success is showing up. Miss one class and it’ll be easier to miss another. And another…

Don’t Go It Alone

You can’t make your friends go to work for you, and you definitely shouldn’t copy anybody else’s homework. Still, it is almost impossible — and definitely foolhardy — to work a full-time job and go to school at the same time without any help. Let people you trust know that you’re going to need some support.

Whether it’s a relative picking up your daughter from soccer practice or your spouse taking over dinner duties, it’s extremely important to accept help when offered, and to ask for it when needed. One person can only handle so much, and your true friends and loved ones should be happy to help as long as they aren’t being taken advantage of. Reward them with small tokens of appreciation and remember to thank them after you’ve reached your educational goals.

And finally, remember that you can do it. You can work hard during the day and still have the ability to focus on your schooling at night. It won’t be easy, but the payoff can be tremendous. Just make sure to understand what exactly it is you’re working toward, focus on time management and build a solid support system you can lean on when times (and classroom assignments) get tough. If you can do those things, continuing education is an investment in yourself that’s sure to pay off.