Earn a Grad Degree Without Quitting Your Day Job

Wouldn’t it be nice to earn a graduate degree without having to put life on hold? For thousands of business owners who want to pursue master’s degrees, the problem isn’t money or getting accepted into top programs but lack of time. Fortunately, there are several ways around that dilemma and a few other techniques for taking the financial and scheduling sting out of juggling career and school.

The first step is to fully evaluate your daily, weekly, and monthly schedules. Dig in and see how many free hours you have and whether you can find at least 30 extra hours per month for educational pursuits. That’s the hardest part. Next, move on to the simpler pieces of the puzzle, like financing the degree, looking into night classes, checking out online courses, and searching for self-paced programs. Here are more details about each step.

Evaluate Your Schedule

The details surrounding earning a grad degree while still working are not unlike those of becoming an entrepreneur, except instead of starting a business you are starting the next step of your education. Get serious about scheduling. It’s the place where the rubber meets the road for prospective students. Review a typical month and focus on how many free hours you can find. Consider wasted time and activities that can be temporarily eliminated. Most working adults can carve out at least 20-50 hours in a standard month, which is enough for traditional degree programs.

Pay for Everything in Advance

Getting a degree and paying for it are two separate tasks. For entrepreneurs who must struggle with scheduling and searching for open time slots in busy calendars, financing is typically the easier of the two. Few have enough cash sitting in a savings account to cover the high price of an advanced degree. 

The good news is that you can go through a private lender to get the student loan that suits your particular situation. That means taking advantage of features like competitive interest rates, tailor-made terms, and realistic repayment periods. Taking on the challenge of a master’s program calls for time management and academic skills. If you use a private lender to finance the education, paying for everything is one of the most manageable pieces of the puzzle.

Night Classes

Taking night courses is a technique that has served working adults for generations. If you prefer in-person study, opting for evening coursework is the way to go. Keep in mind that only about half of grad programs offer nighttime options, so be ready to shop around for a school that has the scheduling choices you want.

Online Degrees

The most efficient way to manage a busy schedule and earn a master’s diploma is to select a completely online degree. Fortunately, there are hundreds of them available in nearly every subject area. Computer-based study is on a path to replace traditional, in-person schooling within the decade, and most of the nation’s top institutions offer vast menus of options for their digital clientele.

Self-Paced Programs

Students can select self-paced courses for most remote and digital forms of study. Be careful when choosing a school because online does not always mean self-paced. Self-pacing gives you the option to cover course material as quickly or as slowly as you wish. That means you can adjust homework time based on how busy you are at your job.


Rylie Holt