When mature prospective students weigh the pros and cons of going back to school to upgrade their skills and gain new credentials that will help them move their careers forward, most of them are probably most worried about the challenges inherent in taking a year or more off work to pursue their studies.
No matter how much a student may want to invest in their future by getting a practical, career-advancing degree like a Master of Business Administration, the financial obstacles of not working for a year can, for some, be insurmountable.
Fortunately, full-time study isn’t the only way to get an MBA. If you want to complete your degree in the evenings and weekends there are plenty of options open for you at universities like Wilfrid Laurier in Kitchener-Waterloo. And the best part is, you can do so while still taking advantage of many of the MBA’s distinct advantages such as networking opportunities.
If you want to prepare for a future in finance, accounting, operations management, or marketing by pursuing an MBA, but aren’t sure you can afford to do so full-time, here are just three of the advantages of part-time study.
1. Don’t Forgo Your Paycheque
For a large number of people, thesingle biggest thing keeping them from further study is simply economics: they can’t afford to maintain themselves or their families without a job.
A recent study showed that almost half of Canadians are living paycheque-to-paycheque, and many are caught in a vicious cycle: they don’t have the credentials to get better, and they don’t have the leisure or money to get better credentials.
By making it possible to stay employed while also working towards a degree, part-time MBA study can open up enormous opportunities for those who are motivated to better their positions in life.
2. Part-Time Education Lets You Stay Where You Are
One of the chief benefits of the part-time MBA for those with jobs in busy Canadian business hubs like Toronto is that, in addition to being able to stay in their current positions, they don’t need to relocate or travel far to attend classes, either.
Schools like the Lazaridis School of Business & Economics allow their part-time students to take their classes in downtown Toronto on evenings and weekends.
3. Learn on the Job and in the Classroom
Studying part-time isn’t just more convenient, however. For some people, it can be even better than pursuing full-time study, insofar as it allows students to directly apply what they learn in the classroom while they’re learning it.
Unlike the practicum or co-op model, where students get a taste for the workplace apart from the classroom, when you’re studying during the evening and working during the day, you have the opportunity to see how the concepts you are learning function in the workplace in real time.
And, in addition to giving you an opportunity to see practical applications of theoretical concepts, this holistic approach also communicates to any future employer that you have the drive and ambition to juggle work and study.
There are plenty of reasons to get an MBA — not least of which being the huge jump in earning potential it often brings. So if you’ve long harboured an ambitious business vision but have been stymied by a lack of official credentials, studying part-time might be the perfect way to make these dreams come true.