When is the Right Time to do a Master’s Degree?

Deciding when to do a master’s degree can be a challenging and personal choice, as it depends on various factors such as your goals, interests, finances, work and family commitments and the challenges of life in general.

A master’s degree is an advanced academic qualification that can help your career growth and increase your knowledge. It is a difficult decision, especially if you have been away from a school learning environment for a long time.

Do you do it right after getting your bachelor’s degree, or do you do it after working for a few years?

Option 1: Doing it Right After Your Bachelor’s Degree

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Continuing your education right after completing your bachelor’s degree, without taking a break or working in between, can have some advantages, such as:

  • Maintaining academic momentum and motivation and avoiding losing touch with your subject or skills.
  • Increase your chances of getting a better job or salary sooner, as you will have a higher level of qualification and specialisation than most of your peers.

However, there are also some drawbacks to this option, such as:

  • Not having enough work experience or practical knowledge to apply what is learnt from experience to the master’s degree.
  • Not knowing if what you are studying will be valid or even something you want to do for the rest of your professional life.
  • Competition from those with a master’s degree and work experience, especially in fields where experience is valued more than education.

Option 2: Doing it After Working for a Few Years

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Working for a few years after completing your bachelor’s degree and then going back to school for a master’s degree can have benefits, such as:

  • Gain practical knowledge that can help apply what is learned practically to the master’s degree.
  • Having time to determine your interests and where you want to take your professional career. You can have a clearer idea of your career goals and interests and a stronger motivation to pursue further education.
  • Having time to plan your finances by saving money for your education, getting better terms on your education loans or getting your company to sponsor your education.

Some of the challenges to this option could be:

  • Losing academic momentum and motivation.
  • The longer you take to start your master’s degree, the more commitments you might have that can be stressful and demanding.
  • Might have to sacrifice career opportunities or growth.

Option 3: Doing it Later in Your Career

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Deciding to do a master’s degree after working for many years or reaching a senior or managerial position can have some advantages, such as:

  • Leveraging your extensive work experience and practical knowledge to enrich your master’s degree learning and outcomes.
  • Updating your skills and knowledge to stay relevant and competitive in the changing job market.
  • You can pursue your personal or professional interests and fulfil your lifelong learning aspirations.

However, there are also some disadvantages to this option, such as:

  • Additional financial commitments that can have an impact on your lifestyle.
  • Most people who chose this option will continue to work and will learn in parallel to their job commitments. If you cannot balance your personal and professional commitments, learning can be an added challenge to your time management.
  • The challenge of returning to school after a long time and figuring out how to learn effectively all over again.

So, when is the Right Time?

There is no definitive answer to this question. It depends on the individual’s situation and preferences. However, here are some tips that may help you make a decision:

  • Assess your current and future goals, interests, and needs and how a master’s degree can help you achieve them.
  • Understand the requirements, costs, benefits, and challenges of doing the master’s degree at this point.
  • Seek advice from your mentors, peers, professors, or family.
  • Adapt to changing circumstances and be open to opportunities.

If you have been thinking about doing a master’s degree and are ready to challenge yourself, look at our list of programmes and see if we have anything you are interested in doing.

You can also Chat LIVE on WhatsApp with one of our Education Advisors for more information on the programme that is right for you, the application process, and details on discounts we might be offering at this time.

DILO (A day in the life of) of RKC master’s student

Through the #DILO series of blog posts we have been bringing you insights into the life of our master’s students, sharing their thoughts and opinions, ups and downs, and key learning points during their online studies. The whole idea behind this series is to make you aware of realities of online studies, and help you in decision making.  

This week we take a look at a day in the life of one of our excited MBA student, on the way to complete the MBA programme. Let’s hear his experience studying for Master’s of Business Administration:

An Introduction 

Which Uni are you studying with? 

University of Cumbria

Which programme did you choose and why? 

I chose the MBA programme. I wanted the fluidity of the degree to be able to strategically move upward within organizations.

The Study Plan 

How did you plan to study each module, and what was the reality? How many hours did/do you have to put in each day/or in a week? 

I followed the recommended guideline. I had some classmates who did the mandatory modules first, then took the modules that were aligned with their profession, but that would have prolonged the completion of the program.

There was a mandatory two hours daily schedule, sometimes, three to four hours depending on the subject. I would suggest however, to read through the course requirement at the beginning of the course to get an understanding of the requirement.

Begin early to draft the final assessment for the module and make revisions as the material becomes clearer.

Prepare a study plan and pick a time of the day that works best for you

What part of the day did/do you find most suitable to study? (e.g. early mornings, lunch break, evenings, weekends?) 

Morning hours and weekends were more practicable for me.

How much time did you devote for each assignment? 

I would say it depends on the subject. Familiar subjects were easier and more interesting, those that were challenging got extra attention. Roughly 3-4 days per assignment, inclusive of research, rough draft and then final submission.

Travelling and Communication 

How did travelling impact your ability to study? 

Initially, travelling impacted study times. It required major adjustment to after-work schedule and infringement on family time. It eventually came down to prioritizing what was important at that particular time.

How were you able to interact with peers and/or professors given the time differences? 

The interaction with the different time zones was tricky. One had to keep in mind the time differences and make the adjustments.

A typical day as a master’s student 

What does a typical day as an Online Masters’ student look like for you? 

Getting up a little earlier to put in extra time, when it is quiet in the morning. Listening to podcast on related materials during breaks and the long drive home.

Any advice? 

Take advantage of every opportunity. Make a structured daily schedule that includes two hours of daily studies. Break it up if necessary. Most importantly during overwhelming and difficult periods… take a break.. take a deep breath… and start again.

Have a core group of people in the program that you can interact with, share and exchange information.

If you have been dreaming of joining a master’s programme or have had this personal goal to gain a higher education, now is the time! Take the valuable advice from our current students, gain from their experience, add your own unique study strategies, and make your own success stories!

Chat LIVE on WhatsApp with one of our Education Advisors for more information on all the programmes we offer, application process, and for information on discounts we might be offering at this time. 

Have you been laid off from work? Here are FIVE tips to help you get back on your feet.

Most of us have either had the unpleasant experience of getting laid off or know someone who has. It is not something that any of us want to go through, and it can impact not only the person who has been laid off but also the people who may be dependent on them. Getting laid off is an experience we can never be prepared for, even when we know it is coming. We may have commitments dependent on a regular pay cheque, and suddenly, not getting that pay cheque could lead to defaults and hardships.

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In case you are unfortunate to get laid off, remember, while things don’t look good right now, it is not the end of the world. You first need to step back, take a deep breath, and take stock of your situation – things are never as bad as you think.

Here are FIVE tips you could take to help you get back on your feet.

1. Take care of yourself

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Taking care of yourself is the first step to getting back on your feet. Getting laid off will take a psychological toll on you and will take time to get over, and the first step to take is practising self-care, such as eating well, sleeping enough, exercising regularly, and doing things that make you happy. I have mentioned this in several of my earlier blogs as well – don’t be afraid to ask for help and support, be it from your friends, family, teachers, mentors or colleagues. Taking care of yourself will help you maintain your physical and mental health, as well as your confidence and motivation.

2. Take stock of your finances

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Getting laid off means you will be cut off from a source of income for the immediate future, and depending on your financial commitments, it can significantly impact your life and family. Check on the support systems that might be in place, such as unemployment benefits, severance pay, or other assistance programs that can help you cover your expenses while you look for a new job. Also, while most of us might have savings, now is the time to tighten up more – cut down on all unnecessary expenses and create a new budget, considering your new financial situation. A clear picture of your finances will help you avoid stress and make informed decisions.

3. Time to update your professional profile

Nowadays, the number of resources available to job seekers is vast. From employment agencies to professional networking sites to online job listings, the options are endless when searching for a new job. Update your resume to reflect your current skills, achievements, and goals, listing the projects you have worked on and the results you have delivered. Tailor your profile to match the work you are seeking. Updating your resume and online profile will help showcase your value and attract potential employers.

4. Networking

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Most of us don’t realise the network we have created over the years. Every activity you have engaged in has made an impression and a network. You have been creating a network from your school days through university and even from your previous employments; don’t be afraid to connect to this network for help. You could even ask your family and friends to contact their networks. Don’t be afraid to ask, as no one loses anything, and if you get employment, you will benefit from it, and your new employer will get a motivated employee.

5. Be open to new careers

The opportunities and career options available today can be endless. Your skill sets might match perfectly with a career path completely different from what you have been following. Be flexible and open-minded in your job search. You may want to consider changing industries, roles, or locations if you see a demand for your skills or a growth potential.

Being laid off can allow you to reinvent yourself and advance your career.

If you are looking to future-proof your resume, help you get back on your feet from a layoff or reinvent your professional self by getting a globally recognised master’s degree, then look at our list of programmes and see if we have anything that could help. You can also chat LIVE on WhatsApp with one of our Education Advisors for more information on all the programmes we offer, the application process, and the discounts we might offer.