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
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
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
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.
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 MBA students, a pilot by profession and the one who addresses himself as a ‘transformation agent’. Let’s hear his experience studying for Master’s of Business Administration:
Which Uni are you studying with?
York St John University (UK)
Which programme did you choose and why?
I chose the MBA in Leading innovation and change : change is constant and without innovation, one can be knocked out or overran by change!
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?
To be honest, it was like an adhoc system in the beginning..
Moreover, change of company, country and crazy flight schedules including night flights meant I had to search for what would work for me.
What part of the day did/do you find most suitable to study? (e.g. early mornings, lunch break, evenings, weekends?)
Given the unique work requirements, studying early mornings or late nights had been virtually impossible owing to early flights or night flights.
Then I discovered I could do study while in cruise!
Long flights with extended periods in cruise became an interesting option…
How much time did you devote for each assignment?
I usually could not set for myself a fixed time..often it was the fatigue levels from day and night flights that determined how productive I could be. It was chaos because I had flight exams at the new company that also had really demanding pass rates…(80%). Only the last of the four modules worked better after the work related chaos subsided.
Dr. Radu had a chat with me after failing the first module marginally. I had thought that balancing this chaos was stretching my capacities beyond the minimum required to pass. I had intended to put a stop to studies till a better time emerged. But, I am glad that I had the talk with Dr. Radu Negoescu…I kept going and never looked back.
Travelling and Communication
How did travelling impact your ability to study?
Travel brought more chaos into the works. I worked hard to bring order to it.
How were you able to interact with peers and/or professors given the time differences?
I communicated through WhatsApp! Fantastic…it can be lonely but when a group is available, fellow students share their challenges and give each other support.
A typical day as a master’s student
What does a typical day as an Online Masters’ student look like for you?
For a pilot, no day is typical. Cruising to different destinations means having to alternate study times when freshness is at its peak for maximum concentration. However during difficult times, I had to take a minimum an hour daily to either read or do a write up.
For the dissertation though, 100 words for 100 days was the least allowable minimums…instead of waiting until last days owing to the scope and research involved.
There is no fixed working system. Everything is relative to one thing: one’s level of discipline!
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! I would love to feature you one day on our college blog.
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.
The first thing anyone interested in enrolling for higher education in a college or University does is to check its legitimacy. And no surprises here, this is one of the top questions our education advisors get asked all the time – Tell me more about the college and partnership with British universities.
So, here is everything you need to know about RKC!
Number one of Number one: Who are we? An Introduction
Robert Kennedy College is a private educational institution based in Zürich, Switzerland. The College is a pioneer in Swiss quality online education offering rigorous but flexible learning programmes, through enhanced state of the art online e-learning technology that has been developed in-house entirely.
The Robert Kennedy College online master’s and bachelor’s programmes are offered in an exclusive partnership with the University of Cumbria, the University of Salford, and York St John University
Student focused teaching
RKC’s online learning community greatly values and invests in each of its student. Here you get an opportunity to be a part of a prestigious international community of over 5000 students from 130 different countries and some world-class faculty. Chat with our education advisor to get your customized study plan.
As a student at RKC, you will learn from some of best professors in the education field.
RKC’s dean Dr. iur. David Costa is one of the founders of Robert Kennedy College. In his current capacity as Dean of Faculty, he oversees the faculty review process and several of the college’s academic programmes. He lectures at Robert Kennedy College in Contracts Law, Transnational Business Law, Investment Law and Money Management, and is a frequent guest on business TV channels such as CNBC Europe and Bloomberg Television.
Our instructors are graduates from some of the best universities worldwide. Other key faculty members are Prof. David Duffil, Dr. Radu Negoescu, Dr. Alistair Benson and, Emeritus Prof. Gabriel Jacobs.
Unique course plan with one-week residency
Our programmes combine best of both worlds by offering Swiss quality education online via OnlineCampus with one-week residencies. The one-week residency represents a unique opportunity for students to work in groups, focus on case studies and get a head start for their dissertation. Residency offers a great opportunity to interact with fellow students and professors and learn from professional experiences of students from all over the world. Chat with our education advisor to get your customized study plan.
One of the best advantages of studying master’s at RKC is that at the end of the programme, an internationally recognised full-time British degree is awarded by the University.
The University of Cumbria, University of Salford and York St John University are fully recognised by the British Government and duly listed on the United Kingdom’s Department for Education list of recognised UK awarding institutions. You can verify their official University status directly at the UK Government Website.
Flexible payment plans
At RKC we understand the importance of work-study-life balance. This is why we offer flexible payment plan where you can pay fees in interest free instalments. Check out the sample payment plan here.
Continuing with our popular blog series that answers some of the questions we at Robert Kennedy College (RKC) get asked frequently by students looking to join one of our online programmes, we asked some of our past and current students to share their thoughts and opinions, to give their feedback on how they handled the challenges of online learning. Hopefully, this will help you to make an informed decision.
Let’s learn from those who came before and see if what worked for them will help you become a better student!
Who are you, really?
My name is Naomi Osei-Asemani. Professionally I work as an educationist. I am a CEO of an international school in Ghana, West Africa (Peculiar International School). I have 140 staff working under me. Personally, I love kids and anything that has to do with them, especially their upbringing and education. My school has 1,400 students ranging from ages 1-19. I am very passionate about this job; thus, I sacrifice all my life and finances for it. I also love taking care of the youth and directing them, so they don’t derail from their missions in life. I, therefore, have about five (5) students I am taking care of/sponsoring at various universities in my country Ghana. I have also given scholarships to more than twenty (20) children to attend school (basic school), some of whom I feed as well. I also like taking care of old people, and in that area, I have four elderly people (two are 85 years old) I feed and ensure their safety.
Getting back into education
Your story of getting back to do a Master’s degree
What was the driving force behind your enrolling for an online degree? Who inspired you? What motivated you?
In the first place, it has been my desire for a long time to become a PhD holder one day in my life. Secondly, the industry I am in is challenging; the mode of delivering education worldwide keeps changing, and therefore, I needed and still need to upgrade myself to meet global challenges. Finally, my school runs the Cambridge IGCSE and A Level, and there is, therefore, the need to recruit staff with high qualifications and those qualified to deliver the curriculum. I, therefore, need to highly educate myself so that I don’t fall short of the knowledge and skill required to direct the affairs of the staff. Self-motivation is a global challenge that comes with human resources.
What were the thoughts/situations/people/challenges holding you back from starting (if any)? How did you overcome them?
Family issues. How will I manage schooling with my tasking job? HOW DID I OVERCOME IT? I resorted to doing all my studies at night when all the family members and my staff had retired to their beds. I did this continuously for two years.
What surprised you the most when you started your studies?
I realized that I could work and attain a master’s degree using only the night to study. I thought I could do that because I worked so hard during the day and cared for my family after work. But I could pull through even though it was a bit tough.
Do you feel there are unique challenges women face when deciding to get back into education?
Yes, women face issues with their husbands, childcare and the fact that society generally doesn’t expect higher education from women. My friends think a bachelor’s degree should be enough since I own a business. To the society around me: “what else are you looking for in life”? Also, challenges with workplace issues, especially when women are working for other employers. The challenges are lack of funds to sponsor oneself to school, tight work schedules, and traffic to get back home.
Getting the degree
The work to get the degree – what did you learn, how did you balance, what would you do differently
I needed to learn more about leadership because I needed to become a better leader than I was.
I was attracted to the innovation part because of the changing trends in education delivery and changes in technology.
Climate change is happening all around us.
I thought this course would help me acquire the requisite knowledge to combat these issues.
What is the single most important thing you learned during the programme?
One most important thing I learnt is that, culture is like an iceberg; what we see happening in the organization is just the tip of the iceberg. The bigger part of organizational culture is very much embedded in the attitudes and behaviours of people, and changing the culture is not as easy as we think.
Michael Watkins sees Culture as a form of protection that has evolved from situational pressures. With this, we know that culture evolves, so as the people grow in the organization, the culture also grows with them. I have therefore been deliberate with the kind of culture my organization is building because I have become aware of how difficult it is to change the culture we build.
How did you balance work and studies?
I work during the day and study during the night.
Any particular challenges to being a woman and studying online, or do you think all students face the same ones?
The challenge of having to balance my responsibilities as a wife, a mother, a career woman, a CEO and a philanthropist (well, I think some other women also go through the same). Also, I did not have any physical classmates to even talk to when I faced any challenge: this aspect was very challenging.
Life post degree
What changed, if anything?
What’s new in your life since graduating / starting your studies? Any visible impact already?
Having finished my studies, I have acquired new knowledge, skills and abilities to change what is not working in my workplace. To bring new innovations and deliberately introduce organizational activities that I know can become deeply embedded in our culture.
Anything you are doing differently now because of the things you learned?
I have introduced online studies for my students and parents, which has helped during the Covid-19 crisis. I have also been able to open another school which is totally different from the schools operating in the area, and even from the current one I am operating, it is an innovation. This school will open in three months’ time. It is a combination of the Montessori and Froebel systems of education. The packaging and delivery methods are different. I am also rolling out a new system where parents can call teachers to come to their homes to help their children.
Do you feel that getting a Master’s degree or doing other online programmes can reduce gender discrimination in the workplace?
Of course, yes. Having a Master’s degree has made me bolder and more knowledgeable. My appetite for research has also increased.
Advice for other women
Or other students, really.
Imagine you could send a message back in time to your pre-degree self: what would it be?
Eiiii!! Naomi, everything is possible. Don’t think of your tight schedule in your office, the needs of your staff or the number of students under you. Don’t even think your husband or your three children would be hindrances. Remember, Naomi, that with God on your side and with determination and hard work, you can make it. Also, know that you can do everything through Christ who strengthens you, so go all out and venture into any area in life you want to.
Imagine you could send an object back in time to your pre-degree self: what would it be?
A picture to motivate me.
Anything else you would like to add that could help with the goal of increasing women’s participation/access to a Master’s degree?
I want all women to know that there is nothing impossible if you are determined to do it. In the face of all the challenges we see, we can still do whatever we want to do, be whatever we want to be and get wherever we want to get. Step out to take your Master’s degree, do the RKC online degree from your home, and remember to work more during the night when everyone is asleep. Listen, the sky is no longer the limit; the moon has now won the challenge. So aspire to be better. God bless you.
If you have been thinking about getting your master’s degree, and proving to yourself and others that you CAN do it, now would be a good time to take the plunge. Have a look at our list of programmes and see if we have anything that could help.
I hope this blog has answered some of your questions, and please watch this place for more similar blogs. 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.
Deciding whether to do a master’s degree is a tough decision, and in some cases, it might even be an inevitable decision.
It is a tough decision if you have been out of the school environment for a few years – getting back to school can be challenging. You might have a family of your own, and from experience, I know it is a significant financial and time commitment. Then there are the pressures and deadlines you have to meet at your job, and I am sure there are many other personal obstacles unique to the individual. And the decision becomes inevitable as it is one of the options available to help you continue to grow – as a person and in your career.
So, when is the right time to do a master’s degree programme? I can’t answer that for you, but the following are six points to consider that might help you make an informed decision.
1. Passion for the subject
With so many distractions and commitments vying for your attention, if you choose to do a programme that you have little interest in studying, chances are, it will be pushed right to the bottom of the list of your priorities. You will end up taking very little away from the programme and might end up performing poorly in your evaluations and even failing the course.
I suggest you choose a subject you are passionate about, something you want to learn. Your interest will naturally result in you putting in the effort to learn and will result in better overall performance in your evaluations.
2. Relevance of the subject
For most working professionals, time is precious. So, there has to be a reason for every extra calicular thing you plan on doing. If you intend to do a master’s degree and are not passionate about the subject, then the next best option (or even the primary option) is choosing a programme that will benefit you professionally. Something that adds knowledge to what you are already doing professionally or, at the very least, helps your growth in your career.
3. Are you a self-starter?
Unlike an on-campus programme where you are physically present in class on a daily basis, guided every step of the way by a professor and closely interact with other students. In an online programme, you are in the driver’s seat; the onus is up to you to complete assignments on time, put time aside to study regularly, and take the initiative to do all you can to complete the programme successfully.
But this does not mean you will not have any support. At least in the case of Robert Kennedy College, with our online campus and library, online forums, live classroom sessions, student care and last but not least, the online residency, you will have lots of support in completing the programme!
4. Accreditation and Recognition
If you are going to do an online master’s degree, then make sure the degree you earn has value. Find out:
Which university will award the degree?
What is the reputation of the university?
How is the university accredited?
These are just three questions to help you get started. Think of more relevant questions, and don’t be afraid to ask.
Finally, the fees – is the programme something that you can financially handle? What are the payment terms? Does the company you are employed with have a sponsorship programme?
These points are just six simple tips to help you ask the right questions before joining an online master’s degree programme. Please share any other questions you deemed necessary to help you make an informed decision.
If you are ready to apply for one of our programmes, click here.