The decision to start a career before getting an M.B.A. degree has many benefits, namely building one’s resume and leveraging real-world experience into promotions and other advancement opportunities. However, working full-time while pursuing an M.B.A. can be more challenging—but not impossible.
If you’re thinking about going back to school for your M.B.A. but can’t afford to put your career on pause for two years, here are some tips for getting your M.B.A. while continuing to work full-time.
Sharpen Your Time-Management Skills
Getting an M.B.A. while working full time will put your organization and time-management skills to the test. Before you enroll in an M.B.A. program, make sure you’re up for the task of improving those skills related to time management. This will help reduce stress and make sure you don’t fall behind at work or in your studies. Here are a few tips to improve your time management skills:
- Make a realistic and prioritized to-do list each day
- Set deadlines for yourself and try your best to stick to them
- Concentrate on one task at a time to be more efficient and productive
- Delegate less-important responsibilities to competent and reliable people
- Use some of your downtime for planning and prioritizing
Tell Your Boss About Your Plans
Once you decide to go back to school and pursue an M.B.A., schedule a sit-down meeting with your boss to discuss your plans. Although you plan on balancing your work responsibilities with your M.B.A. requirements, it’s important to involve your boss early in case a situation develops at a later point in which you need extra time to complete a work assignment or study for an exam.
Informing your boss that you plan on going back to school can draw attention to your professional development efforts. This might lead to more career advancement opportunities at work since your boss will understand how an M.B.A. will prepare you to take on more responsibility.
Enroll in an Online M.B.A. Program
In the past, it was extremely difficult (if not impossible) for full-time employees to return to school for an M.B.A. without putting their careers on hold. Fortunately, online M.B.A. programs have made it possible for busy professionals to take the classes they need when and where it’s most convenient for them. Online M.B.A. programs offer several benefits to students who are also working full-time, including:
- Flexibility – One of the biggest selling points of earning your M.B.A. online is the flexibility to access coursework and complete assignments when it’s most accommodating to your schedule. The ability to access lectures, exams, coursework, and other materials online means you can pursue an M.B.A. without the added stress of going to campus.
- Real-World Applications – The flexibility and convenience of an online education has made it possible for more full-time employees to pursue an M.B.A., and that’s good news for budding professionals and the organizations they work for. One of the advantages of working while pursuing an M.B.A. is that you get to apply new business knowledge in real time instead of waiting to turn theory into practice.
According to a recent survey of 2015 M.B.A. alumni by the Graduate Management Admission Council, graduates of professional M.B.A. programs (which include part-time and online programs) have a higher employment rate (94 percent) than alumni of full-time M.B.A. and specialized business master’s programs. The survey also found that alumni of professional M.B.A. programs are the most likely to hold senior-level and executive positions compared with other graduate business programs.
If you want to hone your leadership skills and develop cross-functional business expertise that will advance your career, consider an online M.B.A. degree from Manhattan College. Our online M.B.A. program is designed to work with your schedule, so you can complete coursework when and where it’s most convenient for you. Request information or call (855) 841-2843 to learn more.