Are you an entrepreneur or a business professional looking to start your own business or climb the ranks within your chosen career? If so, the easiest way to bolster your chances of success is through furthering your education and applying to study towards a graduate degree. The question is, are you ready to take the plunge? Here is what you need to know.
What should you consider before applying?
First and foremost, you must establish whether you are in the correct mindset to take on this new academic challenge. If you have only recently completed your undergraduate degree, you might want to consider racking up a few years of working experience before pursuing a graduate course or perhaps indulge in some traveling to refresh your mind.
Secondly, it is vital for you to assess your financial situation. For those that have already got their start-ups up and running, they need to be especially careful about how they use their available capital. Having said that, if business growth is the goal, then studying further and getting a graduate degree in business is a smart approach to achieving it. If you decide to proceed and opt to take out a student loan to cover the program’s fees, make doubly sure that you will be able to make the monthly repayments. Now definitely is not a good time to incur huge amounts of debt.
Finally, you need to assess whether you have enough time available in your day to day schedule. How many other responsibilities are you juggling at the moment? While it is indeed possible to work and study at the same time, it takes plenty of effort and planning! Hence, many graduate students decide to look for part-time jobs to free up some extra hours during the day.
What are your options?
There are hundreds of graduate programs and degrees to consider. However, there is one that ticks plenty of boxes for entrepreneurs, business owners, and ambitious employees: a Master of Business Administration degree. This degree revolves around teaching students all about the many intricacies involved in running a business, regardless of whether or not the business is their own. That includes aspects such as finance, marketing, strategy, communications, location analytics, and so much more.
The great news is that an MBA is a degree that can be completed online, usually within a time frame of 18 – 24 months, based on your previous education. Check out the University of Redlands online programs for more details.
Online or traditional campus?
Online learning promises students a variety of benefits, from flexibility and improved support to lower course fees and the ability to study from anywhere in the world. Making the decision to study online or at a traditional campus will depend on your unique preferences and current situation. Speak to an enrollment advisor if you require guidance to make this decision.
How can you find the right university?
Always make sure that the university in question is fully accredited. It is also a good idea to look into each potential institution’s rankings calculated by various respected sources, such as PayScale and The Economist. Finally, always compare program costs and curriculums, and enquire regarding what to expect from the student support team, especially if you intend on commencing your learning online.
How can you balance work and studies?
Most importantly, you need to ensure that you take proper care of yourself if you intend to study and working simultaneously. That includes:
- Getting enough sleep
- Eating nutritious foods and a combination of all of the main food groups
- Exercising a few times a week
- Enjoying some time out to yourself, even if just for a few minutes each day
- Finding a practical means for coping with stress
Once you are practicing proper self-care, the next steps should be to create a comprehensive, yet flexible schedule. Outline all of the tasks that you need to complete every day and tick them off as you go. If a work crisis presents itself and you need to sort it out during the time in which you originally planned to study, rearrange your schedule to ensure that you don’t miss out on that crucial study time. Perhaps you can delegate some work to an employee and get some studying done early in the morning, and again that evening? Flexibility is the key to success!
Taking a graduate course promises many wonderful benefits and can prove to be just as fulfilling as it is challenging. So, are you truly ready to dive into a new educational journey? If so, don’t let anything stand in your way of achieving this esteemed milestone!
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