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Thread: Working Part-Time while getting Master's

  1. #1
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    Working Part-Time while getting Master's

    I'll be taking 12 credits in the fall towards my Master's in Planning and I was just wondering if anyone worked during obtaining their degree or how feabisble it is to work about 20 hours a week while going to school.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian SGB's avatar
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    Anything is do-able if you set your mind too and and can deal with sleep deprivation. The most reliable answer to this question will come from faculty and students in your program.

    Be warned: you can run the risk of finding that you learn more on the job than in th classroom, depending on the degre program you are enrolled in.
    All these years the people said he’s actin’ like a kid.
    He did not know he could not fly, so he did.
    - - Guy Clark, "The Cape"

  3. #3
    Cyburbian the north omaha star's avatar
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    I did it while in grad school. It was a delicate situation when came time to write my thesis. At that point, I was working full-time and going to school full-time. During my thesis, I would go to work, then to class, then to the library to write, then home to type. Sometimes I'd pull 16-20 hour days plus weekends. But, I graduated on-time and that's the only thing that counts.
    Last edited by the north omaha star; 18 Aug 2004 at 12:24 PM.
    I am recognizing that the voice inside my head
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    Because opinions are like voices we all have a different kind". --Q-Tip

  4. #4
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    I also worked 20 hours a week while in graduate school. In fact, most of the people in my program did it. Overall, those of us who worked for the university as a TA or research assistant found it easier than those who worked off-campus. Our bosses allowed us to work around our classes and understood that sometimes we needed extra time off to study.

  5. #5
    Corn Burning Fool giff57's avatar
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    I did not have an assistanship, so I had to work 15-20 hrs per week. I drove one of these around Iowa City for a couple of years.

    “As soon as public service ceases to be the chief business of the citizens, and they would rather serve with their money than with their persons, the State is not far from its fall”
    Jean-Jacques Rousseau

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    Thanks alot for the input guys. I only have class tues, wends, thurs and they all pretty much start after 7pm... so i don't think i'll have to many scheduling issues. I just wanted to kind of make sure 20 hrs didn't interfere too much with study and research time. But i guess it depends on the individual too.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian jordanb's avatar
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    Well I'm working twenty hours a week during school, and have been doing it for two years now. When I was in Engineering, it was murder. All of that math and programming took a long time---time I didn't have.

    I'm going to graduate barring any problems in five years (for my BA). I don't think it's really reasonable to expect to work that much and graduate on time, but if I had started in a nontechnical degree, I don't know. Maybe I'd have been able to do it.

  8. #8
    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
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    I am working full-time while working on a Masters and taking 6 credit hours (two classes) at night. I think you should do just fine with taking 12 credit hours and working 20 hours a week. It's those night meetings that really screw with my schedule.

    When in doubt, ask a prof! You're probably not the first person to go through grad school this way and maybe they can give you some feedback on how things went for those other students.

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    - Herman Göring at the Nuremburg trials (thoughts on democracy)

  9. #9
         
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    I am getting my Masters right and working about 25 hours per week. I have class Tuesday and Thursday and work the other 3 days with a half day on Wed. I did this last semester and had absolutely NO free time, but it is well worth it, if you can stay motivated and deal without sleep for a while

  10. #10
    Cyburbian
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    I think Dacia and I live parallel lives...I too am working full time and taking 11 credits. I'm a little hesitant about it, but I have a ton of free time at my job, so it shouldn't be too bad (I say this now, but we'll see how I feel in a month). I have class at 5:45-8:30 Monday and Wednesday and 5:45-7:15 Tuesday and Thursday.

  11. #11
    Cyburbian el Guapo's avatar
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    I did it. I took a full load at a big 12 University while I raised a kid as a single parent and worked as a GRA and GTA in addition to fixing cars for cash. I also took summer and intersession classes. Got good grades too...

    So get to it.

  12. #12
    Cyburbian pandersen's avatar
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    Been there and done that. During the last year of my Masters degree, I had a contract job in the summer that ran on into the fall and I started all my courses when they were half over - a real challenge to catch up. during my last semester, (while I was writing up my thesis) I worked full-time for a scientific glass blowing company - I had to travel to the U.S. on several occasios to complete installation projects and ended up working 60 hours a week on a big pharmaceutical plant project in a neighbouring community. It finally got to the point that in oder to complete my write-up in time, I took a week off work and stayed up for a week solid putting the finishing touches on my thesis. I delivered the paper to my advisor 1 hour before he was bording a plane (resigned from the faculty and moved to a different province to start a consulting firm). That last week was sheer hell - I thought I was going to die of exhaustion.

  13. #13
    Cyburbian The One's avatar
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    Long hours.....

    I took 6 to 9 hours a semester while working full time as a planner w/family.....The university considered 6 hours to be full time (because they can charge full fare for fees) but it felt like 15 hours......ZZZZzzzzzzzzzzz I'm still catching up on my sleep....
    Skilled Adoxographer

  14. #14
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    Many, many people manage to both work and get their master's. I did. Make the best of it. Instead of working at Wal-Mart, get a paid internship and gain some experience in the process. Planning officces love to get an intern who will be around for a full year or more, rather than just a semester.
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

  15. #15
    Cyburbian JNL's avatar
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    I struggled in 2nd year varsity when I was studying full time and working a 20 hour week. But I was also commuting 2.5 hours (total) each day. Work in the morning, classes in the afternoon, assignments on the weekend. I got kind of run down so I ended up moving so I was closer to uni and that helped a lot. It's a tricky juggling act, working, studying, eating properly, socialising, travelling, and sleeping! Good luck, and don't underestimate the importance of eating a well-balanced diet to keep your energy up.

  16. #16
    Cyburbian Plus
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    My comments are very similar to everybody elses.
    9 hrs of classes getting Master's, at least 20 hrs of paid internship, and volunteering hrs that added to professional experience.


    Quote Originally posted by JNL
    don't underestimate the importance of eating a well-balanced diet
    I learned this lesson the hard way.
    Don't forget your medical/dental needs, delayed will cost more than money later, trust me.
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  17. #17
    Cyburbian Michele Zone's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by JNA
    I learned this lesson the hard way.
    Don't forget your medical/dental needs, delayed will cost more than money later, trust me.
    Well, if you have low blood sugar and therefore almost never eat sweets and happen to be phobic about dentists, you can safely skip them for about 10 years without needing a filling. :-} (For everyone else, it is one of those 'penny wise and pound foolish' things -- only, worse, as JNA said.)

    You can also consider trying to do your Master's part-time while working or otherwise work out some kind of compromise. Temporary loss of a social life may be a small price to pay if you really want this. And if you are young and healthy, sleep deprivation can be endured for quite some time. I was chronically short of sleep for the first 7 years of my first child's life. Just try to sleep until noon once a week.

  18. #18
    Cyburbian H's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Dacia0117
    I'll be taking 12 credits in the fall towards my Master's in Planning and I was just wondering if anyone worked during obtaining their degree or how feabisble it is to work about 20 hours a week while going to school.
    20 hrs is "feasible" if your hours are flexable.

    My "10hr" assistantship was more like 20, and it was fine.

  19. #19
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    Since work will pay for it, I am going back to grad school this winter. I will be taking 12 to 15 credit hours, plus working my full 40 hours. During my under grad I took 18 credits and worked 40-50 hours a week so this should be fine. The best part about this is if I need help, I have an office of planners, and from what I have been told, I should do just fine in classes. Social life will stop though.
    Not my monkey, not my circus. - Old Polish Proverb

  20. #20

    Working during school

    I'm taking the same route as a lot of folks here. My program is pretty well oriented toward working "adults" (median age is mid 30's). All of the classes are 4:30 or later. I'm doing just 2 classes/ semester & working full time. That, with a young family makes for some late nights trying to catch up on reading. I figure I'll finish this degree sometime around 2020!

    I Chose Temple.

  21. #21
    Cyburbian Plus Salmissra's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by JNA
    My comments are very similar to everybody elses.
    9 hrs of classes getting Master's, at least 20 hrs of paid internship, and volunteering hrs that added to professional experience.



    I learned this lesson the hard way.
    Don't forget your medical/dental needs, delayed will cost more than money later, trust me.

    I started with a 20 hr internship and school 12 credits. That changed to 40 hrs full time work and 6 or 9 credits, depending. Mostly evening and weekend classes. Yes, it's certainly doable - as multiple other posts attest. But do keep track of your health. I didn't, and ended up forced to take a semester off of school to recover from a tri-fecta of problems. Watch what you eat, sleep when you can, and don't stress the small stuff.
    "We do not need any other Tutankhamun's tomb with all its treasures. We need context. We need understanding. We need knowledge of historical events to tie them together. We don't know much. Of course we know a lot, but it is context that's missing, not treasures." - Werner Herzog, in Archaeology, March/April 2011

  22. #22
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    My plan is to keep working (40-50 hours) while taking usually 6 credits. I am thinking that when I am within striking distance of graduating, I may quit my job and go full-time to school to wrap things up. This is the approach my wife just used for her Masters and it worked well. I'll let you know if I make it through! My degree also requires an internship so I will be forced to quit my current job at some point before graduating anyway.

    If I wasn't loving my coursework so much, this whole work + school thing would be really daunting!

    Rob

  23. #23
    I went to school full-time and worked between 20-30 hours per week. It was tough, but doable.

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