Part-Time Education Proffers Flexible Learning
Flexible hours of studying and professional development without leaving your current job can bring in added advantage for opting part-time programs.
Many students work while studying due to various reasons. It can be frustrating to balance work and school, but if right cord struck there are a lot of educational options now available that can certainly help in managing it well. Actually, there are many advantages such as earning money, a new experience, and development of the organisation skills. Though, you should take into account some drawbacks, for example, the lack of time and stress.
What does part-time means?
Part-time means spending a few hours per week on your course of study. Sometimes part time classes are conducted at night or weekends to make up for those who work full-time. Many courses are available both the option of full -time and part-time.
Part-time study is the perfect solution if you wish to continue working, but it should be kept in mind that not all part-time courses are scheduled to be taken in the evenings or on fixed time, normal weekdays. More and more, universities are planning that they need to provide for their learners' specific need for career or family. For a number of courses, however, for example those offering a wide range of possible sections, it may not be possible to schedule the course in this way.
Why part-time studies?
The greatest benefit of taking part-time studies is being able to manage your studies with your work or family commitments. Part time study provides the flexibility to balance the two sides of life, and gives the financial benefits of being able to continue working and besides earning to fund your studies.
- If you want to change your career or increase your job prospects
- You can customise your degree to match your career aspirations by choosing from a wide range of modules
- You can continue working to help finance your degree
- Your existing career can be enhanced through your studies
- If full time study is unavailable to you for any reason
- You can earn professional qualifications while you're working en route for some of degree.
- You’ll have a lot of opportunities to build up the skills for better job prospects.
Choosing a mode that suits you
More and more universities are now offering courses other than full-time on campus. It is important that before you decide on a course pay attention to whether an alternative study mode might suit you better. By choosing a study mode means whether you will select full time or part-time, on or off campus. Other study modes may be more lucrative for various reasons, including:
- A need to work to earn an income and/or
- Other career or family responsibilities.
- Part-time versus full-time mode
Part-time study means that every semester you study lesser units in comparison to full-time course load. You can add to the number of units you study and make up to full time as you get more settled in to the university life. You can also cut down on the number of units you study for a semester or longer if required.
Some students find it difficult to manage full-time courses and have to cut down their number of subjects during the academic year. Making such change after starting can be frustrating, costly and discouraging. Where there may be a chance that full-time study will not be feasible for you, we strongly suggest that you consider starting with part-time study. This way you have the option of increasing your subjects later and avoid starting your uni career with a negative.
You may wish to combine academic study with work or other commitments, and so take longer to finish your degree.
If you are studying a professionally related degree, it might be to your advantage to combine work and study; experiences gained in your professional life will add depth and relevance to your academic development. Some taught programmes, particularly the professionally oriented ones, are only available by part-time study.
One of the major drawbacks of being a part-time student is missing out on social contact with other learners. This can include individual benefits, such as making new friends, as well as skilled ones, such as making new contacts with other students and teachers in your field.
Part-time students are often forced to juggle their class schedule with another, full-time commitment, such as a job. This can make for an extremely packed schedule, leaving little time for a social life. Unless the student is extremely focused, it can limit his effectiveness at both studying and his other activity.
According to a survey conducted by the National Centre for Education Statistics that examined part-time undergraduates, part-time students are less likely to graduate than full-time students. Among full-time students, only 28 percent had dropped out without a degree or certificate in comparison to the 73% part-time students.
Duration to Graduate
It will always take longer for a part-time student to graduate than for a full-time student to complete the same course load. For example, if a full-time student takes four classes a semester and graduates in four years, it will take a part-time student taking half as many classes eight years. This can result in a delay in the career advancement that a degree confers on its recipient.
The Internal Revenue Service allows students to deduct most educational expenses from their income tax payments. However, while full-time students are assured such deductions, part-time students may face more difficulty in deducting. For example, if your tuition is being reimbursed by your employer, the classes may be considered a form of income and be taxed as such.
Not all programs accept part-time students. This is particularly true among elite institutions, which often demand that students attend full time. Therefore, part-time students have a smaller pool of programs to attend, limiting their options for the type of education they can receive.
Numbers of part-time learners
Part-time students form a large proportion of the total student in higher education population. As per total student population by headcount- the number of part- time forms 33%.. The most recent report by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HESA) revealed some interesting information about the make-up of the part-time student population:
- Part-time students are more likely to be non-conventional learners and are more likely to be established both professionally and personally. For example, in 2010, 79% of students enrolled in part-time undergraduate courses were over 25years, in to contrast 13% of full-timers;
- a higher proportion of part-time students are likely to have caring responsibilities – two-thirds of part-time students have family commitments;
- One in four of these students studying at undergraduate level had no qualifications above General Certificate of Secondary Education or equivalent, or had no qualifications at all;
- the data from HESA and the Individualized learner record show that, in 2011, young students from the most limited backgrounds were twice as likely as the most privileged students to choose between part-time and full-time;
- Decrease in part-time learners will have a disproportionate effect on certain groups of students, with non-traditional learners likely to be most affected.