A Dean College student learning about their options regarding continuing their education while they're working full time.

Working adults who attend college classes, often referred to as non-traditional students, usually need to juggle and coordinate a full-time job with going to school. Unlike traditional students, they are independent, have bills to pay, and often have families to support – thus, they need to put food on the table and a roof overhead. As a result, they can’t quit work in order to solely focus on their studies. Instead, they must find the best way to take care of both at the same time. While this sounds like a difficult undertaking, it really doesn’t have to be, as long as you have the right support network in place and the flexibility needed to coordinate your new schedule. In addition, there are numerous advantages to working while attending school. So, let’s explore some of those, as well as look into how to find a program that truly suits your needs and is a good fit for your lifestyle.

Choosing the Best Program

Finding a school with the best possible program for your needs is the first thing that you need to do in order to successfully work and complete your higher education. Think about what that school offers to adult learners. Are there online courses? Do they have blended options with shortened quarters that feature classes which take place both online and in person (albeit briefly)? Does the school offer rolling admissions, so you can apply and get started as soon as possible, rather than having to wait for a new semester to begin? After all, for adult students, time is of the essence.

Dean College, with its School of Continuing Studies, offers all of those things and more. Adult students have their choice of degree programs (both associate’s and bachelor’s), as well as certificate programs that can be completed in less than a year. Everything is extremely flexible, and the course offerings are tailored to non-traditional students who want to change careers or move ahead in their current field. The key is finding a school that values adult learners and their schedules in this manner. 

Having a Support System in Place

In addition, if you genuinely want to balance working while attending school with a degree of poise, you need to have a good support system in place. Not only do your friends, roommates, and family members need to be on board, because you’ll need them to take on chores and tasks that you simply can’t handle, but your employer must be supportive as well. Why? Because you may have to complete online classes during your lunch break. You might also come across assignments that coincide with your current job, allowing you to use your new knowledge in the workplace. 

Advantages of Working and Attending School

Luckily, there are a number of advantages to working full-time while completing your higher education. Employers like to see employees who can balance both successfully, because it shows that they are multi-taskers with a true drive to succeed. It’s a huge advantage! Plus, you’ll have the opportunity to cultivate important connections in the field, because your classmates and professors may have important industry contacts who work for the companies that may want to hire you. These types of connections can prove invaluable and help you down the road as you begin building your future career.