Is it Possible to Study for a Doctoral Degree or PhD Part-Time?
Being a part-time student while working a full-time job is a daunting thought for many. Time management, family-work-school balance, and financial obligations can seem overwhelming to those considering a part-time doctorate or part-time PhD. The reality is, however, that with accredited online degree programs and flexible learning opportunities at your fingertips, it’s absolutely possible to pursue a doctoral degree or PhD part-time.
With eLearning now accessible to anyone around the world, part-time doctorate programs and online PhD programs can be customized to your lifestyle. The initial decision will be whether you want to study part-time and work full-time or become a full-time student while you take on part-time work to pay the bills. If you are going to continue working full-time while you pursue your PhD online or an online DBA program, then a modular learning format is the best option. Modular learning allows students to work at their own pace and can be beneficial for working professionals as it allows you to complete each stage of your modular degree program in short bursts, rather than all at once.
The good news is that there are plenty of options for those who want to obtain an accredited degree online. In this article, we’ll explore what goes into making the decision and give you some of our top tips for success in part-time studies.
Benefits of Doing Your Doctorate or PhD Part-Time While Working
The benefits to online learning and part-time studies are endless, especially if you’re a working professional who is looking to progress your career. Of course, the biggest benefit to being a part-time student while working is that you can continue to bring in an income while you improve your career prospects and maximize your potential for higher earnings with a Doctor of Business Administration degree or a Doctor of Philosophy in Management. Once you’ve earned your DBA online or your PhD, you’ll find that different roles and exciting new avenues open up to you, whether you’re wanting to climb the corporate ladder, start your own business, or go into academics and become a lecturer at a tertiary institution. In addition to the financial benefits, pursuing a part-time doctoral degree or part-time PhD allows you to build a robust network of professionals outside of your office and stay up to date with the latest developments and knowledge in your field of expertise. With an online degree that is accredited and respected, you will be able to tailor your online learning experience to your lifestyle and gain a competitive edge in the job market while expanding your knowledge base and social circle.
What to Consider Before Starting a Part-Time PhD or Doctoral Degree
While studying a PhD or Doctorate part-time is entirely doable, there are a few things to consider before you begin.
How long do you realistically want to take?
Do you have previous qualifications or significant experience?
If you have a Master’s degree, MBA, or have completed part of your DBA or PhD, or if you have relevant work experience, your study time might be shorter as you may have the opportunity to apply for recognition of prior learning.
Do you have a strong support system?
Having a support network of family, friends, and colleagues, as well as online support for academic advice and peer-learning, will be especially important if you’re studying part-time. Buy-in from your employer is another key factor that will help you on your journey to success.
Are you willing to change some things up?
It goes without saying that balancing full-time work with online PhD or DBA studies is no easy feat. It will require dedication and discipline, as well as an ability to prioritize your time. While the flexibility of online learning makes it possible to fit studying around your lifestyle, you may need to make some sacrifices if you’re serious about completing a part-time postgraduate degree. some early mornings and weekend work may become a regular occurrence if you’re to stay on top of your studies and keep up with the workload.
The Essentials for Success in Part-Time Study
Once you’ve decided to enroll in one of EIM’s flexible degree programs, there are a few key steps you can take to ensure your success:
Win Your Employer’s Support
Completing a DBA online program or a PhD online program can be just as beneficial for your employer as it is for you. If you’re able to show them how investing in your development can lead to better business outcomes, you may be eligible for financial support, tuition reimbursement, or study and research leave. The bottom line is that scholarships for part-time study are hard to come by so having a strong buy-in from your employer is a great start to achieving your goals with their support. Be open and honest with them about your aspirations and don’t be afraid to negotiate. You’ll need to pitch the idea to them strategically but once you have their support, the sky is the limit in terms of the value you’ll add to their business
Be Committed to Building Your Network
One of the best online learning benefits is the ability to connect with other professionals in your field from across the globe. Whether you’re looking for a mentor, making industry contacts or just learning from your fellow students, the power of networking shouldn’t be underestimated. Build your network with peers, lecturers, advisors, and people who have already completed their DBA or PhD in Management and can offer invaluable advice. Your family will need to be supportive too and you should make sure that they understand the importance of achieving your goals and feel included in your success. Turning your social media accounts into worlds of inspiration is also a great way to stay motivated. Follow those who are on the same journey as you and share content to help other students. Social media doesn’t have to be all about selfies – it can be about sharing knowledge and advice and gaining insight into the most relevant topics in your discipline.
Set Realistic Goals and Rewards
Balancing your commitments can be tough so you need to give yourself achievable goals and set milestones that you can measure your progress against. Breaking your studies down into manageable chunks instead of looking at the bigger picture can help you stay focused and motivated. Build in some rewards along the way, such as a night out with friends or a weekend break, to make sure you stay on track and feel fulfilled throughout your part-time studies. Creating a study calendar using top-rated task management tools can be a great way to help you stay organized, break down tasks, and measure your progress. Using the Pomodoro Technique is also effective for managing your time and working in short, focused bursts. The Focus Tomato app is a great free tool for managing your time and staying focused while you study.
Develop a Routine
Even though you have the flexibility to take one module at a time, you still want to make sure you dedicate enough time to your studies so that you make consistent progress. If you know you’re going to take off holiday time with the family, make sure you also schedule in time for your studies so that you can continue to prioritize what’s important to you and not become overwhelmed. The Time Blocking Technique is a helpful way of planning out your day and scheduling in blocks of time for study, commute, work, family time, and leisure. It’s also important to create a dedicated study space in your home and develop healthy study habits, such as turning off social media and taking regular breaks. StayFocusd and Anti-Social are great tools to help you stay on track.
Ensure Your Dissertation Topic is in Line with Your Interests
At EIM, you have the opportunity to write your dissertation on any management-related topic in a wide range of fields including Human Resource Management, Consulting, Counseling or Training, Interim Management, Entrepreneurship, Change Management, Leadership, or the Automotive, Tourism and Hospitality industries. Ensuring that your topic is aligned with your current work, future goals, and passions or interests will help you stay inspired and focused throughout your part-time studies. Deciding on your dissertation topic early on will also allow you to start collecting sources, interesting articles, and relevant data from the start. Evernote is a fantastic app for collecting and organizing your material and Evernote’s Web Clipper even allows you to save snapshots and snippets of webpages directly into your Evernote account. Zotero is another powerful research tool that allows you to automatically save sources into a single online library and will come in handy when you need to start compiling your bibliography.
Ready to skyrocket your success as a part-time student?
Be Prepared for a Marathon, Not a Sprint.
Part-time studies can be a great way of acquiring qualifications while continuing to work and keep up with family commitments. It can be an incredibly rewarding journey, and there are some great online learning benefits that will only work to enhance your experience. With the right resources, techniques, and tools in place, you can complete your part-time studies with greater efficiency and start enjoying the rewards of your hard work.
EIM’s DBA degree and PhD in Management are designed to provide working students with a flexible learning environment that supports their career and life commitments. Our faculty is trained in supporting full-time and part-time students in completing their dissertations and have insight into the unique requirements of part-time students who work full-time. Our expert advisors are available in the evening and on weekends so that our students can benefit from their extensive industry and academic experience, and you will also have full access to EIM’s library, writing center, and research office which are there to help you find topical literature, develop your academic writing, and enhance your research skills.
Sign up today to start your part-time degree journey and make your full-time dream a reality!