Getting a graduate degree is a worthwhile and often necessary step to moving up in your career.  However, fitting classes and classwork into your already busy schedule can be daunting. If you are working full-time and have a family or an active social life, how do you add more? Many graduate students go to school while they are currently working in an existing career. The key is organization and some help from friends, family, and your employer.

1. Decide how long you want to spend in school.

School can be completed quickly or over a period of time. You can decide how quickly you want your graduate degree, and make decisions based on your schedule. If you want to get done in a year, you will likely have to give up most of your other activities and go to school full-time year-round. If you have plenty of time to complete school, you can take one class per semester until you are done. Most people find a compromise somewhere in between these two extremes and take two classes a semester while working.

2. Find out where help is available.

Working and going to school means a lot of your schedule is filled. You might need to rely on other people to help you out with babysitting, house cleaning, or even your job. You might find that your employer is willing to count your school time as work time or that your human resources department has a program for graduate students. Ask at your church, community center, school, and family gatherings for help when you need it. You don’t have to do everything yourself.

3. Take advantage of online classes.

Most graduate schools have online classes for students to help with scheduling issues. You can do the work online at your own pace in the quiet of your home. Online classes give students the opportunity to work when they have time, even if that is late at night or early in the morning.

4. Look for programs to work with a mentor.

Graduate schools often have excellent programs pairing students with mentors in their area of expertise. A mentor can help you prioritize your schedule and help you discover which of your goals can be put on hold until your schooling is completed.

Make advancements in your career in the new year with Georgia College’s online graduate programs. Learn more about the benefits of our online degrees here and make your next move.