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Full or part-time: which is right for you?

10.21.2015 | By:
Now that you've decided to earn your master's degree in professional counseling, let us help you choose between being a full-time or part-time student.

Congratulations on your decision to earn your professional counseling master’s degree! Getting your degree will be hard work, but it will be worth it in the end. But before you get to academic success, you need to decide whether you would like to be a full-time or part-time student.

There are pros for being a full-time student and pros to being part-time. And, of course, both have their negatives. Which is right for you depends on:

Your Work

Do you plan on working while you study for your professional counseling master’s degree? Being a full-time student doesn’t mean that you can’t work as well, but you will need to know how much you can handle.

Working full-time and going to school full-time means that your plate will be extremely full while working part-time and going to school part-time could mean going to school longer while making less money.

Your Personal Responsibilities

You are more than your career, which means that your responsibilities outside of the classroom should be a priority. Children, partners, volunteer work and health are all things you will need to balance outside of school and work.

If you feel that you will be missing important moments with your family or time spent doing things you love, you may consider being a part-time student. However, if you plan on having a family in the near future or starting a new personal project, now may be the right time to focus on school and be a full-time student.

Your Timeline

Did you plan on starting a practice by a certain age? Taking time off to focus on your children? Moving to another state in a few years The personal goals you have for yourself may be a big factor in whether you pick full-time or part-time.

Your Finances

Finances come into play with most big life decisions, and the decision to go back to school is one of them. A part-time class schedule could mean that you have more time to earn money as you earn your degree. But because you typically earn your degree more quickly as a full-time student, choosing to go to school full-time would help you make the salary you’re after in less time.

Your Student Benefits

Some student jobs, scholarships and opportunities are only open to full-time students. Be sure you research these items before making a decision on which school or program to choose.

How Involved You Want to Be

Full-time master’s students typically get the full experience. They are on campus more to speak with professors and other students, they are able to attend evening events and lectures and they don’t have to constantly switch their focus to a full-time job while being a full-time student… typically. If you’re hoping to do the requirements to earn your professional counseling master’s degree but aren’t interested in things like extracurriculars or time at the library, part-time may be a better fit.

Taking a good look at your schedule and responsibilities can sometimes help you make an obvious decision. But if you’re still having trouble figuring out which path is right for you or have questions about our professional counseling master’s degree, reach out to one of our admissions counselors today.