First observed by the UN in 1996, May 15th’s International Day of Families aims to inspire reflection on family’s role in the global community, and to recognise the issues affecting families worldwide.
Raising a family or being in a partnership are fulfilling aspects of many people’s lives. Centuries of art and literature have reinforced the special place that love and family hold in our human needs. Families can support you through all of life’s joys and challenges, and warrant great responsibility, even great sacrifice.
Some sacrifices - cheaper holidays, or a safer neighbourhood - are small. But sacrificing an education that could improve your career or job satisfaction is a more significant life choice. If your career and education has been on your mind, it’s worth exploring your options and taking an honest look at the benefits.
Uncover your “why”
Consider your reasons for earning a new degree. A higher-paying position? Maybe you envision a complete career change, or plan to study a subject that wasn’t available before.
If family is at the heart of your consideration, then your priorities are already sound. A pay rise could mean some upgrades to your home, or the start of a college fund for your child. A career change can improve job satisfaction, which could ease your stress levels even outside of working hours.
If age is deterring you from formal studying, take comfort in the fact that ever more students over the age of 21 are earning degrees. The Universities and Colleges Admissions Services (UCAS) states that over 40% of mature students are over 30 years old, and have likely been out of formal education for more than a few years.
If you’ve found that tuition fees were too costly, online degree programmes tend to be much more affordable than courses taught on a university campus. The variety of available study options for online learning, from part-time to full-time, allows students to maintain careers while earning a degree.
Survival of the fittest
Competition for better pay and senior roles within a company is stiff. Does it feel as if more and more of your competitors have growing lists of titles and accomplishments attached to their surnames?
As competition for the best positions heats up, career fields are constantly evolving. Even if you previously studied a technical degree, you need to keep up-to-date on emerging topics in your field. What worked in the mobile phone development industry in 2009 may not be best practice in 2019, and the field of nanotechnology likely looks vastly different today than it did just a couple of years ago.
To remain relevant in your field, continued professional development and further education is necessary. This could take the form of workshops, conferences, or earning a degree. That additional diploma signals to employers and colleagues that you are invested and willing to go the extra mile to stay in your field.
If you already hold a senior or managerial position, putting in the hours and effort to career development makes you more credible, and may even motivate your colleagues to seek professional development opportunities.
Balance your books—and family
Time is the most precious resource we have, especially when it comes to family. While adding a new item to the priority list may feel impossible, it can help you schedule your time more effectively.
Including your children, partner, or other family members in the decision to pursue an online degree allows everyone be heard, and air their expectations. Communicating everyone’s needs before making the final decision will ensure a smoother transition into a new schedule.
If you have children at home, changes to the distribution of household duties based around your studies can be a great vehicle for teaching responsibility. Sharing the household duties may allow you more time to study. Supporting one another and keeping an open line of communication will make the transition smoother, and the overall experience more fulfilling.
Leading by example
What future do you envision for your loved ones? If you want your children to take their education seriously, and maybe even pursue a postgraduate degree of their own, earning a degree yourself will prove that education is important and attainable.
Multiple studies, including one published by University of California in 2015, show that children even as young as kindergarten-age are more successful in their classes when their parents are better educated, and if the parents believe their child is bound for higher education. Watching you finish readings and conducting research can inspire your children to do their own school work, and normalise education in the home.
Before making any final decisions, explore your options—you can study a bachelor’s or master’s programme online in almost any discipline. Start with reading about LSBF’s Global MBA, MA Finance and Investment, Dual MA and MSc Finance and Investment or Dual MA and MSc Strategic Marketing programmes.
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