Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Working mothers contemplating new studies

As I am contemplating to start studying again next year, this guest post had some valuable points to consider, especially when you are a working mother.


Moms are always looking to go back to school. [Or some of us...]

However, most of us also have either part-time or full-time jobs that they need to keep in order to support their growing families.

For what qualities should these dedicated and motivated parents search when looking for the best online degree programs?

Residency Requirements

While the term "online program" implies that all of the studies will take place over the computer, this is not always the case. Some schools will allow students to complete the majority of the program online, but they will need to attend the physical campus for a certain number of credits, specific programs or maybe even an entire semester. Parents must look into this component before enrolling. If they have a full-time job, they likely won't be able to take off for three months to go study on campus.

Class Meeting Requirements

When parents are working full-time and taking care of a household, it's best to look for programs that are as liberal and casual as possible in terms of strict time confines. Indeed, parents must complete their assignments by the date and time that they are due. However, they should look for programs that do not have online chat session meetings. For example, some classes might require that the entire group meet and chat every Monday and Wednesday night at 7. When the kids have gymnastics at 6:30 on Mondays and dance at 7:15 on Wednesdays, this arrangement does not work so well. A strict class schedule could be better for parents with older children.

Length of Study

It's unlikely that parents have the time to enroll in a program that could take them five to six years to complete, especially when they don't know what their children's schedules will be like that far down the road. The best degrees are usually the ones that take two to three years at most as that is generally in the foreseeable future for many families. Parents have somewhat of an idea of what their children's school and activities schedules will be like during that time frame.

A Beloved Discipline

Of course, one of the most important components of picking the best online degree program is for mothers to choose a path that they love. They're likely going back to school because they aren't happy with their current positions or because they want to advance themselves in their current field. Therefore, the best programs are the ones that will help parents truly accomplish their goals and to fulfill the dreams that they have had for themselves since they were children and teenagers. Furthermore, don't forget that school is stressful, and it's a lot easier to get through the day-to-day grind if you actually enjoy what you're learning about!!

The "best" online degrees are going to vary from person to person. A situation that works for one family may very well not work for another as all family dynamics are different. An MBA might be great for most people, but there will always be exceptions to the rule. Therefore, it's important for working parents to conduct research on a variety of different programs to find the one that is best suited for themselves, their families and their financial situation.

Kandi Trier writes about education, family and more. Her proudest piece is on the Top 20 Value Online MBA Programs.


  1. I was seriously contemplating this three years ago. To get my social workers degree and then specialize in child play therapy. I just can't see where I am going to get the time....and my Child Play Therapy Diploma allows me to work with children anyhow...so I decided that I would just not be able to stand the stress. Good luck to you.

  2. Good luck with that. I just completed my studies with UNISA this year. I doubt if I will ever use the papers but I am proud of myself for getting them. It does take a lot of personal sacrifice but it was worth it.

  3. I truly take my hat off to any mom who studies. I tried to get a second degree last year through UNISA and I could not cope beyond the first semester!


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