If you’re reading this blog, you might be enrolled in a postgraduate course already, you might be thinking of applying for a postgraduate course, or you might be in the process of doing so right now. If you’ve been out of school for a while, you might be wondering whether it's too late to start a postgraduate course or whether you are too old.
Although the thought can be quite scary and intimidating, it's never too late to follow your dreams and achieve your academic goals. You may be wondering if it’s worth the time, energy, and money. You may not want to take out loans and/or go into debt. You may wonder what you’ll actually get out of it, or whether you’re prepared or able to do the work. These are all normal questions, and the answers can be highly personal and variable.
The cost for postgraduate courses can vary widely, depending on the University and whether you attend classes online or in-person. It can also depend on whether you take classes part-time or full-time. Our advice is to do your research. Look at the schools you’re considering online and get in touch with the University's Finance Department and/or Student Life Advisors. They can give you advice on funding, loans, and other options available for making payments. If you’re working, see if your employer has any tuition reimbursement programs. Look online for scholarship and fellowship opportunities and reach out via email to any supervisors you are thinking of working with to see if they can often point you in the right direction.
Juggling Postgraduate School and Life's other Obligations
You might be wondering how you’ll fit postgraduate school into your already busy life. Well, the short answer is, if you want to, you will. Balancing responsibilities, along with improving your time management and organisational skills will all be required for a smooth ride through your postgraduate course. Planning ahead to schedule things such as childcare, work, and family obligations is crucial. Really, it is just like taking on a second job. Speak with a students in the programme you’re considering to get an idea of the work and time commitment. Alternatively, reach out to potential supervisors and ask them about the expectations of full-time vs part-time work. Hopefully, the information you receive will give you a better idea of whether you can (and want) to apply go ahead with the course.
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You may be wondering if you’re ready for graduate school, especially if you’ve been out of school for a while. If you’re especially worried, speak with the admissions counselors, or better yet, with professors or students in the programme you want to enter. Try to get ahold of a syllabus or postgraduate handbook to see the requirements ahead of time. If you know you have specific areas that are challenging to you, like writing or math, get some workbooks and start brushing up on your skills to prepare. Check out the university's tutoring center or writing center and see what they offer, like study skills groups or individual tutoring. There are lots of resources available for postgraduate students, including Thesis Editor!
Here at Thesis Editor, we’ve worked with hundreds of non-traditional graduate students who have returned to school after a long break. It can be an adjustment and can take time to find your groove, but it is 100% doable. If you find yourself stumbling, we offer a range of services, including tutoring, consultations, data analysis, editing, and formatting, to assist you. Contact us today to learn more!