We understand trying to decide if you should start studying again – and how you’ll balance your study with the rest of your life – can be overwhelming.
Questions like will I be able to focus? What if I can’t remember how to study? What happens if I can’t cope with the workload? are all hugely valid questions. But while you should definitely consider the answers to them, make sure you’re not using these questions as blockers to your career goals.
Life just keeps getting busier. Between work, family, and friends, there’s often very little time left in the day to focus on the things we really want. The idea of somehow fitting studying into this is almost unimaginable for many. But we are confident that you CAN fit your study into the rest of your life. The Institute of Data has seen many graduates (like Ez Yiap or Supriya Maradana) successfully complete our programs while juggling all types of different commitments. We know you can do it too.
Here are our 3 best steps to successfully balancing your study with the rest of your life’s commitments.
1. Decide if part-time or full-time is better suited to your schedule
Before you even commit, it’s essential to determine the capacity in which you can study. For many students, full-time study works perfectly. If you’re in-between careers or have just graduated from school and are unsure of which direction to head in, starting full-time can be ideal. Full-time study can be fantastic if you’d like to focus on little else while you study, and it can even be suitable for parents looking to move back into the workforce.
Part-time is also an excellent option. It’s best for those who might be wanting to study to upskill their capabilities in their current role, or those who might be working a full schedule already and don’t have the opportunity (whether for financial reasons or otherwise) to leave steady employment before they’re certified.
To get an idea of what might suit you best, conduct a time audit. Take some notes about where you spend a lot of your time. What do you do with your time? Do you have a lot of spare time that could be repurposed for study?
If you’re struggling to decide between part-time or full-time, have a chat with one of our expert course advisors and get their guidance. They’ve helped hundreds of students work out how to fit studying into their lives, and are full of incredible advice.
2. Plan ahead
This one might be obvious, but that’s only because it is a genuinely life-changing piece of advice when applied properly. The key here is to be realistic with your time. Don’t schedule out days worth of studying into a timeframe that you can’t actually commit to. Each week, sit down with your calendar and see where the best times to study are in your upcoming week.
Try to avoid scheduling study blocks around big life things like birthdays, holidays, celebrations etc. When you know you’ve got an occasion coming up, increase your studying time before and after the occasion. That way you can relax and enjoy yourself, knowing you’ve done that little bit of extra studying beforehand, and have dedicated time to getting right back into it afterwards. Remember: your study is important, but so are you. So make sure you’re making time for yourself and enjoying your life!
3. Find your focus
Once you’ve decided to commit and it’s time to sit down and study, set yourself up for success. Even if you have dedicated study blocks and have worked your study in around your existing commitments, these won’t mean anything if you aren’t actually making good use of your studying time. So, get good at minimising distractions, like your phone.
This means putting your phone on silent or aeroplane mode and popping it into a drawer. If you need to be contactable at all times for whatever reason, set up your phone to allow calls or messages to come through from particular people only, excluding everyone else. That way, you know you can be reached in case of emergency, and don’t need to keep peeking at your phone to check.
Other distractions, like housemates or children, can’t be put away in a drawer. But they can be managed effectively. If you live with others, write a sign and post it up in your study area that says you’re in study mode. For those with children, a supportive spouse, friend or family member can help by distracting the little ones while you focus on expanding your learning and knowledge.
These are just three great ways to balance your study with the rest of your life. There are so many different tricks and tips available to help you successfully manage your commitments, but the most important thing to realise is that it can be done. You are very capable of achieving the career goals you want for yourself. You just need to take the first step.
As to where that first step will take you? That’s up to you. But generally speaking, after just 3 months full-time or 6 months part-time, you’ll be well on your way to building a career pathway. New and exciting prospects will open up for you in an industry that will only continue to grow and expand over the coming years.
You’ll also be jumping on the employment wave currently being experienced. There’s a massive shortage of talent in the Data Science, AI and Cyber Security fields, with job roles waiting to be filled by people just like you.
Don’t let your fears get in the way of your future. Schedule a call with a course advisor today to find out which study options would suit you best, no matter what you’ve got on in life.