Can I take night MBA classes while working?

It is always tricky to balance work and school. There can be a real conflict of priorities when deciding between earning your MBA and earning a living. To make this decision easier, many universities have begun offering more options to make earning an MBA more convenient for the working professional. The increasing popularity of online and part-time MBA programs can enable you to find a program that suits your needs while maintaining your professional standing and personal or family obligations.

MBA programs designed for working professionals

As a working professional, you might be most interested in online MBA programs. Online MBAs give you the freedom to complete coursework at your own pace. Since classes do not meet on campus, you will not have to devote time to commuting back and forth. The time that you would have spent traveling and sitting in class can then be dedicated to finding employment, finding internships or further developing your professional career. You will also be able to finish your assignments at your own pace. The time you would have spent on campus can be used to concentrate on homework and studying.

Studying part time is also an option for working professionals. Part-time MBA programs leave business hours open for your professional obligations, with classes meeting in the evenings and on weekends. Programs such as the part-time MBA from the University of Wisconsin’s School of Business make it possible for you to earn your degree entirely through evening classes. This means that you will be able to maintain a full-time work schedule while completing your degree.

Most part-time MBA programs hold classes throughout the year, so you can also work toward finishing your degree when regular classes are not in session. Taking advantage of the periods between semesters can drastically shorten the length of your degree. Conversely, the lighter course load could extend your degree program by months or even years.

Pros and cons of taking night classes

Taking night classes has some distinct advantages for both students who do not work and students who have a job. If you are unemployed, you will have all day to work on your assignments. It will be possible for you to finish your work right before class meets so that the information is still fresh in your mind. If you are working, you will have regular business hours to devote to your job. You will not have to worry about putting your career goals on hold while you earn your degree. In fact, you might be able to contribute more to class discussion using the events of that workday. Night classes would be ideal for someone who is interested in the flexibility of an online program but apprehensive about losing valuable face time with professors and classmates.

There are some qualities of night classes that you might find problematic. It can be taxing to get to class directly after work, and the evening commute could make you late. Whether or not you are working, you might find the transition from day to night classes tricky to navigate. After a long workday you might find it difficult to concentrate in class or even stay awake. Maintaining a 9 to 5 workday and taking classes in the evening leaves little time for homework and projects. Similarly, if your job requires you to work outside of normal business hours, you will have less time to devote to professional deadlines. Without extreme dedication and resolve it is possible that both your career and academic standings will suffer.