16 May 2024

Studying and working | Tips on how to combine the two

Combining studies in a master's program with a working day can be a great challenge.

In an increasingly competitive world, lifelong learning is key to professional advancement, and many choose to begin their master's studies while working part-time or full-time. Although it may seem like a daunting task, with good planning and effective strategies it is possible to achieve a balance.  

In this article we share some tips on how to combine studies and work without compromising your academic or professional performance.  

The challenges of balancing studies and work  

Before we dive into strategies for balancing both responsibilities, it is important to recognize the challenges you will face and prepare yourself mentally for them.  

Time Management  

Effective time management is essential. You will need to balance work hours, classes, self-study, projects and, of course, personal time. This can be the biggest barrier, but with proper planning, it is surmountable.  

Fatigue and Stress  

Workloads combined with academic demands and personal responsibilities can negatively affect your physical and mental health.  

Prioritize your tasks, establish a sustainable work rhythm and learn to say “no” to additional commitments that may overload you. It is important to recognize your limits and take steps to take care of your well-being.  

Personal Sacrifices  

It is inevitable that some social activities or hobbies will have to be put on hold. However, maintaining some sort of work-life-study balance is critical to your mental health.  

Tips for Combining Studies and Work  

Define clear objectives  

It is essential to be clear about why you want to pursue a master's degree while working. Are you looking to improve your skills in order to move up in your current career? Do you want to change professional areas?   

Having a clear objective will help you stay motivated during difficult times.  

Select a Suitable Master's Program  

Not all master's programs are the same. Look for those that offer flexibility, such as online, hybrid or weekend classes.   

Some institutions also offer accelerated or part-time formats tailored for working professionals.  

Planning and Organization  

Establish a Schedule  

Create a calendar where you can visualize your work and academic commitments. Use time management tools such as agendas, apps or digital calendars to keep track of your tasks and deadlines.  

Prioritize Tasks  

Determine those tasks that are most important or urgent each day and focus on them. This will help you avoid work overload and accomplish your goals more efficiently.  

Maximize Your Time  

Identify dead time during the day, such as commuting or waiting, and use it to review notes or read.  

Technologies that make it easier to combine work and studies  

Technology can be a great ally when it comes to combining studies and work. Here are some tools that can help you:  

Time Management Tools 

Apps like Trello, Asana or Todoist help you organize your tasks and projects with ease, allowing you to see at a glance what you need to do.  

Online Learning Platforms  

Many master's programs offer study materials and classes on online platforms that you can access anytime, anywhere, making it easy to access distance learning.  

Notes and Documentation Apps  

Apps like Evernote or Google Docs allow you to take notes and work on documents collaboratively, which is especially useful for group projects or when you need to study on the go.  

Combining master's studies and work is not easy, but it's not impossible either. With the right strategy, you can achieve a balance that allows you to grow both professionally and personally. Plan, organize, communicate and don't forget to take care of yourself in the process.  

To combine studies and work it is important to organize your tasks in time and not leave everything to the end, as well as to rely on colleagues who are in the same situation and value their advice” - Marta Guzmán Serra (Alumna Master in Digital Marketing) 



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