I’m looking for some advice from people who have undertaken post graduate study when they have young children, with a view to mapping out a career change.
I left work after DC1 and have been out now for about 5 years. I don’t want to go back into my previous field as the hours and expectations are too demanding and it’s not compatible with family life for us. I’m instead looking for a career that will last me for the next 30 years and thinking where to begin.
I have a couple of ideas about fields which may be of interest (they’re very specific so I won’t say as it will be quite identifiable), but am considering starting this journey with a Masters at a very highly regarded university. I already have extensive personal experience in the field I’m interested in so I wouldn’t be starting from scratch, my undergrad is also relevant in some ways although it was 20y ago!
I expect I would have to do a PT MA, with recommended amount of 30h study per week. I will have one DC at school FT and one will be at preschool (5 mornings + 3 afternoons). The idea of post graduate study appeals to me because I can manage my own workload around family commitments and not have to return to work set hours (I’m not ready to do this yet). I also think it would be a good platform from which to start a new job in a couple of years time but I may be being rather idealistic??
I have a couple of questions for anyone who has done something similar:
1) Is it really possible to manage 2 young children, a marriage and a PT MA? What is the study - life balance like? Would I be nuts for thinking that a FT one (60h Per week) might be achievable?
2) If you used a Masters to transition into a new field, how easy did you find it to get a job at the end of it? What entry level did you go into, bearing in mind that I was quite senior in my previous field and there are a lot of transferable skills... it’s the content I would be changing.
3) Should I be thinking about any other academic options to achieve my goal or am I mad to give up a comfortable life at home for work again?
To answer 1) yes PT would be doable, FT not so much 2) I think this depends on the field 3) what is the goal exactly? I think you need to add a bit more information. I think the answer for a lot of life's problems is well paid part-time work.
Thanks for the reply, a bit more information in answer to your questions:
2) It’s a combination of policy / healthcare type field with a view to moving into a strategy type role, ideally in think tank / policy institute etc rather than in the community
3) My ultimate goal is to change industry from FS into another sector that I can work in for the next 20-30 years. Ideally I would like it to yield a role that is exactly what you say - well paid work that can be flexed to full or part time as required. I’d like it to be something meaningful that makes a difference, also something that is not a fad. Everyone seems to be a fitness instructor of some sort at the moment and I do wonder where that would take you in ten years time! I don’t even know how realistic this is for the field of work yet, but I do have some meetings set up with people more familiar to talk about it.
Time-wise I don't see an issue, if you are quite self-disciplined and hit that computer desk once the children are out of the way.
The rest is totally dependent on the sector and available jobs within it- I can't comment on that as the extent to which Masters help you get new jobs is totally different depending on which one and whether in general there are jobs in that area/sector (in your geographic area as well).
Yes completely do-able...I did my MSc whilst pregnant/first 2 years of baby's life...it was hard, but she enjoyed being read to sleep with some random articles every so often!! You do have to be strict with yourself, but you can do it
I did a full time MBA at a good school. It was a long time ago. DCs were 6 months and 2 years when I started. I was also taking in typing to make a bit of money. It was a very full on year but I managed by being organised, having good childcare and a cleaner, and hitting the books as soon as they were in bed. I'd had some practice because I had done an Open University degree before that.
Hi again op! PT is definitely doable I’m probably do 15 - 20 hours per week on average and getting decent marks. I looking for strategy role either third or public sector after I complete this and both dc are in full time education. I’ve found York absolutely fantastic much more support than I got at an undergraduate level. Any questions feel free to pm
I did my MSc two years ago and have really struggled to find jobs in the field. I have seen ONE job locally in the last 5 years but it was full time and I’m a carer so can’t manage that. However, what I have gone for I have been fairly successful as I can demonstrate a high level of working, etc. I don’t regret it but I would think carefully about what jobs are available in your area.