Thursday, December 7, 2006

Full Time Vs Part Time Learning

This was the dilemma I faced, when I started thinking about my masters’ degree and I am sure many of you guys will also go through the same ordeal. Each has its plusses as well as minuses. And the particular choice that one eventually takes up is governed by many other societal, economic factors.

Let me start with part time courses. These are a great way to update one’s skill set without adversely affecting the current job or their responsibilities. The biggest advantage in learning through this type of program is that one is able to apply the lessons learnt to real world problems. Then there is the financial aspect. Most of the big companies reimburse either full or part of the total expenditure. This works as a win-win situation for both the employer as well as the employee. But there is a catch 22 situation here. The companies provide these facilities for someone who has been committed to them for a long time, which more or less rules out most of the candidates who have further studies as their career plan! Then there is the seriousness of the degree. Generally, a student opting for a part time course will not be hell bent on scoring top grades and he/she always excuse themselves for not completing an assignment or not getting the grades. Also, most of the colleges don’t offer the same quality of education, which result in job offerings that are not as exciting or lucrative.

A full time program on the other hand gives one a comprehensive experience. They get the best in terms of college life, networking, internships and placements. Since, the student will be working full time; his focus is less likely to get devoured. This is a very good option for someone wanting to change his line of work or wanting a break from his usual chores. But, for going in full time one needs careful planning and clear cut career aspirations. He should be healthy financially, as he would have to jeopardize his existing job in pursuit of his dream.

Some institutes have also started operating another kind of program wherein a student who opted for part time program, changes to full time on getting a scholarship and the like. Some online degrees do provide the quality of full time programs at the cost and convenience of a part time program.

All said and done, one really can’t vote on either one with conviction. What program suits an aspirant best is a personal choice one has to take considering the above factors. What do you guyds think?


Anonymous said...

I totally agree with you. I also went through the same dilemma. I didn't want to leave the job and do my masters as I needed to run the family and at the same time I wanted to update my skils. I opted for part time study and finished my masters in 2 years.

Dr Ashok Dhamija said...

No two persons are alike. So, naturally the choice depends on the person concerned. Let the people have the freedom to select the course they want.

Rahul Prasad B said...

@Dr Ashok

Very true. What I tried to do was make a fair assessment of both the programs. Thanks for your input.

Nishant Ratnakar said...

Part time courses as tie up with Employers is nothing but a retention plan of the companies. They do not want to lose out on the invenstments they make on a new hire and their point is valid.

I do agree with the fact that full-time courses give a plethora of oppurtunities for networking and a learning which is free of pressures from you daily cubicle based jobs.

Whatever the medium you chose to learn it all finally depends on your desire and eagerness to learn something.

It may be off-topic but i still believe that the Indian youth answer only one question i.e, "what you want to study?". "why you want to study something?" is a question which very few people answer before chosing a career paths. I believe there is an inherent flaw in indian education/value system. Whatever course one does (both fulltime and part time) the system tries (successfully) to prepare everyone to a mindset where everyone tries to seek jobs. There is no emphasis on entrepreneurism at all. And thats the reason why concept of "job security" creeps in everytime one tries to take a decision with respect to his career, higher studies and ambition. We often get to hear that "my son got places in xyz,abc,efg,hij companies with so and so packages". But when will we see a day where people wil say "my son created jobs for 100 people. he started xyz company".