One of the most frequently asked questions by applicants during an interview is: “What further training opportunities does TÜV Rheinland offer?” This is hardly surprising when you consider that the so-called VUCA world – an increasingly volatile, uncertain, complex, ambiguous environment – demands new skills from employees and managers. Those who continue their education are better equipped to deal with the ever-changing realities of their jobs.
Good reasons for further training
The motives for seeking further education vary: some want to supplement or deepen their existing knowledge. Sometimes it’s the desire for a change in profession, as you suddenly find yourself at a crossroads in your career. For me personally, it was the long-held desire to tackle the study of business psychology after all. Usually, training courses, certifications and workshops are considered first as possible further development options. Another option is part-time study.
Staying motivated during part-time studies
A part-time course of study helps students gain new qualifications and increases their own market value. Last but not least, it can give you the career boost you’ve been longing for. Nevertheless, some people shy away from this educational path because they are concerned that they will not be able to handle this additional challenge. The question, “Can I even do this?” is a valid one. Accommodating a degree program between work commitments, a busy schedule and personal life is not always easy. Nevertheless, these reasons should not speak against studying part-time. As the saying goes: where there’s a will, there’s a way.
Think about the area in which you want to expand your knowledge.
If you have found a subject area that really interests you, it will be easier to study for exams or write assignments. It also makes sense to define a clear goal as to why you want to study. You should always keep this in mind when the low-light phase in your studies comes. And yes, unfortunately, it will come. A personal goal and interest in a subject are powerful motivators that will get you back on track and help you overcome difficult phases.
Part-time studies – this is what you should prepare for
Once the decision has been made, it is important to take a close look at your personal life and consider whether and how you can strike a balance between your private and professional commitments and your studies. In any case, you should think about the following points:
The suitable study model
There are different study models. The most common are distance and “face-to-face” studies. Distance learning is particularly suitable if maximum flexibility is desired. Participation in courses or examinations can take place independent of time and location. The necessary learning materials are sent by mail or digitally. Students prepare themselves independently for submissions or exams.
If you need a set schedule and/or prefer instructors to teach the content, a face-to-face course may be better for you. Typically, instructors hold lectures during evening and weekend classes at set times. This study model offers the advantage that you will meet fellow students who will work with you through the study period.
So you need to think about what type of learner you are. Are you able to study all the content on your own or do you need support from teachers or fellow students? And which model fits your profession? Is it possible for you to attend an evening class two or three times a week after 6 p.m. or is your job only compatible with a study program that is independent of location or time?
A part-time course of study is expensive and can tear a hole in the budget. It is therefore essential to clarify the financial means in advance. Especially if not only you as a student depend on your income, but also a family or a partner.
Tuition prices vary greatly depending on the university, so compare different offers. In addition, scholarships or other public funding can help to supplement financial resources. Different requirements must be met in order to apply for these funds. Check out your options.
Ouch! While your friends are enjoying the weekend together (after Corona, of course), you’ll be sitting at your desk cramming. You should realize that many recreational activities will have to take a back seat. Sooner or later, this will suck. Nevertheless, finding time for your hobbies and loved ones won’t be the end of the world. Anything else would just be unhealthy.
My advice: Involve your friends and family. Explain to them what it means to study alongside your job. If you involve those around you in your decision and the course of your studies, they will be more understanding if you are unable to attend your upcoming birthday party.
This point should not be underestimated. Being aware of the need for discipline is easy. Maintaining it, on the other hand, is difficult. It’s easier to skip an exam and move it back. But harder when you suddenly have to re-take five of them in one semester. Therefore, if possible, keep to your schedule and don’t fall into the trap of postponing exams.
The good thing is: You decided to study because you wanted to. And that is a great motivation and perseverance factor. I had a lot of fun discovering new topics, getting to know fellow students and ultimately keeping my brain sharp through learning.
My experiences in part-time studies
I would like to say that I never regretted starting my studies. That would be a lie, because there were times when I wanted to drop out. Life situations change and suddenly the actual schedule doesn’t work anymore or the stamina simply wears off. It always helped me to talk to family, friends and colleagues and to recharge my batteries.
I recently handed in my thesis and can say that I am proud to have done so. And you know what they say… Looking back, it actually wasn’t so bad. 🙂
Franziska Scharpel is a recruiter specialized in the IT sector. From cybersecurity experts and consultants for cybersecurity services to specialists for functional safety and operational technology. Software developers and IT project managers also belong to Franziska’s target group. Every morning, the TÜV Tower, which is only two kilometres away, shines a light on the Cologne-based woman. At the same time, she studies business psychology alongside her job. As a real summer person, she is drawn to the Rhine outside in good weather with a psychological thriller book or to the garden for a barbecue with friends and family.
Giving feedback correctly in the job
Formulating salary expectations correctly