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Part Time Education in India

Flexible hours of studying and professional development without leaving your current job can bring in added advantage for opting part time study programs. The education is available at every stage; you can chose to go for a certificate programme, diploma, degrees like bachelor and master, doctorate or post doctoral. Part Time programmes are considered same as full time programme, however admission requirements are different. For example to enroll for a part time programme you may need to produce certificate of experience from your current employer. These programmes are mainly designed to accelerate education of working class people and give add on professional training to students enrolled in a full time programme. However, you may also find many courses for example short term certificate programmes not requiring experience certificate for enrollment.

Many students start early work life due to various reasons. It's challenging to balance work and full time school at the same time. And its much of a trouble if work time coincides with school hours. Availability of full night classes is still a dream only. Part Time programmes are often delivered late in the evening or early morning and over the weekends so as to suit the needs of working class people. While working and studying together over couple of years you learn managing your time well; eventually you use every second available to meet the part time course and work requirement. For the initial few days you may feel exhausted owing to busy schedules but surprisingly very soon you will realize how much time you were wasting for nothing. Even you will easily find time for play and fun despite classes over weekend too.

In reality, part time courses are blessings to those who pursue a full time course or full time job. An additional certificate means one more line for your Curriculum Vitae and the next interviewer will be happy to meet you. Always go for a part time course that is employable in the future, enhances your skills and expand your reach to industry.

What does part time education means?

Part time education / part time study programme or part time course means spending a few hours per week on your course of study, say, approximately 20 to 30 hours.  Sometimes part time classes are conducted at night or weekends to make up for those who work full-time.  There is no dearth of courses; both technical and non technical qualifications are offered by different institutes, colleges university departments.

Part-time study is the perfect solution if you wish to continue working, but it should be kept in mind that not all part-time courses are scheduled to be taken in the evenings or on fixed time, normal weekdays. More and more, universities are planning that they need to provide for their learners' specific need for career or family. For a number of courses, however, for example those offering a wide range of possible sections, it may not be possible to schedule the course in this way.

Why part time studies?

The greatest benefits of taking part time studies is being able to manage your studies with your work or family commitments. Part time study provides the flexibility to balance the two sides of life, and gives the financial benefits of being able to continue working and besides earning to fund your studies. Some of the major benefits are:
  1. If you want to change your career or increase your job prospects.
  2. You can customise your degree to match your career aspirations by choosing from a wide range of course modules.
  3. You can continue working to help finance your degree.
  4. Your existing career can be enhanced through your studies.
  5. If full time study is unavailable to you for any reason.
  6. You can earn professional qualifications while you're working en route for some of degree.
  7. You’ll have a lot of opportunities to build up the skills for better job prospects.

Choosing a mode that suits you

More and more universities are now offering courses other than full time on campus. It is important that before you decide on a course give attention to whether an alternative study mode might suit you better. By choosing a study mode means whether you will select full time or part time, on or off campus. Other study modes may be more lucrative for various reasons, including:
  1. A need to work to earn an income and/or
  2. Other career or family responsibilities.
  3. Disability;
  4. Part time versus full time mode
Part time study means that every semester you study lesser units in comparison to full time course load. You can add to the number of units you study and make up to full time as you get more settled in to the university life. You can also cut down on the number of units you study for a semester or longer if required.

Some students find it difficult to manage full time courses and have to cut down their number of subjects during the academic year. Making such change after starting can be frustrating, costly and discouraging. Where there may be a chance that full time study will not be feasible for you, we strongly suggest that you consider starting with part time study. This way you have the option of increasing your subjects later and avoid starting your career with a negative signal.

Advantages of Part Time Courses

You may wish to combine academic study with work or other commitments, and so take longer to finish your degree.

If you are studying a professionally related degree, it might be to your advantage to combine work and study; experiences gained in your professional life will add depth and relevance to your academic development. Some taught programmes, particularly the professionally oriented ones, are only available by part time study.

Disadvantages of Part Time Courses

Social Isolation

One of the major drawbacks of being a part-time student is missing out on social contact with other learners. This can include individual benefits, such as making new friends, as well as skilled ones, such as making new contacts with other students and teachers in your field.

Busy lifestyle

Part-time students are often forced to juggle their class schedule with another, full-time commitment, such as a job. This can make for an extremely packed schedule, leaving little time for a social life. Unless the student is extremely focused, it can limit his effectiveness at both studying and his other activity.

Degree

According to a survey conducted by the National Centre for Education Statistics that examined part-time undergraduates, part-time students are less likely to graduate than full-time students. Among full-time students, only 28 percent had dropped out without a degree or certificate in comparison to the 73% part-time students.

Duration to Graduate

It will always take longer for a part-time student to graduate than for a full-time student to complete the same course load. For example, if a full-time student takes four classes a semester and graduates in four years, it will take a part-time student taking half as many classes eight years. This can result in a delay in the career advancement that a degree confers on its recipient.

Tax benefits

The Department of Income Tax allows students to deduct most educational expenses from their income tax payments. However, while full time students are assured such deductions, part time students may face certain  difficulties in deductions. For example, if your tuition is being reimbursed by your employer, the classes may be considered a form of income and be taxed as such. Your tax consultant is the best authority to suggest you about deductions.

Limited Options

Not all programs accept part time students. This is particularly true if a course require lab hours. Therefore, part time students have a smaller pool of programs to attend, limiting their options for the type of education they can receive. However, possibilities are limitless when looking to attend a part time course.

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