One of the major considerations when deciding to go back to school to complete a Bachelor’s degree or earn a Master’s degree is whether our busy lives can accommodate the rigor of school work. Will I have time to complete school work? How do I keep my job and go to school? Will I have the support I need to be successful?
In this video, Zachary Lewis, Academic Support and Internship Coordinator and a graduate student in the online MS Cybersecurity program, describes how he was able to balance completing his graduate program, his work and his life.
Video Transcript: How do I balance School and Work?
Dr. Norrie: Welcome back to UCTV. We are here with another afternoon edition and a repeat guest. Zachary, you've been on the program before in your role, really, as a staff member at Utica College. But I wanted to pick your brain today for our viewers around being a student in our graduate programs. One of the things that often I'm asked is, "Boy, can I handle a family life and work life and a graduate program all at the same time?" Our viewers are probably considering that in looking at our graduate programs. What would you say to somebody looking at that decision?
Zachary Lewis: My answer is yes, it is possible to juggle family life, working full-time, and going to school full-time essentially. In our Master's program, the course formats are eight-week online courses, which, I'm not going to lie, those are intense courses.
Dr. Norrie: Right.
Zachary Lewis: Essentially, I'm doing work almost every day, to be completely honest.
Dr. Norrie: And that would be a normal expectation in a graduate program, is that you need to keep up with this workload, right?
Zachary Lewis: Correct. One of my daily tasks is to contribute to discussion posts daily. Working on that paper in a three-day time span, I do work every day on that paper, or a lab assignment, or whatever assignment we're tasked with that week.
Dr. Norrie: So over the life of your program, because you're getting ready to graduate, you'll be graduating pretty soon, I think this December...
Zachary Lewis: Correct.
Dr. Norrie: ...what would be the total time, roughly, in a week you think would be required on average to take a single graduate course?
Zachary Lewis: In a week's worth of time, I spend anywhere from 10 to 12 hours on my course work.
Dr. Norrie: Okay, but you can, of course, choose when and how you do that.
Zachary Lewis: Correct. It's in a completely online format. You can fit in your course work throughout the activities of your life.
Dr. Norrie: Great. And how do you make sure you get the support you need from our faculty members?
Zachary Lewis: I have communicated with my faculty members or professors via UC email, through our Engage course shells, and have scheduled outside phone calls with them. So there are many avenues in which you can communicate with your professors or teaching assistants to get help from them.
Dr. Norrie: So what's the one piece of advice you would give students out there who are thinking about our programs at UC? What would you tell them?
Zachary Lewis: Utica College is the place to be to obtain a cybersecurity education. With our government stamps of approval and our multiple designations, we are the gold standard for cybersecurity education.
Dr. Norrie: Great. Well, thanks very much for being here today, Zach. I appreciate it.
Zachary Lewis: Thank you.
Dr. Norrie: For those of you out there looking for more information, you can find all the information you need about our wide range of contemporary, market-leading programs. Thanks for joining us.