Tips for Adult Students

Tips for Going Back to Education as a Working Adult

Whether it is to widen their range of skills or to specialize on a subject, or to get promoted, more and more professionals go back to studying.

Tips for Going Back to Education as a Working Adult

Whether it is to widen their range of skills or to specialize on a subject, or to get promoted, more and more professionals go back to studying.

Merve Özcaner - SEE Team

July 10, 2020

However, for many working adults the decision to go back to education brings up various issues. After years of professional life, going back to studying might be a challenge to some, and the transition is not always smooth. So, we have gathered some tips to help you make your life easier before and during your studies as a working adult.

Before Your Studies

·      Talk to your manager 

Get advice from your manager about how continuing education as a professional can contribute to the success of the company. Your supervisor and manager could be more supportive than you had imagined. Another benefit of talking to your manager is that you might find out your company offers tuition assistance or other flexible working options. It is also essential to stay in touch with your manager during your studies. Let them know about the classes you take and what kind of positive impact these classes might have in your job.

·      Consult to your colleagues who have continued education

If you have colleagues who have already took this path, talking to them might give you a better picture of what to expect and what to avoid.

·      Choose your study program carefully

For working adults or mature students, online degrees offer an incredible amount of flexibility. Thanks to online learning, you can study wherever and whenever you want. Studying online does not only develop you professionally, but it can also be a helpful mental stimulation. Learning new things in a new platform is kind of a break from repetitive tasks and work, as well as a mental exercise in different ways of thinking. Depending on your goals, either our Master of Science or Certificate of Advanced Studies programs are created for this exact reason. Whether you are looking for academic advancement or professional acknowledgement in solar energy industry, you will surely find a program that suits your needs among our options.

·       Prepare a time management plan

When organizing your study schedule, make use of your experience as a working adult. In your professional life, you have probably already been doing detailed planning for projects, deadlines, and assignments; carry this organizational skill to your student life. Most professional adults have busy lives as it is; therefore, it is important to plan beforehand. For the most efficient learning experience, set specific hours of the day or certain days of the week.

Juggling professional life and further education requires planning. Image by PICHA Stock from Pexels

During Your Studies

·       Take it seriously

Once you have started studying again, it might be hard to remember what it was like to be a student. Colorado State University advises students to take some time to adjust and not panic if they cannot instantly get into student mindset. However, this does not mean you should take studying lightly or take too long for adjustment. Experience in professional life can cause thinking that studying is a bit self-indulgent, or less important than “real” work. If you tend to think that remember you invested your time and money into studying. Rethink your reasons to go back to education in the first place. These reminders should motivate you.

·       Do not let your schoolwork outweigh your job

While your company and manager might be supportive, you are still expected to be productive on your job. Remember to balance your professional responsibilities and academic ones. For instance, do not try to squeeze in schoolwork during your task at hand at work. 

·       Involve your family

Going back to school as a full-time working adult is not easy —especially since most professionals have work and family commitments as well as social life. So, let your partner and children know what you do for your studies; it might be helpful to redistribute some of your chores at home for the duration of your study or during adjustment phase. Also, share your enthusiasm and your purpose for studying. Your family should know the sacrifices they need to make for a short while, as well as the benefits you will get as a family in the long run.

·       Form a study group

Forming a study group is especially convenient if you are enrolled in an online program. You can have online meetings with other students to discuss topics and assignments at the comfort of your home. Moreover, surrounding yourself with people who have the same goal and possibly similar difficulties as a working adult is very helpful.

·       Align your schoolwork with your career work

A continuing education program should give you enough flexibility as well as enough opportunities to handle work-related projects, or problems with the subject you are learning. Any presentation you prepare, any independent research you conduct during your study might become valuable resources in your field of work. This combination and alignment might even open new doors for further job opportunities.

Set aside certain times for schoolwork and meetings. Image by Gustavo Fring from Pexels

Considering these tips, have a look at the programs we offer at our home page. Both the MSc. and Certificate of Advanced Studies (CAS) are online and entirely taught in English. In both programs, you can study at your own pace without disrupting work or family life. Whether you are looking for a new career path or already have a busy professional schedule; our programs shape around you.

With the CAS, you can specialize in a topic in solar energy to consolidate your expertise and enhance your career opportunities. You earn a joint degree from two prestigious institutions: The University of Freiburg and the Fraunhofer ISE. Some of the topics in subject-specific CAS range from Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics, Photovoltaics and The Renewable Energy Grid to Solar Thermal Energy Technology. Get further information and details from our homepage.


Smith, Jacquelyn. “12 Tips for Professionals Who Want to Go Back to School.” Forbes. 14 Aug. 2013. Accessed on 10 July 2020.

Colorado State University Online. “Re-adjusting to Academic Life: Study Tips for Adults Returning to Collage”. 23 July 2013. Accessed on 10 July 2020.