Best of Both Worlds: the Part-Time Master Program

Part-Time Master Program

Part-time programs are scarce in Germany. And yet, part-time Master programs are an excellent way of boosting your career.

In the working world, part-time models are no longer a novelty. However, in education, they are; according to an analyses conducted by the CHE Center for Higher Education, only one in ten academic program may be completed on a part-time basis.

This represents a problem as more and more people expect to be able to not just organize their everyday working life in a flexible manner but also their education. There is also an increasing number of people for whom university-level education only becomes an option with flexible models: the dynamic achievers.

Their proportion has increased even more following the Bologna Reform, i.e. the transition to Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees. Graduating from secondary school after twelve years, they have already entered university at by 18 and, in many cases, just like in the U.S. and other Anglo-Saxon countries, look for their first professional challenge after completing their Bachelor’s degree. Following that, the dynamic achievers then wish to continue their academic paths with an M.Sc. or MBA. A growing number of them would like to connect it to their job or starting their own business and are therefore looking for outstanding, highly international part-time offers which include a term abroad as well.
“Germany has a very small university-level offer combining academic standards with the necessary practical relation,” says Prof. Dr. Andreas Pinkwart, Dean of HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management.

Bridging the Gap With Regards to the Bologna Reform

HHL is one of only a few universities offering such part-time M.Sc. and MBA programs. “We contribute to bridging the large nationwide gap which still exists with regard to the Bologna Reform,” says Pinkwart. Depending on the workload on the job, the part-time Master in Management program may be completed in 24 to 30 months. The academic content is taught during course weekends, which take place once a month in Leipzig or Cologne, and two residential weeks per year on the HHL campus in Leipzig. This structure is perfectly tailored to the needs of employees and allows students to continue to work – while boosting their careers.

Sandra Osygus - part-time MSc“Immediately after graduating, I started in a whole new position in my company,” says Sandra Osygus. “I now have a job with much greater responsibility and challenging tasks.” The 25-year-old advanced to Project Executive in Outsourcing at IBM after her part-time Master program at HHL. She had previously completed a dual studies program there. She says that it was the many current topics and the constant exchange with her classmates that helped her.

Expanding One’s Horizon

 When completing a part-time Master program, you meet people from various companies, which contribute through their different perspectives and ideas. That expands your horizon. The students of the part-time Master programs at HHL have an average of 2.5 years of professional experience. They can apply the things they have learned directly to their everyday working life.

The double burden of studying and working can be very stressful. However, for most graduates this is a valuable experience because completing a part-time program not only promotes their professional but also their personal development. “The part-time program requires a lot of discipline,” says Sandra Osygus. “The numerous group projects helped to advance my communication and teamwork skills. Thanks to my term abroad in Asia, I was able to increase my intercultural competency. All of this greatly contributed to my personal development.”

A part-time Master allows graduates not to have to decide between their job and continuing to study after they have obtained their Bachelor’s degree. It also serves as a career stepping stone. Despite all these facts, there is only a limited number of respective programs on offer right now. The CHE Center for Higher Education as well as Stifterverband für die Deutsche Wissenschaft (Founders’ Association of German Science) call for an expansion of the offer of part-time programs. The number of part-time students has been increasing for years. “The proportion of part-time students should be increased; everything points to a demand which is not sufficiently met currently,” states the CHE analyses. In this context, HHL is setting a good example.

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