How to Manage Work, Family and an MBA at the Same Time

Raising a family while working is a challenge, and the idea of also attending graduate school may seem crazy. But the juggling act may be easier than you think.

The benefits of pursuing a master’s degree in business administration or health-care management are hard to ignore, when you consider the job growth opportunities and potential earning power.

Health-care administrators holding a master’s degree should benefit from double-digit job growth, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The number of jobs in medical and health-services management is expected to grow 17% in the 10 years leading up to 2024, compared with 7% growth for jobs overall, according to the bureau. (1)

According to salary survey site PayScale, employees with a master’s degree in health administration can earn as much as $73,000 as a health-care administrator, $80,000 as an executive director and $96,750 as a director of operations. The salary rises to as high as $215,000 for a hospital administrator. (2)

Meanwhile, job growth for top executives is expected to keep pace with the national average at a 6% gain by 2024, and earnings potential can reach into the six figures, according to BLS. (3)

How to make it happen

Granted, pursuing a master’s degree won’t be easy while also running a household and working, but it can be done.

You may want to consider an online program, such as the one offered by Our Lady of the Lake University, where students can earn their MBA with a specialization in healthcare management or business.

Online MBA programs allow students to work at their own pace, and to work during the day so that they can spend time with their family in the evenings before hitting the books.

Meanwhile, there are other steps graduate students can take to reduce their time constraints.

One place to start is the university where you plan to attend. Although you may be taking an online course, it can’t hurt to check in with the institution’s family resource center to see if it can assist in finding child care. The resource center, or your department, may be able to put you in contact with other graduate students who are in the same program and also have children.

Planning meals for a week will save a lot of time by reducing daily trips to the grocery store, according to GradHacker Industries. (4) Another time-saving meal tip is to double the batch of whatever you are cooking for dinner and then set aside the leftovers for an easy home-cooked meal in minutes.

Outsourcing household chores will also help. For example, a laundromat that fluffs and folds could save at least an hour of your time, and a housekeeper could easily shave off several hours of drudgery that could be applied your studies.

Finally, if you are a parent pursuing an MBA, remember, you don’t have to go it alone. The Forté Foundation brings together women who are considering an MBA and provides a support network. (5) There is also MBA Mama, which operates a website with tips, support and a sense of community. (6)

Fathers should not feel alone either, especially after watching Freshman Father, a movie about John Wand, a single father who went on to get his MBA at Harvard Business School. (7)

The path to an MBA while juggling family and work is exemplified by Freshman Father and MBA Mama, both of which demonstrate it is possible. One place to test it out for yourself is Our Lady of the Lake University.

1 Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook – Medical and Health Services Managers

2 Master of Health Administration (MHA), Health Care Administration Degree Average Salary

3 Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook – Top Executive

4 GradHacker Industries, Grad School and Parenting: If I knew then, what I know now.

5 Forte Foundation

6 MBA Mama

7 Harvard Business School, Now Starring Single Dad