Combining part-time study and employment : motivators and impact on individual lives

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Breeze, Danielle
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BA (Hons) in Social Science
Dublin Business School
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The Central Statistics Office has registered increased availability in part-time courses in Ireland over recent years. This study aims to investigate the motivators driving part-time study and the impact studying part-time has on professional and personal lives of full-time employees in Ireland. Utilising a qualitative research approach, data was collected using open ended, semi-structured interviews on six desirable participants and examined using thematic analysis. Extracted information was interpreted and discussed. Findings implied that the main motivators were based around career progression and opportunistic personal development. Results also demonstrated the emotional impact of coping with life balance and lack of employer support. Also, a competitive environment was evident amongst the perspective of further education. Conclusions drawn from the research indicated that modern Irish culture was a motivator to employ a career as a part-time student due to necessary requirements needed to progress in any capacity in an overly competitive economic society. It was also apparent that although the aspect of part-time study can negatively influence professional and personal life during its duration, the long term benefits and outcome of further education took precedence over issues experienced. Finally, findings revealed that emotionally, part-time students could strongly benefit in many aspects of life through greater, more accessible, employer support. Author keywords: Part-time study, balancing life, work, study, career progression