This blog in particular relates to my friends who are already working in industry and wish to pursue a qualification. Sincerely, be it any field (marketing, IT, finance, accounting, management or others), I take a presumption that every individual is only given 24 hours a day, necessarily spends a lot of time in office, month-end and period-end reporting, review, personal commitments etc. Irrespective of the position, profile or role, an individual seeking a qualification necessarily views it as a step to move ahead in achievement of a career goal, or probably gain insight of areas he or she wants to explore. Believe me, this is the most difficult step.
However, the challenge that I witness after a person has joined a course or program (at least in finance domain for courses like IFRS / CPA / CFA / ACCA / CIMA etc.), I see the spirit losing pace sooner after completing registration. All of a sudden, the classes appear to be a burden, there arises the need to prioritize personal aspects which were taken off when registering for the program initially.
Frankly, I must admit that it is difficult for someone to get back to the books after a gap (anything like 3 years or more). This is more evident at middle and senior levels, where people would land up with many surprise and sudden plans of transition or process changes. This is even more difficult when the program is entirely company sponsored and the fee is paid upfront (rather than reimbursement post completion or passing the examination).
My clear suggestion to anyone planning to pursue any qualification while at a job is that spend a lot of time reading on the content and program details, before you register for any qualification. Plan well in advance of the days you will study for the qualification, and mark your calendar for the specific activity. Better still, try to get a close buddy who is likely to pursue the qualification at your office space itself. This is really required to be done before you register for the qualification and invest your hard-earned money and efforts into the qualification.
Therefore, when the question arises as to whether is it difficult to study along with job - in some manner - Yes, since you are any case required to do your job as well along with the studies. So, you will have to sacrifice a lot of something else to be able to pursue an add on qualification. However, I also have a another view on the same question - that is, if you are working in a role, and the qualification relates to the role itself, your practical experience and knowledge is going to pay rich dividends in understanding the content and help you apply it in real life situations.
So, keep investing in yourself and be well prepared to study before you say that you are ready to take up another qualification!