If you’re doing a full-time Master’s degree, chances are that you’re going to need to secure some kind of part-time job.
Though it’s important to make sure that employment won’t take too much time away from your studies, students often report that ‘balancing’ the two commitments results in much improved time management skills1, something which can really benefit your academic work.
As you’ll find with many aspects of postgraduate study, developing a sense of self-discipline and personal responsibility will help you make this a manageable part of your life.
Here are five sources of student income that you can fit alongside your study schedule:
1. Accommodation warden
Live-in jobs at halls of residences can be an ideal option for a postgraduate student looking to save money on rent.
In return for regular pay or free accommodation, you’ll typically act as the first-point-of-contact2 for other students living in your block, responding to things such as noise complaints, fault reports, and general domestic enquiries.
These roles go by many names, such as ‘residence representative’, ‘homestay officer’ or ‘halls assistant’, and can be either found through your university or a private student residency agency.
If you have a skill that can be unleashed from the safety of your own sofa, now is a good time to discover how it can be turned into cash.
Businesses are constantly looking for writers, photographers, programmers, graphic designers, web designers, and all sorts of other professionals that they can take on remotely, and increasingly use sites like PeoplePerHour and Upwork to find them.
Possibly the most effective method for landing freelance work, though, is through networking3. Try asking friends, family, or followers on social media whether they know someone looking for a person of your description – people are often more open to taking on individuals that they find through a mutual acquaintance.
3. ‘Gig economy’ work
One novel thing about life in the smartphone age is that there are now hundreds of apps that allow you to make money in your own time, and on your own terms.
By deciding when, where, and how you earn, you can tailor your working hours around your lectures and deadlines, and adjust them in line with your budget.
You’ll be responsible for booking working hours for yourself in advance, and you’re usually paid according to how many ‘gigs’ you do4.
4. University jobs
Having a job at your uni can complement your studies very nicely. These often tend to come in research assistance, lab work, student support services, and general admin positions.
One of the best ways to find out about any openings is through teaching and departmental staff, so in this case it really does pay to ask! Most universities will also have online portals where they advertise their latest roles.
Working within a university can help you to build lasting connections within the academic world, and this can be hugely advantageous if you decide to go on to do a PhD.
Student’s unions are also worth checking; they offer far more opportunities than just bar work, and have a natural understanding of your need to divide time between work and study.
5. Private tutoring
Getting into tutoring can be an effective and incredibly rewarding way of earning money as a student, and the development of platforms such as My Tutor Web and Tutor Hunt now make this easier than ever.
Spending some one-on-one instructional time with someone willing to learn can also be great preparation for a career in academia, and allow you to approach your subject differently in the role of educator.
No stress if you’re in an area with low demand, either – lots of tutoring these days is done online5.
1. Jones, C., 2020. Work-Work Balance: How To Juggle A Job With Postgraduate Study. [online] the Guardian. Available at: <https://www.theguardian.com/education/2017/jul/27/work-work-balance-how-to-juggle-a-job-with-postgraduate-study> [Accessed 31 March 2020].
2. Nationalcareers.service.gov.uk. 2020. Accommodation Warden | Explore Careers. [online] Available at: <https://nationalcareers.service.gov.uk/job-profiles/accommodation-warden> [Accessed 30 March 2020].
3. Nationalcareers.service.gov.uk. 2020. Networking | Get A Job | National Careers Service. [online] Available at: <https://nationalcareers.service.gov.uk/get-a-job/networking> [Accessed 31 March 2020].
4. LawCareers.Net. 2020. The Gig Economy – Uber And Deliveroo. [online] Available at: <https://www.lawcareers.net/Explore/CommercialQuestion/Travers-Smith-LLP-The-gig-economy-Uber-and-Deliveroo> [Accessed 30 March 2020].
5. Rutter, T., 2013. Want To Earn Money While You Study? Consider Becoming A Tutor. [online] The Guardian. Available at: <https://www.theguardian.com/education/2014/dec/19/want-to-earn-money-while-you-study-consider-becoming-a-tutor> [Accessed 30 March 2020].