If you haven’t been able to secure a grant or a scholarship that will pay your full costs for your time at graduate school, one of the options available to you is finding a part-time job. Earning while you study is a popular option for many people, as it reduces the amount of money you will need to borrow in the form of a professional development loan, or spend from your own savings. But finding the right job for your circumstances is very important. Below is some general guidance to bear in mind when looking for that perfect part-time job.
Before you set out looking for work, you need to think more broadly about how you’re going to finance your studies. It’s important to have a rough budget in mind, that factors in the course fees, a maintenance allowance based on local living costs, and any other additional costs you may need to cover – such as travel to and from campus. Although it’s possible to plug any shortfall in what you earn with a bank loan, it’s better to have an idea of how much money you should be earning to support yourself first.
One you have a clear sense of how much money you need to bring in, there’s something very important to consider: your course structure, and your university’s regulations regarding part-time employment. If you’re studying full-time, you will be expected to be attending lectures or conducting research on weekdays, which rules out a lot of jobs that involve regular office hours. Many universities forbid their full-time students from undertaking paid work – at least during term – so it is worth checking what your university’s stance is on this issue when applying. You may be permitted to take on shift work during evenings, weekends, and vacations. If not, you might consider taking on a part-time or online degree, that allows more flexibility for you to earn while you study.
Once you’ve figured out a target income and how much you can work, the next thing to do is to ask around within the university about opportunities for part-time jobs. University communities are huge, busy places, and there are usually plenty of opportunities to earn some extra income – be it through supervising undergraduates, providing research assistance to senior academics, or even working in a student bar.
Working part-time while you study can be made into an asset, especially if you’re able to work in your chosen field whilst you’re working towards your qualification. Working as a shop assistant in a pharmacy, while working towards a qualification in Biomedicine or Pharmacy is an excellent combination. The one drawback with doing this that if you choose to complete a part-time PhD or research masters, this can be viewed as being less intensive within the academic jobs market. If you’re hoping to enter academia, opting for a full-time degree is definitely a better option.
If you are unsure what to study check out the MastersAvenue’s Global Degree and Career Survey (GDCS) ©. We have analyzed the career paths of more than 7.5 million graduates from all over the world. Look what others have studied and what they do know. You will be surprised!