Good part-time jobs (UK) / how to fund a Masters
December 10, 2016 11:25 AM   Subscribe

What can I do to support myself but also have spare time to spend studying? (So ideally it would be well-paid (not minimum wage).) I'm prepared to do a few months of prep work to be able to get that sort of work. I have a Maths degree, but not much recent work experience. Learning Wordpress? or some other coding thing? (I have a basic level of ability to program, but not enough to make an app or anything.) Something else?

I'd like to do a Masters, or some self-study in my spare time. Masters degrees in the UK are not easy to get funding for, so it looks likely I would be doing a part-time job (and a part-time Masters, I guess).

I have done tutoring in the past, but that is too ad hoc and cannot offer a reliable income.

I've tried freelance proofreading, but the pay rate is low, and it's ad hoc.

Am I likely to be able to find temp work at better than minimum/living wage? I've heard even any temp work at all is very hard to come by at the moment.

I very much don't want to be an accountant or an actuary ultimately, but I would be OK working at that for a while IF I could do it part-time. But I think that's unlikely. Most graduate jobs don't seem to have a part-time option.

Proofreading transcripts for court reporters?? https://proofreadanywhere.com/ (Is this a scam? Upfront cost of around $1000, and a few months' training.)

Coding of some sort? If this is recommended, the language I incline towards is Python, as it's used in scientific applications, and I'd rather work in that than just for an ordinary company. But maybe something else would be better for what I want to achieve? Wordpress? Java? (I'm not sure how easy it would be to teach myself coding and then find part-time coding work.)

How do people manage part-time study and part-time work? If you're being paid at minimum wage and working 25 hours a week, you only just make enough to survive on in a largeish city, and that's before you have to pay for tuition fees. What gives?
posted by tangerine_poppies to Work & Money (9 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
How do people manage part-time study and part-time work? If you're being paid at minimum wage and working 25 hours a week, you only just make enough to survive on in a largeish city, and that's before you have to pay for tuition fees. What gives?

Uh, student loans? This is the reality in the modern UK, where everyone is just supposed to be grateful that the debt isn't on par with US student debt. (And really, at 9K per year, it is comparatively reasonable...)

Anyway, work ideas: overnight security guard (you can get training and certification for this); overnight front desk hotel duty (if you can answer a phone, make a toasted cheese sandwich, and break up a party you've got the skills needed for this gig.)
posted by DarlingBri at 11:39 AM on December 10, 2016 [1 favorite]


So... is it usually a question of student loan *plus* part-time work?

I'm really intimidated by student loans; their terms require repayment right after graduation (unlike undergrad loans) and I think the rate is higher, and I know at least one person who took one out to do a vocational course, was unable to then find a related job, and had to move back home and use JSA to pay interest on the loan.
posted by tangerine_poppies at 12:18 PM on December 10, 2016


Masters in what? Some masters are part / full time funded. If you are interested in the pharmaceutical industry, statistical programming positions might support you studying while working
posted by Cannon Fodder at 1:15 PM on December 10, 2016


I'm really intimidated by student loans; their terms require repayment right after graduation (unlike undergrad loans) and I think the rate is higher, and I know at least one person who took one out to do a vocational course, was unable to then find a related job, and had to move back home and use JSA to pay interest on the loan.

Be less intimidated and better educated. You can get 10K towards your studies. "You’ll pay back 6% of your income over the minimum amount (‘threshold’). This is £21,000 a year, £1,750 a month or £404 a week." The rate is 4.6%
posted by DarlingBri at 2:23 PM on December 10, 2016


I did my MSc part-time at Birkbeck which is specifically set up so that classes are in the evenings to allow you to work as well - that's only really helpful if you're in London though. There's also the Open University as an option, depending on what you want to study and what you want to get out of it. Other universities often offer postgraduate programmes as distance learning where you only need to actually attend a few days across the year.

You might also want to ask finance offices anywhere you apply if you can pay fees in instalments rather than one lump sum at the start of the year; that was the most helpful bit of Birkbeck for me because I could manage my finances to pay £250 a month more easily than I could muster £3k as a lump sum each year.

I think the loan you're thinking of is the Career Development Loan which is capped at £10k and offered by private banks who want quite quick repayment, but the Student Loan Company do now offer loans for postgraduate courses if you meet certain criteria - there has recently been a problem with some postgraduates having previously agreed funding withdrawn at short notice because they hadn't lived in the right place for the right amount of time, so you'll want to check the small print if you go that way.
posted by theseldomseenkid at 3:25 PM on December 10, 2016


I mean one thing is that 10k (theseldomseenkid, it is a postgrad loan thing I'm thinking of rather than a career development loan) would just about cover tuition fees, you know? Not living costs. Also, I am not in London.

Second thing is that interest is significantly higher than inflation rate, so you have to be totally sure beforehand that this is the course you want to do and that there will be excellent employment prospects afterwards. Which I don't think I am, for any of the options. (All the options I'm considering would be somewhat new areas for me. I don't know how to determine what the jobs each of them would lead to would be like in practice, or how to determine how much demand there would be for any of them.) And yet without doing something, it's hard to move forward.

I do welcome discussion of the above, but also am interested to get input on part-time coding-type job options. WordPress? Or any of the other sorts of coding?

DarlingBri, I really don't have the physical presence to be a security guard or break up a party, I wouldn't think (I assume it would require that).
posted by tangerine_poppies at 3:58 PM on December 10, 2016


I'm a (full-time) master's student who earns some decent side income maintaining my department's (wordpress) websites. I got the job through my university's work-study program, which subsidizes jobs like these for students - they're intended for full-time students so the number of hours per week is strictly limited, but the subsidized wage is high enough that even those limited hours are equivalent/better than a part time, 20 hr/wk minimum wage job. Would something like that be an option at your institution?
posted by btfreek at 4:24 PM on December 10, 2016


btfreek, that would be cool! I think what's available might vary from one university to another, but I haven't heard of any formal scheme where a university agrees to definitely give you work...
Was Wordpress something you knew beforehand, or did you learn it just for the job? And do you think that doing "something with Wordpress" would be something I'd be able to find a steady part-time job in? (Or freelance in with enough reliability to make regular money?)
posted by tangerine_poppies at 6:46 AM on December 11, 2016


Check yo memail!
posted by btfreek at 10:14 AM on December 11, 2016


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