What if you could earn money and earn an education at the same time? There are many different ways in which you can do this.
Below are just some of the different ways to study and work simultaneously.
Work full-time and study part-time
It’s possible that you may already have a full-time job and are thinking of studying a course on the side. Such a course could be a way of helping you to eventually make a career change or it could be something you simply want to do as a personal challenge.
Cutting down your hours may not be an option if you have commitments such as bills to pay or kids to feed. By maintaining a full-time job and studying part-time, you can maintain the same income so that you’re able to keep up with day-to-day expenses.
Alternatively, maintaining a full-time job could be a way of funding your studies without having to take out a loan. If you don’t want to be burdened by student debt, you could aim to work full-time in order to pay off your course as you’re studying it.
Just be wary that you may have to be earning a lot of money to do this (many universities are now charging upwards of £9,000 per year. If you’re still living with your parents you may be able to pay this, but it could be a struggle if you have moved out).
So just how do you study around full-time work?
Finding a flexible study option is often the best way. Online courses are a good solution that allow you to choose your study hours without having to attend seminars and lectures at set times on campus.
You’ll miss out on the whole ‘campus life’, but if you’re an older student this may not matter so much. It also means that you’re not restricted to local courses – in fact, you may be able to choose from courses all around the world.
Studying online doesn’t mean that you have to do it without human interaction. You can still get help from tutors via email and video call – you’ll find online tutors in every subject from online biology tutors to online history tutors. Some courses may also have forums and virtual hangouts where you can talk to other remote students.
It’s important to have discipline when studying online. Schedule plenty of time each week for studying. You should consider times when you’re most productive – some people may find it easier to study for an hour before work and on their lunch break, while others may be able to concentrate better in the evening.
Study full-time and work part-time
Another option could be to work part-time/flexible hours around full-time studies. This could be a good option for those that want to dedicate most of their time to studying as opposed to working.
It could also allow you to study on campus and attend lectures and seminars at set times. Studying on campus could be more preferable for young people that want the full student experience such as living away from home and socialising with other students.
Part-time work might not be enough to fund your studies – you’ll still likely need a loan if you’re planning on studying a university course. It may also not be suitable for those with expensive commitments like household bills and children – especially if you’re the main breadwinner (although there are grants and benefits that you can look into to provide financial support).
Instead, it could be a means of providing some extra money on the side so that you’re able to make the most of being a student without getting into more debt.
Maintenance loans and grants are sometimes barely enough to cover essential costs like accommodation and food. Having a small extra source of income could allow you to live more freely as you study.
Another benefit of part-time work is that it could give you work experience. If you’re young, studying for a degree and have never had a job before, getting a part-time job could give you some work experience to put on your CV. A lot of employers are likely to value this – even if the work isn’t related to the career that you’re chasing.
There are lots of part-time work options to consider while studying. There may be forms of local work that you pick up near to your campus such as working in a shop, working in a restaurant or working in a bar.
Such jobs may not require too much experience and may be able to provide you with flexible hours to work around your study timetable. It’s important to update your work hours whenever your timetable changes (let your employer know that you are a student when applying so that they are prepared for this).
Another option could be to look into online work options. There are many jobs that you can take up online such as writing blog posts, designing websites or creating graphics.
Consider whether you have any of the skills for these jobs. Such jobs often allow you to choose your own hours and you may be able to work part-time by going via an agency (working a full-time online job around full-time studies might be too much of a stretch).
Those with an entrepreneurial side could meanwhile consider starting a side hustle. There are many types of side hustle that you can launch from your dorm room including making and selling crafts, selling custom t-shirt designs, selling books, selling study notes, blogging, vlogging or photography.
You could even look into babysitting or pet-sitting opportunities in your local area or – if you have a car – you could try offering ride-sharing services using an app like Uber to attract customers. Get creative and think about how you can start making money.
As a student, it may make sense to target your business at fellow students as you’ll have an inside perspective into this market.
Schedule your free time
Juggling work and studies doesn’t leave a lot of time for recreational activities. However, it’s vital that you still spare enough free time for yourself.
Without making free time for yourself, you’re likely to get demotivated. This will cause your studies and work to suffer – potentially making it all for nothing.
It’s worth scheduling your free time ahead so that you create plans and make the most of it. Try to keep a day off every week in which you don’t work or study. This gives you a day to recharge your batteries. Studying or working every day could get exhausting and you want to be as productive as you can while studying and working.
What if I also have kids?
Having to work, study and look after kids will give you even less time for yourself, but it’s still important that you find time to relax and do your hobbies.
Scheduling time allows you to make arrangements with a partner so that they can look after the kids while you study or enjoy some free time. Alternatively, it could allow you to hire a babysitter if necessary.
It’s worth noting that there are often extra support services out there for parents that are studying such as grants and possibly more flexible deadlines when it comes to certain coursework.