Post Academic

Part-Time Job Ideas for Grad Students

Image Source,Photobucket Uploader Firefox ExtensionHaving a part-time job as a grad student can help you in several ways. First, you make a little side cash so you don’t have to live off Ramen noodles. Second, you can learn skills outside of academia that you can apply later on. Here are a few ideas that I’ve actually done:

1. Catering
Pros: Fairly easy work if you don’t mind heavy lifting, and the hours are flexible. Good tips most of the time. Leftovers.
Cons: The occasional bad tipper. Drunk guys patting your butt. Smelling like BBQ for weeks after an assignment.

2. Teaching SAT/PSAT/Etc.
Pros: Good pay. Low amount of prep since the teaching is cut-and-dried.
Cons: Not much room for creativity. Overambitious students whose mantra is “Harvard or Die!”

3. Freelance Editing and Copywriting
Pros: Many people automatically think your grammar is awesome if you tell them you grade papers. You gain experience with client management.
Cons: Some of your buyers are deadbeats. (To handle these people, visit our article “Kneecapping 101.”)

4. Programming and Computer Repair
Pros: Once you know how to fix someone’s computer problem (hint: it usually involves a reboot), you can charge more than you would for editing. Departments will want to hire you because you can fix their busted home page.
Cons: Not all clients understand the amount of work required. You might not have time to keep up with the latest technology.

5. Donating Plasma
Pros: Minimal effort required. The Red Cross will let you watch movies while you do it.
Cons: You don’t learn any new skills. Feeling like a desperate undergrad who needs beer money.

Any other ideas you’d like to contribute?

Image of woman in Esso office in Baton Rouge in 1950 public domain, Wikimedia Commons.

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