Go Higher: Scotland and Northern Ireland - Working on your overdraft

These days, student life means student debt. But a part-time job can help

In these days of tuition fees, student loans and rising housing costs, part-time jobs - or at the very least vacation work - have become far more common for students. Many simply cannot survive without supplementing their income through some kind of work.

"It's just too easy to get into a situation where you're taking loans every year, have a full overdraft and credit cards up to their limits, and you can't seem to get by any more," admitted one student from Belfast.

The recent introduction of the minimum wage may help some student workers, but will it mean fewer jobs available to the majority? Helen Robertson, a class representative from Heriot-Watt University outlines one of the drawbacks of the new standard legal wage: "A lot of student work in casual capacities - waiting staff, bar work, flyering - are paid cash-in-hand, so there's no regulation. There will be a temptation to put more staff on a casual basis, as there's always loads of students looking for work. Casual staff are cheap to employ, easy to get rid of, and even easier to replace."

Worrying news, but what other options are there for the student jobseeker? Both Scotland and Northern Ireland are countries well known for drinking. The recent big push by brewers to create thousands of new superpubs, such as Hogshead and Brewers Fayre, has created many new jobs for those who can be flexible in terms of the hours they work. The pay-off for these huge corporate barns is the reliability of the employers.

Bar-work has always been popular with students. If you can't go out and drink with your friends, why not serve them the drinks, get paid and not have to worry about the hangover the next day? Bars across Scotland and Ulster employ students, with regular openings available. These are not always advertised, so the best plan is to drop a CV into all your favourite pubs and keep going in and get to know the people there.

A growing trend in student employment, as in the business world, is telephone services and sales. Call centre work is a rapidly expanding field, with hundreds of centres opening, especially in Glasgow, Belfast and Aberdeen. Many centres actively seek out students, often on agency contracts, so be aware of what you're signing and the number of hours you'll have to work as exams approach. Pay levels in this field are relatively high for part-time work, though the job is often pretty stressful.

Cafes and shops are also lasting favourites in the employment field for students. Wages can vary, and the jobs are often seasonal. Opportunities often arise in the run up to Christmas, so keep a look out in department and high street stores from October, or even September, and extra shifts on Sundays and Bank Holidays can provide welcome financial boosts.

Jobs taken on while studying are often something to be walked away from and forgotten, as they are a means to finance study. There are some people, however, who work to gain experience in their field of study: medical students working as hospital porters, computing students working in Dixons, English literature undergraduates working in Dillons - these all add up to practical vocational experience and a bit of extra cash.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookA delicious collection of 50 meaty main courses
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

SPONSORED FEATURES

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Guru Careers: Financial Director / FD / Senior Finance Manager

    Up to 70k DOE: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Financial Director ...

    Ashdown Group: IT Support Analyst - Luton - £24,000

    £20000 - £24000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Support Analyst vacancy with a we...

    Recruitment Genius: Instructional Training Designer

    £30000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic and interes...

    Recruitment Genius: Warehouse & Stores Supervisor

    £16224 - £20280 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Warehouse & Stores Supervisor...

    Day In a Page

    Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

    US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

    Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
    VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

    'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

    VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
    Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

    Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

    Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
    The male menopause and intimations of mortality

    Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

    So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
    Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

    'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

    Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
    Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

    Bettany Hughes interview

    The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
    Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

    Art of the state

    Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
    Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

    Vegetarian food gets a makeover

    Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks
    The haunting of Shirley Jackson: Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?

    The haunting of Shirley Jackson

    Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?
    Bill Granger recipes: Heading off on holiday? Try out our chef's seaside-inspired dishes...

    Bill Granger's seaside-inspired recipes

    These dishes are so easy to make, our chef is almost embarrassed to call them recipes
    Ashes 2015: Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

    Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

    A woefully out-of-form Michael Clarke embodies his team's fragile Ashes campaign, says Michael Calvin
    Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza

    Andrew Grice: Inside Westminster

    Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza
    HMS Victory: The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

    The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

    Exclusive: David Keys reveals the research that finally explains why HMS Victory went down with the loss of 1,100 lives
    Survivors of the Nagasaki atomic bomb attack: Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism

    'I saw people so injured you couldn't tell if they were dead or alive'

    Nagasaki survivors on why Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism
    Jon Stewart: The voice of Democrats who felt Obama had failed to deliver on his 'Yes We Can' slogan, and the voter he tried hardest to keep onside

    The voter Obama tried hardest to keep onside

    Outgoing The Daily Show host, Jon Stewart, became the voice of Democrats who felt the President had failed to deliver on his ‘Yes We Can’ slogan. Tim Walker charts the ups and downs of their 10-year relationship on screen