Fog Creek Software
Discussion Board

how do i find part time tech work?

I want to go back to school for medicine, and recently tried to take some pre-requisite courses whilst working full time. I've learned it is pretty hard to take organic chemistry while working 60 hours a week! anyway, something has to give, and I'm thinking of trying to find a part time job. I was wondering if anyone here works on a part time basis? Or has tips on how to locate part time work? craig's list has a part time category, but most of it is not tech-related. Is part-time possible in this industry, or should i start applying to starbucks?

Thursday, January 23, 2003

I am a part time Teacher - around 20 hours a week, and go to grad school full time.

My suggestion: Find job in your school itself, there are always some networking, web dev positions open.


Prakash S
Thursday, January 23, 2003

hey good point prakash. i'll start there. thanks!

Thursday, January 23, 2003

Definitely try to find a job with the school. 

If that doesn't work, then your looking at taking a more entrepreneurial approach.  While this is bad for med studies, it might be good for future-medical-practice-owner studies. 

None of the companies I've worked for have ever had part time help, but I've known plenty of companies that could have used it.

not my regular made up name
Thursday, January 23, 2003

In addition to finding work *at* your school, most schools also have a department dedicated to getting outside jobs for their students.  You may be able to access job listings that won't show up in the paper, etc.

Also, part time tech work may be more easily come by in the nonprofit world, because of budget limitations.  However, salaries aren't going to be great there for the same reason.

Local user groups can also be a great way to network.

Sam Gray
Thursday, January 23, 2003

There must be tons of businesses which need IT help but can't justify hiring a whole person. I guess the trick is not to look for a job but promote a service available to be booked a set amount per week.

Tony E
Friday, January 24, 2003

I think finding a job on campus would be the easiest and best way to go.  When I was in school (1991-1995, University of Vermont) I worked in the public computer lab as tech support for 4 years (in the lab and later on the phone) and in my final year worked both that and as a general sort of tech for the education department.

One might poo-poo a tech support job but I found it incredibly rewarding for the following reasons:

1.  Exposure to new technology.  Despite times of lean budgets, public labs always seem to manage some sort of new toy every year.  I learned how to write HTML, UNIX, scan documents properly, and use Photoshop as well as some networking. 

I also got the opportunity to do something many developers never do; work one-on-one with the "customer" in the form of students and teachers.  You can learn a lot about what's good and bad from a usability/productivity perspective.

2.  Exposure to new opportunities.  While I was officially a "counselor in the lab", there was always some project that needed to be done.  Among the "extra" projects I worked on was maintaining a BBS that was the central mail hub for the state education network and writing helpdesk software to track calls.  During the start of each semester the networking group always needed hands to help people setup their machines.

3.  It was on campus.  Within walking distance and they were obviously eager to accomodate my schedule.  They also didn't pressure me to work more than I was comfortable with.  I suppose that could change with the environment, but I'd suspect a school-run department is a lot more understanding about my school work than any other sort of environment.

What's more, while I was a CS major, I felt the education I picked up working tech was as equally valuable as classroom education.

Chris Blaise
Friday, January 24, 2003

You don't need to do tech support either if you're working at a university (though I imagine it can be more fun than programming, interacting with people).  If you visit the physics dept for example and talk with a secretary, you might find there's a need for someone to do simulations.  Or the statistics dept might need some VB app.

I recommended this to someone, and he found an interesting job with with the physics dept the same day.  YMMV of course.  But colleges like to hire students, because students are cheap labor.

Oh yeah, the advantage of a programming position is often you can choose your own hours.

Sunday, January 26, 2003

One last thing. ;)  Occasionally a problem is that grant-funded projects have too much cash -- they need to spend it so they won't get less funding.  So don't feel sheepish!

Sunday, January 26, 2003

I used to work for BancTec, which does on-site repair for Dell, Compaq, Toshiba, etc., and lately they're trying to get as many part-timer/per-job guys as they can.  And there's some turnaround, as you might imagine.  If PC part-swapping is up your alley, you might look into this company and others who do this sort of work.  Call up the big PC companies and ask who does their on-site service.  You could run two or three service calls a day and still have plenty of time to study.  (The pay isn't incredible, but it beats working at Mickey D's.)

But I could also second the work-at-school idea.  When I started working on a CS degree, I managed to find a job at the school and suddenly my classes cost $50 apiece instead of $1100.  That's been a help.

Monday, January 27, 2003

*  Recent Topics

*  Fog Creek Home