If you have a new account but are having problems posting or verifying your account, please email us on [email protected] for help. Thanks :)
Hello all! Please ensure that you are posting a new thread or question in the appropriate forum. The Feedback forum is overwhelmed with questions that are having to be moved elsewhere. If you need help to verify your account contact [email protected]

Should I put money or education first?

  • 28-06-2020 3:31pm
    Registered Users Posts: 363 ✭✭

    Im going into my final year of college this September and I had always hoped to leave the part time job I've held down the last few years so I could barrell into the college work. At the moment my average is just about a 2.1 (64%), but ideally Id like to bring up my average to a 1.1 (70%).

    No one really knows which way the next college year will play out and I have heard of a few colleges that are shifting to mostly online teaching. My friends think I'm mad to leave a good job (12.50/hr) especially since people are saying we're headed for a major recession. Depending on college being online or not, I could potentially work about 40 hours per week or 16 or so at the weekends during the college term. Keeping up the job would definitely impact my grades though, especially for the coming year as there's a significant work load. There'd also be the hassle of coming home every weekend, too.

    If I leave, I've saved enough to see me through until next Summer when I could hopefully start earning again. Ill have to do a postgrad and Im looking at abroad because its cheaper, but I wouldnt hesitate getting a loan to cover that tbh.

    i'd love to get some insights on this, I feel like my grades would improve a lot if I finally have nothing else on my plate but at the same time I can't disregard finances and a possible recession completely...


  • Registered Users Posts: 822 ✭✭✭radiotrickster

    Two years ago, I would have said if it's really important to you and you have the savings for it, you'd be mad not to give up the job and just enjoy your final year while focusing on your studies.

    But now the thing is, if you do give up your job and your college continues online learning, would you miss the social side of work? It gives you a reason to get out of the house, gives you a sense of purpose and you assumably see people while you're at work.

    You've done the hard work and saved enough to see you through the year. If getting a 1.1 is important to you, then it sounds like you should give it your all. You could always try the first couple of weeks of the semester working and see how you get on. But you'll need to really be honest with yourself about whether you're focusing on your studies enough as it'll be tempting to keep earning.

    You'll only get one chance at this. While a 2.1 is a fantastic achievement itself, a 1.1 is obviously excellent. It's up to you to decide how much you're willing to sacrifice financially for a 1.1.

  • Registered Users Posts: 920 ✭✭✭gauchesnell

    Just to note colleges have already made this decision so would be able to tell you whether your course is mostly online or not from September.

    Academics have left for the summer so they needed to know themselves before September. This may change in Semester 2 next year (i.e. going into January) for the decision has been made for September.

    Depending on what you study you may be required to be on campus aswell.

    Contact your college - they know already. They might not be telling students yet but they know. Im stafff in a university - with social distancing we are restricted to maybe 10% of the student population being on campus at any one time.

  • Registered Users Posts: 452 ✭✭fishy_fishy

    I have news for you - €12.50/hr isn't a well paying job. It's barely enough to live off. It's pss poor as starting graduate salaries go, too.

    If you have savings leave the job. 64% is only alright. It's not spectacular. There's a whole world of a difference between a student on 64% and a 1st class honours student and you have your work cut out for you if you want to make that jump up. Demand for postgraduate places spikes during recessions, so if your plan is that direction then you need to pull your academic socks up because right now you're only just about making the normal 2.1 cutoff.

  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 6,880 Mod ✭✭✭✭shesty

    What will you regret more? Not putting in the extra effort for 9 months and aiming for your 1:1, or not doing a few extra hours at a part time job? You always have more regrets about what you do not do, not what you do.

    It's one year. Not even, it's 9 months. Your last shot. Education is the key to the rest of your life. A 1:1 isn't everything, but you have a chance to get it and you want it. If I were you, I would cut my losses and throw everything at getting the result you want.

    I am editing to say that I graduated in 2005 and ended up job hunting for months in the last recession - 2010/2011 . Every single application for any kind of professional job instantly required a minimum 2:1 degree (I am not getting into whether that is actually necessary or not, that's another debate). It was a simple criteria for firms to use to sift through the piles of applications - no 2:1, you don't even get considered. If there IS another recession coming, a 1:1 straight away puts you a bit above the rest. Look at it that way, look longer term than just the next couple of years.

  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 15,408 Mod ✭✭✭✭woodchuck

    Under normal circumstances I'd say if getting a 1:1 if your priority and you can afford not to have a job, then you should quit the job and focus on your education.

    There are other circumstances to consider this year though. In particular, how much of your course will be online now? How often will you actually need to physically attend college? Assuming you'll do a lot of remote learning this year (confirm with your course coordinator), I'd definitely consider keeping the job. If nothing else, it will get you out of the house and provide some sort of social outlet. Otherwise you could spend the majority of your time at home watching lectures and studying. College isn't going to be the usual social experience it had been and the job might be good for your mental health.

    You also mention getting a loan to go abroad and do a postgrad. How much money would you need and how likely are you to secure a loan? The money from your job could help pay for this.

    If it was me, I'd keep the job for now. When college starts back up, see how you manage both and you can make a decision then. You might find it's a complete burden to your studies or a life saver for your mental health. It's hard to know until you're actually in that situation though.

  • Advertisement
  • Closed Accounts Posts: 12,449 ✭✭✭✭pwurple

    Is the course STEM or arts?

    From my perspective, final year is the only important one. If you can't save enough over summer, get a loan if needed to support you through that workload and graduate the best way you can.

    The others are right, 12.50 an hour isn't a "good job". You degree will get you that long term ideally.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,653 ✭✭✭KiKi III

    Can you keep the job but reduce to 10-12 hours a week? That might be a good compromise.

    €12.50 *is* a well-paid job for someone still in college. It’s well worth keeping up if you can do it without radically impacting your degree.

    I’ll never forget the queues of people around Stephen’s Green for interviews at Londis in the last recession. No one knows where this one is going and giving up a job doesn’t seem wise.

  • Registered Users Posts: 363 ✭✭Tig98

    I understand saying its not a well paid job and yere right, but it's relatively well paid for an unskilled part time job. Most my friends are within a 50c range of minimum wage, and that includes "skilled work" like in nursing homes and accounting practices. It's a bit of a joke I'm on more money than them but shur look

    Im doing science so there's plenty to be done and unless things go majorly pear shaped I'll probably have to be on campus to complete lab work for both semesters. I wouldn't really bother keeping up the job at the weekends because it's a hassle to get home for it and then the whole weekend is gone, I'd love to be able to just study away myself on the weekends without hassle of work. Mentally I'd be fine without the job, I live with friends in college and still have a decent social circle at home. It'd be a change alright but I'd get over it.

    It's all boiling down to the expected recession. Would I be better off with a 2.1 and a few grand in my pocket to keep me going or leave the job and aim for the 1.1 completely? At the moment I think I will leave the job in September and give college my all but at the same time I'm fairly anxious in the back of my mind of real tough times in the future, possibly not getting another job or a loan for a post grad etc..

  • Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 5,695 Mod ✭✭✭✭HildaOgdenx

    Make sure you have the full picture in relation to time on campus versus online, with the changes that have happened.
    I think your gut is telling you, you want to go full tilt and aim for the top result.
    Tbh, if it was me, wise or not, that's what I would do.

    Yes, it looks like things are likely to be bleak and recent events are going to affect all of us in many ways, for quite some time to come. So it's not ideal to be giving up a job, I know.

    A couple of things to consider:
    Would you definitely commit the extra time to study, if you gave up the job? Could you get a part time job nearer to where you are in college?
    Would your current workplace take you back, if you did leave?

    Just throwing out a few questions, you don't have to answer, but they might help in making your decision. Also, if there is anyone you could chat it out with, in real life, it might be helpful.

    Best of luck, whatever you decide.

  • Registered Users Posts: 11,124 ✭✭✭✭Oranage2

    In 10 years you won't care about a 12.50/h job, your degree will be something you can be proud of for the rest of your life. As others said if your course is online you could probably keep the job, otherwise I'd think about quiting if you think you can achieve the 1.1

  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 2,653 ✭✭✭KiKi III

    Oranage2 wrote: »
    In 10 years you won't care about a 12.50/h job, your degree will be something you can be proud of for the rest of your life. As others said if your course is online you could probably keep the job, otherwise I'd think about quiting if you think you can achieve the 1.1

    I’m 10 years into my career and no employer has asked me anything about my degree in years.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,315 ✭✭✭Pkiernan

    Leave the job and make a full hearted attempt at getting the best result you can.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,055 ✭✭✭Emme

    OP what kind of science are you doing? Laboratory science would be a very good bet now. Can you talk to people working in the area of science where you want to work? What kind of degrees did they have? Is having a first class honours degree very important in that line of work? Do you need it to get into a postgrad course?

    I hate saying this but there is more than likely a recession on the way. It might be better to look into how you could hold on to your job and do your final year. It won't be as easy to get a part time job this time next year.

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 12,449 ✭✭✭✭pwurple

    KiKi III wrote: »
    I’m 10 years into my career and no employer has asked me anything about my degree in years.

    I bet you had it on your CV for getting that job in the first place though. I'm 25 years into my career, changed companies this year and I had to dig out my qualifications and submit them.

  • Registered Users Posts: 15,119 ✭✭✭✭ILoveYourVibes

    pwurple wrote: »
    I bet you had it on your CV for getting that job in the first place though. I'm 25 years into my career, changed companies this year and I had to dig out my qualifications and submit them.

    Any time i was doing an interview they asked for copies of my degree parchment.

    I have two degrees and i remember i had to get a replacement parchment from a college a few years ago because i lost the first one...which was a pain in the butthole.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,319 ✭✭✭JustAThought

    OP - I don’t think its an all or nothing scenario - can you not keep the job once you know the landscape with college and inline teaching but potentially reduce the hours? I remember at college you could always get shifts to suit or share with someone who also wanted half the shift. It sounds like a Lidl job or similar? If its career relevant I would try to hold onto it at least in a part time capacity - there are a million people either unemployed or getting the covid-19 payment and with many universities in lockdown the postgrad placement you want may not be possible not as attractive in the immediate coming academic year.

    I’d also say there is a BIG jump between a good 2.1 and being in the top few percent that may get a first - are your grades good enough to expect this and is your commitment to study good enough in this current climate to achieve that by sitting at home & self study and discipline?

    I’d also throw in what is the risk to your health in your job? A 2.1 is a respectable degree, assuming it is from a good university, but the lung damage covid-19 can do to you is for life and so far its incurable. Is it worth the health risk for a slightly above average minimum wage job? My friend has it and is f’ed - her lungs are now full of blood clots and they cannot fix her properly - she has a totally changed life- can’t exercise, return to her work, take contraception or fly - her life has become a total mess - no minimum wage (12.50 a hour) job is worth this just to have a few grand in the bank. You can always borrow or get a student grant /loan next year depending on how things go - or work next year after you finish your finals.

    Put your health first - everything else will follow.