Top 16 Business Ideas For MSc Students. The MSc is a postgraduate degree awarded to students that have completed a Master’s program at a university. Typically this will require completing a 1-2 year taught course consisting of lectures, assessments, and exams as well as a dissertation which is submitted at the end of the course and assessed by an exam or in some cases, continuous assessment throughout the course.
Despite the name, an MSc does not in fact prepare you for a position as a “master”, while some employers do prefer relevant work experience over an MSc, many will still hire based on your educational qualifications and experience while studying towards the degree.
This list of business ideas for students below assumes that you have no relevant work experience, so while some of these business ideas would still be valid for graduates or final year students, they are listed based on the assumption that you have never had any work experience in your life.
Top 16 Business Ideas For MSc Students.
This is the most obvious business idea for MSc students, if you can’t get a job upon graduating from university, chances are you’ll have a lot of free time. Why not turn that extra time to good use by tutoring A-level students in your spare time? Doing so would not only provide additional income, but it will also look great on your CV once you graduate and apply for jobs.
The best way to get clients is online through job websites like Gumtree, Seek, or Indeed. However, if you want to make money faster, your best bet is to take advantage of your student network to get referrals from other students. Advertise on campus boards and ask for referrals once you’ve proven yourself by helping them with their coursework (most people will let you know which course they need help on).
The advantage of tutoring is that it allows you the flexibility to manage your own time, with many work-from-home opportunities through virtual assistants or e-commerce. There’s also the added benefit of being able to tutor in your field of study as well, so if you’re studying for an MSc in Mathematics, why not teach A-level Mathematics as well?
2. Sell university notes/past papers/model answers
One of the most common questions I receive from students is how to obtain previous year’s exam papers or model answers to study with. Now, technically, these are all copyright violations so you shouldn’t bother trying to do this, but if you really must do them, there’s a market for it. Believe me, students will pay good money to access these!
The advantage of this business idea is that you can work from home and don’t need any overhead expenses (aside from the cost of buying the notes/model answers). However, do note that with such online businesses, your main source of customers will be foreign students (i.e. studying in a country other than your own) and that you may need to do some initial content creation to begin building your reputation online before work actually comes through.
3. Tutor/teach languages
If you’re not studying for an MSc in Mathematics, but rather an obscure language like Mandarin, now’s the time to take advantage of your skills. There will be plenty of parents looking to hire you as a tutor for their kids or simply to teach them English (in the case of Mandarin).
You could also consider language exchange if you’re bilingual, where you can help other people learn your native language in return for help learning their language. It allows you to go slow and not worry about getting paid while you build your reputation.
4. Sell university textbooks
Another way of monetizing your free time during uni is by selling textbooks back to the bookstore after exams, especially if they’re in high demand! I used to work part-time for my school’s library, and believe me, I saw a lot of students coming in to sell back their textbooks after exams were finished.
This business idea is great because it requires minimal initial investment (i.e. buying the books) and you can do this part-time while studying for your MSc if you work at one of the library desks or as a casual worker for your school’s bookstore. This also has the added benefit of providing you with a steady flow of customers on an ongoing basis, who will need to sell back their books every semester.
5. Design and print custom T-shirts
Yes, believe it or not, there are people willing to pay good money just to have their face printed on a T-shirt, no matter how ugly they may be! However, as with printing any business idea, the key would be to provide designs that your customers will actually want or wear.
As with other online businesses, this one also requires initial content creation and due diligence in order to build your reputation and attract clients. Once you’ve got a good reputation going, this business idea can become extremely lucrative – just ask Threadless!
6. Start a website/blog related to your MSc
Similar to the tutoring example above, some of you may want to start your own websites or blogs (or whatever it is you study!) and sell articles on them. It’s not exactly passive income since you’ll have to spend time writing articles for your site, but if you can get enough readers, it could become an auxiliary source of revenue.
This business idea is great because it requires very little initial investment (i.e. just your time) and once you’ve built up a reputation on the web, you can monetize it in a number of ways such as promoting affiliate products or selling your own e-books and other digital products.
7. Sell T-shirts online
Another way to monetize your specialty is by selling custom T-shirts online through sites like Teespring. Again, this business idea requires very little initial investment and it’s great for those with an eye for good designs.
The only risk would be that people may accuse you of stealing their artwork so it’s important to always credit the original designer/artist in your T-shirt descriptions. If you’re looking to create designs yourself, check out sites like Design By Humans and Zazzle where artists can submit their own T-shirt designs.
8. Become a tutor/teacher/coach online
Another great way to monetize your free time during uni is by teaching others via video chat or lessons over Skype, especially if you’re an expert in your field! For example, if you’re an MSc student specializing in Computer Sciences, now is your chance to make some money by helping others learn to code!
This business idea is great because it’s very scalable and your customers can be located anywhere in the world, which means you can juggle teaching with studying for an MSc. The only risk would be that you may have to invest a bit of initial time to build up your client base and reputation.
9. Sell stuff on eBay/Amazon/Craigslist
Another relatively low-key way to make money during uni would be by selling used products online such as textbooks or clothes that you no longer need. This business idea requires very little in the way of initial investment and it’s a great way to get rid of clutter you have lying around your house.
The risk here would be that you may have to spend time photographing and describing your product online, so if there are any issues with the quality of the pictures or text descriptions, buyers will shy away from making a purchase.
10. Sell old electronics on sites like Gazelle
This business idea is very similar to the previous one, but this time you’ll be selling electronic products such as phones and tablets instead of books. If you have any old electronics lying around uni taking up space, why not sell them online?!
The only risk here would be that because these are consumer electronics, their prices tend to go down very quickly so it may be difficult to find someone who is willing to pay for them.
11. GPS tracking business
For those of you with access to a car, this business idea may be perfect for you. You can use your car’s GPS signal to start tracking nearby vehicles without their knowledge. Then, when someone is in need of an ambulance or other emergency services, they can call on these nearby vehicles and pay them for the assistance.
This business idea is great because it requires very little initial investment, and if your customers ask for your GPS coordinates before accepting the job, you can charge them a premium. The only risk here would be that you may have to spend time marketing your services online.
12. Rent out spare bedrooms on Airbnb
This business idea is perfect for those of you living in university halls or in a tiny apartment with little privacy. You can use sites like Airbnb to rent out rooms in your house to visitors who are looking for affordable accommodation.
This business idea is great because once again it has very low capital requirements, and your customers will be guaranteed security and privacy when staying at your place. The only risk here would be that you may have to spend time cleaning after your customers.
12. Video production business
If you’re a whiz with Adobe After Effects or any other video editing software, why not make some cash by producing videos for other people? You can start off doing simple explainer videos for businesses and individuals, but as your business grows, you’ll be able to work on more complex projects such as short films.
This business idea is great because it requires no initial investment, and once you’ve built up a portfolio of your previous works, you can charge more for future jobs. The only risk would be that the quality of your videos will have to be top-notch for people to want to hire you for their projects.
13. Nightlife Promotions
If you live in a university town or city with active nightlife, this business idea could be perfect for you. You can promote bars and nightclubs by distributing flyers on campus, handing out samples of drinks, placing ads online, etc.
This business idea is great because your customers will always be there (i.e people who go out every night), and there isn’t much overhead so you don’t have to worry about high running costs. The risk here would be that clubs may not need your services, or they may fire you if you don’t produce results for them.
14. Laundry service
This business idea is perfect for those of you who are looking for a job that doesn’t require much human interaction. Laundry services are always needed, especially if you live in college dorms or near large student populations.
Since your customers will probably be students who don’t have access to washing machines and dryers themselves, they’ll be happy to have you do their laundry for them for a small fee. The risk here would be that students may not want to spend money on having their clothes washed, or they may take your service for granted if it’s too cheap.
15. Become a budget nutritionist
This business idea is perfect for those of you who are knowledgeable about healthy eating and cooking. You can offer budget nutrition advice to people who are trying to save money on their food bills but also want a balanced diet.
You can start off by publishing blog posts about your ideas, then write a book that’ll help people stretch the amount of food they purchase so they can spend less on groceries.
Your risk in this business idea would be that people may not agree with your dietary advice, or you may have to spend a lot of time marketing yourself online.
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16. Become a campaigner for an online cause
This business idea is perfect for those of you who are passionate about a particular issue. You can campaign about anything from animal cruelty to climate change, and your customers will be the people who share similar concerns that you do.
This business idea has low capital requirements, which makes it ideal if you’re just starting out in college or don’t have access to much savings. Your risk in this business idea would be that you may not always agree on the issue some people hold dear, and it might make it harder for you to find customers who want to support your campaign.
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Even though you’re in college, that doesn’t mean your dreams have to be put on hold. The sixteen business ideas listed above are perfect for busy students who don’t want to work part-time jobs while they study.