Nowadays, it seems like you can get just about anything delivered to you with the tap of a finger. Hungry? Tap. Need a ride? Tap. How about a place to stay this weekend? But who’s going to look after your dog? Tap.Tap. Thanks to the advent of on-demand delivery services such as Uber and Postmates, mundane chores can be done for us at a reasonable price. The on-demand delivery economy not only benefits the consumer, but allows part timers to bang out some extra cash without the formalities of a “real” job. Now, we’re starting to see the on-demand business model disrupt education with the arrival of Studypool™, a 24/7 Microtutoring platform that is mutually beneficial for its users and tutors.
Stuck on a problem set? Need help writing a thoughtful conclusion? There’s no need to book a pricy hour-long tutoring session or commit to a monthly subscription to get an answer to your urgent questions. Before posting a question, Studypool allows its users to set a price point, delivery-time, and privacy setting-100% satisfaction guarantee. The best part is the service is available 24/7, which comes in handy when you’re overwhelmed at the library at 1am. The company coined the term Microturtoring to emphasize the value in small, fragmented pieces of tutoring to address the everyday questions that students have in over 30 subjects, such as accounting, computer science, and essay writing. This saves serious bank when you only have one or two questions and don’t want to spend the time or money on a full tutoring session. A user compared the experience to “having a smart friend around all the time to help you out.”
If I had this service in high school or college, my report cards would have probably been worthy of a fridge moment all the way through. Not to mention my stress levels would have been reduced significantly. But alas, I’m part of a generation where we had to walk 15 miles in the snow to get to school instead of hailing a personal driver for $3.50.
Although I missed the Studypool boat by about 10 years, post-grads can still benefit from the business. In a competitive workforce, there’s an entire group of college-educated folks without jobs or who need additional income. This is where Studypool’s true magic comes in. Anyone with a diploma can apply to be a tutor. The process is fairly simple while still being careful to make sure that applicants are qualified to be tutors. After inputting your alma mater, graduation year, and major, Studypool asks you to write a short biography about your tutoring experience followed by a short essay of your choice on prompts such as “Why is education important?” and “Why are tutors important?” This measure helps determine whether an applicant is literate and has critical reasoning skills. The application is reviewed within 24 hours and if all goes well, you’re officially a Studypool tutor!
Whether you choose to “pick up” a couple questions a week to cover your drinks for the weekend or decide to work full-time, Studypool tutors can earn up to 5k a month just by exercising their brains from bed. Another plus is that the anonymity and academic aspect of working as a Studypool tutor helps to avoid the unfortunate stigma that uber drivers or food deliverers often deal with. One tutor explains, “I feel pretty proud to work as an online tutor because I get way more liberties than a corporate job like choosing where, when, and what I work on. At the same time, I’m using my brain and sharpening skills I learned back in college. It’s a pretty good deal.”
Studypool proves that in the age of tech, you don’t have to be a computer programer to cash in on emerging startups.