Working while in College

Is getting a job in college a good idea, or something that will get in the way of your studies?

It is obvious many college students live off a very tight budget. Students who consider getting a job while in college have to decide if they can sacrifice quality study time. There are many pros and cons of working while in school. Some, given their financial circumstances, are forced to work. Others may be better off going for additional financial aid that won't have to be paid back until after college. For those who choose to work, the additional income is nice, but could doing so have an impact on your grades?

Working a part-time job during college could mean the difference between attending your second choice school, and attending your top choice. If you find yourself strapped for cash and your budget is not quite up to par with financial dues, a part time job is an ideal way to close that gap. Working a part-time job will also give you hands on job experience that will prove to be very useful regardless of what you are majoring in.

If you can, try to find a job that is closely related to your major. It would be like killing two birds with one stone; you would make the extra money needed to pay for college and get valuable job experience that will make you a prime candidate for hire when you graduate.

Furthermore, it is extremely important to find something you enjoy doing if you choose to take on a part-time job. Remember that you will have difficult classes to worry about, and with those classes comes added stress. You do not need a job that will pile more stress to your already busy schedule. Imagine trying to study for a test but you are scheduled to work in about 30 minutes, you then study for a limited amount of time, do not comprehend the material, and go to work with the burden in your mind knowing that you are not prepared for your exam. You do not want that happening to you.

With that in mind, you need to be meticulous with your scheduling. Find out when your classes are and build your job schedule around them. Don’t try to do it the other way around as this could cause a drop in GPA. Always remember to prioritize your studies over any job since graduating will mean a higher paying job anyways.

If you ever have a time where your boss calls you to work and you have class, tell him/her the truth and stand firm on your decision not to skip class. Most of the time this will earn you respect and will mean that they will take your availability schedule more seriously in the future.

As you can see, there are clear advantages to working a part-time job in college. The key is to balance your job with your classes. If you do this successfully, you will have extra money in your pocket as well as hands on experience that is invaluable this day and age.

As a disclaimer, please note this article was focused on a part-time job, never a full-time job. Working 40+ hours a week is simply not recommended for a college student and the added stress of working a full time job while in college is immense, it would be a better solution to take out a student loan if you are in need of money and continue focusing on your studies. After you graduate, the amount of money that you will earn will be much greater than what any job would pay beforehand.