Should You Work While Attending College?

A full-time college course load is already a lot to manage without adding a part-time job into the mix. However, working is a necessity for many students to help pay their living expenses and supplement the financial aid they receive towards tuition. Other students simply prefer to work because it makes them less financially dependent on their parents. Like any choice when it comes to your college education, working while pursuing a degree comes with advantages and disadvantages.

The Findings of This 2019 Report Might Surprise You

In 2019, Rutgers Education and Employment Research Center conducted a study looking at the long-term results of students working while in college. The fact that students gain valuable work experience at their-part time college jobs did not surprise researchers as much as the long-term implications of that choice.

According to Rutgers, students who combined college studies with work earned more money than their peers who chose not to work. The study came to several conclusions about why this occurred.

Students who work during college get a jump start on valuable skills and expected professional behavior such as showing up to work on time every day. Working students also develop teamwork skills and the ability to followed detailed instructions that will come in handy once they pursue full-time careers.

Yet another reason Rutgers states for the higher earning potential of working students once they leave college is that they have a more developed resume and professional contacts than non-working students.

Determine How Much a Job Could Interfere with Your College Experience

A potential drawback of working while in college is that it could cause you to miss out on the full college experience that is memorable for so many people. From football games to dances to participating in extra-curricular clubs, these experiences can be just as valuable as what you learn in class.

You also need to consider your own ability to manage multiple priorities and deal with stress. For example, what would you do if someone did not show up to replace you for the next shift, and that caused you to miss study time for an important test?

Even though you do not have a lot of work experience yet, you should be somewhat selective about the type of job you do accept while in college. Does it provide you with practical work experience towards your future career goals? Do the matters of pay, location, and the chance to meet people outside academia meet your expectations? You may want to hold off working if the answer to these questions is no, especially if you think the job will negatively impact your studies.

70 Percent of College Students Work

A recent Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce revealed that more than two of every three students work while attending classes. If you would like to work and are still in high school, it may be possible to keep the job you have now. To discuss other ways to earn money while in college, including the federal work-study program, schedule an appointment with Accolade Financial.