Hiring sign for a part time job

Should You Work During College

College can be a great time. For many, it is the best time of their life. Think about that, “the best time of their life”. That means for many, it is all downhill from there. Isn’t that sad. Don’t let that be you. Have fun during college but set yourself up for an even better future. How? By getting a part time job during school.

Working In College

There are dozens of reasons to get a job during college. I know, your idea might be to just have fun and enjoy the next four years but what if you could do both. What if you could have a great time during school and set yourself up for success and even better times after school? Let’s look at what a college job can do for you.

1. Reduce Your Student Loan Debt

Debt is crippling and student loans can haunt you for years to come. Think about having 50000 dollars or more in debt and not even having a job. It could make getting yourself established pretty tough.

Working a part time job would allow you to cut down on how much you borrow. Let’s say that you just work 10 hours a week, during an 9 month school year. That is roughly 36 weeks. At $13 an hour, which is what Walmart starts at currently, you would make $130 a week or $4680 in a school year. That is $18,720 that you would not have to borrow and pay compounding interest on.

Ten hours a week is nothing and anyone could fit that into a schedule. Double that and work, a still easy, 20 hours a week and you could earn $37,440. A part time job making a little money now, could allow you to graduate nearly debt free.

Being debt free after college would allow you to immediately start saving for a home and retirement. Instead of paying down a debt that is costing you interest, you could be investing in an account that is earning you interest.

2. Teach Responsibility

You may not think that you have much to learn but, if you are the average 18 to 20 year old, you do. A job will teach you responsibility because you have to show up and do your work, week after week, whether you like it or not. It takes discipline and devotion, traits that will help you in college and later in life.

For the here and now, it will help you with your studies. You know that you have a schedule to keep and things to get done. This discipline can help you to study at times that you would rather just goof off. A job might just make you a better student.

After college, this discipline will continue to help you as you take on your career. Your employer will be impressed by the discipline that a rather young person shows, discipline that most graduating students will not have.

3. Build Job History

All things being equal, who would you hire? Someone with no job experience or someone who has worked the last four years?

Will your part time job have something to do with your career, probably not. Sometimes a job is a job though and if you can show that you can stick with a job, year after year, you show the trait of dependability. That is a trait that is highly regarded.

It might be a strong job market out there but that does not mean that you won’t come up against competition for the job that you really work. Even a slight edge could get you that dream job.

4. Get In Touch With Your School

A campus job could help plug you in to the pulse of your school. You can earn some money now while meeting more people from school and potentially alumni.

Being in touch can help you after you graduate when networking becomes important in starting your career.

Choosing Your Part Time Job

Ideally, the first thing that you should look for is a job in your chosen career path. This might be tough but if you land one, you can set yourself up for the future quite well. Almost every business will have some support jobs that do not require a degree or knowledge of the field. Look for jobs in reception, call centers, etc. With any luck, you might just find a job that will even hire you after college.

If you strike out at finding a job in your future career, look for one that supports college. Many employers will actively seek college kids as employees. This would be ideal because they would be more likely to work with your schedule. College schedules can sometimes be hectic with some classes only being offered at certain times and various social activities. In addition, companies that seek out college kids often have perks like tuition reimbursement that could help you cut your student loan debt even further.

Best Part Time College Jobs

Having a hard time choosing a job to go after? Here are some great ones to consider.

  • Dog Walking
    There are a lot of companies in need of dog walkers. All you need is a vehicle and a love for animals. Apply at a pet sitting service or go at it by yourself with a service like Rover.
  • Babysitting
    Like children, babysitting is a great gig. The hours are flexible and usually flexible with college schedules. Make an easy $15 an hour or more by checking out Care.Com. They can keep you busier than you could manage by yourself.
  • Cashier
    Cashier jobs are easy to get and have flexible hours. Places like Target and Walmart will have plenty of shifts, offer student benefits and start at up to $15 an hour.
  • Driving
    Uber and Lyft make it easy for college kids to get work just as long as you have a decent four door car.
  • Personal Trainers
    If your degree will be in fitness or nutrition, personal training can give you relevant work experience. In addition, hours are varied with shifts available morning or night.
  • Security
    Security guards have flexible hours that often allow you to study while at work. In addition, if your degree is in criminal justice, the job might look good on your resume.

If all else fails, turn to your school for help. A visit to student services could yield you a list of companies looking for help.

Posted by

James Car is a finance, loan and budget expert based in the United States. After attending Brookhaven college, he went on to become a successful entrepreneur. He now enjoys writing articles that help people save and make the most of their money.