Should I Get a Job While in College?

Posted: December 12, 2023 | Author: Clare-Estelle Perkins | Read Time: 3 minutes

Professionally dressed man being interviewed by 2 people

Balancing school and work can be challenging. Having a job while in college can help students afford personal expenses but can also create time restraints. There are pros and cons to working in college and students need to weigh their options to make the best financial and academic decisions for their situation. 

For many students, having a job in college is an expectation and a necessity. But having a job throughout college does more than just help with expenses. Keeping employment builds your resume and various skill sets. Students who work develop time management skills as well as work experience. However, balancing both work and academics requires detailed planning and organization. Consider these factors when searching for a job.


Remember to be realistic about your time constraints. Evaluate your academic workload and the demands of your chosen field of study. Some majors are more time-consuming than others. Understanding the time commitments involved will help you gauge your capacity to balance how much you work and study. 

Developing effective time management skills will ensure that both your work and study commitments are met without experiencing burnout. Using tools like calendar or reminder apps, and planners to schedule tasks and deadlines can help create an organized roadmap of your workload.

 If your class schedule is already packed, consider finding a job with flexible hours that won't compromise your ability to attend classes and study. On-campus jobs are a perfect option for students worried about schedule conflicts. When you work for the university, they fit your shifts around your classes to ensure you have work hours without missing any class periods.


Open communication with your employer and professors is key. Let your employer know your class schedule and any upcoming exams or projects that might require time off. Likewise, inform your professors about your work commitments. Many professors are willing to help their students meet all their needs and are a good source of advice. Many campus employers understand that your education and schoolwork should come first. In addition to being flexible with your work schedule, communicating with them often will help them understand your workload and create a better work environment. 

Alternative Types of Employment

 Look for paid internships or co-op programs related to your field of study. These opportunities not only provide valuable work experience but also contribute to your academic and professional growth. Talk to your advisor to see what internships and jobs can count as credits towards your degree. When applying, emphasize how the opportunity aligns with your academic goals. During interviews, discuss your academic commitments and ask about the flexibility the program offers to ensure it is right for you. 

There are many online platforms to help find part-time job opportunities. Websites like Handshake, Indeed, and LinkedIn are all useful resources during the job search process. There are also many simple side hustle opportunities around the internet. Side hustles are a great option for college students when they need to bring in a little extra cash without the commitment of a full or part-time job. These can look like paid online surveys, app and website testing, or dog walking services. Students can get creative and explore different ways to make money during their spare time. 


Remember the importance of putting yourself first. Balancing work and academics can be very demanding, making scheduling downtime for relaxation and social activities crucial. Burnout will negatively impact both your work and academic performance.

Handling a job during college is a delicate balance. Efficient time management and clear communication will be your best tools. The Career Center is a great place for students searching for the sweet spot for academic success and financial stability in college. They can aid in the job search, provide interview tips, help you build a good-looking resume, and much more.

Tags: CurStu Student Affairs Career Center

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