Things to consider before deciding to work when in college

Many students have to work while they are in college, simply because, if they don’t, they can’t afford to do the course in the first place. However, those who do have a choice are faced with a difficult decision, because there are just as many pros to working while in college as there are cons. It is therefore necessary to weigh up both sides of the argument before coming to a final decision. 

Pros

-More money to enjoy life

Apart from needing money to fund college in the first place, a little bit of extra money to spend on treats and travelling in the holidays can make life an awful lot easier. It isn’t impossible to live life on a tight budget, but it’s a lot more fun with some ready cash to hand. 

-Less chance of debt afterwards

Many students spend years after they have graduating paying off their debts. This puts an awful lot of pressure on their shoulders, because it is hard to think of moving on with their lives, buying a home and starting a family until the debt has been paid off. 

-Provides valuable life experience

A lot of students go into the job market after graduation with very little experience outside of their academic life. Working for a living, even on a part-time basis, develops certain skills that are needed in life, but that can’t be learned through study – simple things like how to communicate with different people and how to behave at a job interview. This makes the transition to work after graduation much easier. 

-Looks good on a resume

Employers are often faced with a glut of resumes from college graduates and are always looking for someone that stands out. Someone with work experience as well as good grades is likely to do just that, especially if the experience is in a relevant field. It also shows commitment, which is always going to impress an employer.

Cons

-Distracts from studying

Commitment to a job does mean that students have less available free time. This may not be a problem if they are organised and cut down on their social life to make time for studying, but many students tend to give in to peer pressure and sacrifice their study time instead. 

-May not be applicable to career

Many student jobs are in retail or something completely irrelevant to what they eventually want to do with their career. This can be counter-productive, especially if the time spent working affects grades, because employers ideally want someone with relevant experience and good qualifications. 

-High burn-out rates

There are only so many hours in the day and trying to hold down a job while studying can be extremely tiring, especially around exam time, when employers may be reluctant to let them have time off. In time, this may be too much for students to take and stress may cause them to burn-out. 

-Rest of life is spent working

Most students go to college because they hope to get a highly paid job afterwards, for which they will expect to have to work hard. From that point of view, college years may be their last chance to study and have fun before beginning the daily grind of work, therefore working in college can be unnecessarily exhausting. 

Whether or not to work while in college has to be a personal choice; what is right for one person may not be for another. Weigh up both the pros and cons before making a decision.