What are the Advantages to Working While Attending School Full Time?

In a world where tuition charges have risen much faster than the rate of inflation, there are many advantages to working while attending school full time. Students today graduate with an average of more than $35,000 in student debt, with many graduates unable to immediately find a job in their chosen field due to a lack of experience or involvement during their undergraduate years. A part-time position while attending classes on a full-time basis can help students minimize each of these significant hurdles to their professional success. The benefits are numerous, but the biggest ones are listed below.

The Opportunity to Incur Less Student Debt

Noting the excessively high cost of college tuition, even at public universities, many political leaders point to a looming student debt “crisis” because of the massive debt that most students take out in order to finance an undergraduate degree. The best way to offset these costs is not only to choose an affordable public institution, but also to work while enrolled there. Students who have a part-time job may be able to make payments toward the interest on their student loans, or they may be able to afford to live off-campus and finance their housing costs without extra student loan money. By the time they graduate, either practice will leave them with less student debt to pay off over the next 10, 20, or even 30 years.

The Opportunity to Gain Real, Professional Experience

The typical working college student is often perceived as someone working retail or fast food, but this doesn’t have to be the case. In fact, students could find a paid internship or an entry-level, part-time position with an employer relevant to their chosen major. Preferring this type of job, instead of a more traditional retail job, allows students to gain invaluable experience and to build a professional network before they’ve officially received their college diploma. With careful planning and job selection, these students could position themselves after graduation as the best candidates for virtually any entry-level position in their major field of study.

More Experiences and Opportunities to Learn From

Many students move to new states and cities to pursue their education, often without the aid of a close network of friends upon arrival. Finding a part-time job in the community allows students to have double the access to new faces and potential new friends. In addition to the friends they’ll make in their dorm, in class, and around campus, they’ll also be able to make friends at a part-time job and create a larger social circle. In study after study, research has shown that students with a larger network of friends and associates are simply more likely to commit to their studies. This means that they often earn higher grades, finish in less time, and stand a far greater chance of actually graduating than their peers who have a smaller network of friends and acquaintances.

Great Opportunities for the Enterprising Undergraduate

The opportunity of a part-time job while studying at a college or university is one that all students should consider as they make their way to campus in the fall. These jobs aren’t just about money, although that’s certainly a powerful benefit in today’s economic climate. The advantages to working while attending school full time include everything from socialization to being more dedicated to academics, and giving students a major advantage as they complete the program and seek professional employment.

Please also see: Will I Make More Money Through Work-Study or an Off-Campus Job?