College is stressful enough without having to take getting a job into account. However, the reality for many students is that working part time while studying is non-negotiable. As such, you may be looking for the perfect job. But where should you look for those jobs?
There are many potential jobs you can get on campus, although positions do fill up very quickly. Many students apply for on-campus jobs without even thinking about working elsewhere. Is this the right approach?
Most of the following considerations apply whether you are staying on or off campus. If you are staying off campus, though, there are some extra things to take care of to keep your finances in check. These include groceries, WiFi, and utilities. Renters insurance is necessary as well. If you are not familiar with it, there are a few things you should know about renters insurance for students. This kind of insurance will cover you in case your possessions are lost or stolen, and can be a financial lifesaver.
Now, let’s take a look at what to consider about getting a job on or off campus.
One of the biggest benefits of getting a job on campus is that you don’t have to pay for transport or spend much time commuting. Instead of wasting that time and money getting to and from your job, you can work longer hours or, alternatively, use that time to study and relax.
This applies to students living off campus as well. You are going to be commuting to campus on most days anyway. Instead of going straight back to your apartment after your classes end, you can stick around until it is time to get to work. Campus is a great place to study when not in class. There is also a lot to do if you just want to relax and enjoy yourself.
When you look for a job after getting your degree, you will consider how any potential role will advance your career. When studying, however, you generally have to take the best-paying job that you can get, even if it is totally unrelated to what you want to do in the future. This is true on and off campus. But when you get a job on campus, you are at least building a network of connections within the academic world.
You may be working with professors and lecturers and even doing research for them. You may interact with other students on a regular basis. All of these people have potential to impact your academic career. Even if you have no guarantee that you will work with anyone who helps you move forward, you are more likely to benefit from knowing your campus colleagues than from meeting people at other workplaces.
Room and Board
Some of the best campus jobs you can get can actually provide you free or discounted room and board. This is particularly true for roles like that of a resident assistant (RA). This is a role that requires you to live on campus and, as such, your own residence is subsidized.
Getting cheap or free residence through a campus job can be hugely beneficial in future. If you are a recipient of a student loan, you will have to pay lower installments and less interest than you otherwise would, and may be able to pay your loans off more quickly.
There are disadvantages to campus jobs. The main disadvantage is that wages tend to be lower than those offered by off-campus jobs. Campus jobs are unlikely to pay much more than minimum wage. While many off-campus employers offer similar wages, there are those that offer significantly more.
Higher wages may be an excellent reason to choose an off-campus job. However, if you cannot find a job offering significantly more than the jobs available on campus, the other considerations on this list may well cancel out your extra earnings.