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5 Benefits of Working a Job While in College

Working while completing a degree isn’t easy. It’s a juggling act, and if you have student loans or scholarships that cover the cost of tuition – plus your parents footing the bill for your living expenses – you may reason that you don’t need a job. But aside from monetary need, there are lots of reasons to maintain employment while in school.

Benefits of Working While in College

1. Reduces College Debt

For some coeds, student loans are the only way to afford the cost of tuition. But, like any other type of financing, student loans – whether federal or private – must be repaid. In many cases, a job won’t replace the need for student loans, but it can offset the amount you have to borrow by covering the cost of room, board, books, or other supplies. And while student loan repayment isn’t required until after graduation, a job could allow you to make regular interest payments while in school, significantly reducing how much you owe post-graduation.

2. Increases Cash Flow

If your parents give you money for living expenses, it’s probably just enough to get by. If you need extra cash for clothes, trips, or other entertainment, you may find yourself begging or borrowing to fund your fun.

Extra expenses are going to pop up, and your parents may not be able to dip into their wallets at every request. A part-time job can supplement the cash you receive – plus, earning your own money gives you a measure of independence.

Too often, college students apply for student credit cards, then use these cards to bridge financial gaps. However, with extra money in your pocket from a part-time job, you don’t have to rely on plastic. You can avoid high-interest debt while still enjoying your college experience.

3. Provides Money Management Skills

Nobody learns how to manage money overnight. Postponing your first job until after graduation may give you extra study (or party) time, but delaying entry into the workforce may not contribute to a strong familiarity with personal finance. If you never earn a paycheck or pay a bill during college, do you really think you’ll be a natural when you’re on your own?

No one is asking you to fully support yourself while in school, but if you take responsibility for personal expenses, such as cell phone, transportation, and entertainment costs, you’ll learn how to manage your money. Once you move on to the “real” world, these money management skills compound so that the transition to life as a self-supporting adult comes more easily.

Having a job while in school also encourages simple budgeting. Budgeting is the practice of creating a spending plan for your earnings – tracking how much you bring in versus how much you pay out, striving to keep your expenses less than your income. When you budget, you’re deciding how to spend each dollar to avoid overspending, grow your savings, and keep your personal finances in check.

3. Provides Money Management Skills

Nobody learns how to manage money overnight. Postponing your first job until after graduation may give you extra study (or party) time, but delaying entry into the workforce may not contribute to a strong familiarity with personal finance. If you never earn a paycheck or pay a bill during college, do you really think you’ll be a natural when you’re on your own?

No one is asking you to fully support yourself while in school, but if you take responsibility for personal expenses, such as cell phone, transportation, and entertainment costs, you’ll learn how to manage your money. Once you move on to the “real” world, these money management skills compound so that the transition to life as a self-supporting adult comes more easily.

Having a job while in school also encourages simple budgeting. Budgeting is the practice of creating a spending plan for your earnings – tracking how much you bring in versus how much you pay out, striving to keep your expenses less than your income. When you budget, you’re deciding how to spend each dollar to avoid overspending, grow your savings, and keep your personal finances in check.

4. Develops Time Management Skills

After graduation you may find yourself in a fast-paced, demanding position. When deadlines pile up, it may seem impossible to do everything on your to-do list in a single, eight-hour workday. Surviving in the workplace requires good scheduling and time management skills – skills you can develop while working in college.

Holding down a job while in college puts a lot on your plate – you can’t just go with the flow and hope for the best. Every hour of every day must be scheduled, and if you don’t organise, prioritise, and take control of your time, you may end up dropping the ball. It’s better to make these adjustments while in college, rather than struggling with life’s realities after you graduate.

5. Puts You Ahead of the Competition

Gaining work experience while in college puts you ahead of the competition. Even a simple internship, whether paid or unpaid, shows potential employers that you know your way around an office. This helps to set you apart from other new graduates who are also seeking jobs.

Of course, employers need to know you did well in school, too – particularly if you’re seeking a job related to your degree. If you manage to graduate at the top of your class while holding down a job (or at the very least, graduate with good grades), potential employers are bound to be impressed.

 

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