On-Campus Jobs Vs. Off-Campus Jobs
Looking for that perfect job to make a little extra cash or start working toward your career, but don’t know where to start?
That was my story and, like many others, I entered college with little to no job experience. Most full-time students who work part-time can expect to put in about 20 hours per week and that cuts in to your time for studying and socializing.
The first decision you have to make is, do you want to work on campus or off? Here are some pros and cons:
When getting an on-campus job, you might be able to qualify for a work- study program, which is a needs-based program that allows students to earn money if they need help paying for college. To qualify, you have to meet certain criteria, such as having financial need, being enrolled as a full-time student in a degree program and maintaining a good academic standing. Most jobs these days pay minimum wage, but you can get more.
Angelo State University, along with many other schools, applies your work-study money directly to pay your tuition and other fees, if needed. Some schools just give you a paycheck, which you can use as spending money or put toward other expenses.
On-campus jobs, especially work-study jobs, are very flexible when it comes to a student’s class schedules. On-campus employers know school can be hectic and allow for some flexibility. In addition, you can get time off when the campus shuts down over holidays or has bad weather days.
Getting to an on-campus job is simple because you are already there and can just walk to your job. In addition, on smaller campuses like ASU, you might be able to fit job hours between classes, which can add a lot more hours quickly. Instead of working long shifts, you might be able to just work between classes every day.
An on-campus job if you want to decided how to spend your earnings yourself.
Lower rates of pay are also a disadvantage of an on-campus job. My former roommate had an off-campus job as a waitress downtown and ended up making more money than I did every week because she got tips that added up really fast.
The options are endless for off-campus jobs, especially if your school is in a urban area. From waiting tables at a restaurant or working in a retail store to assisting at some high-end company, there are numerous opportunities for jobs off campus.
You can also have the option of starting your own company or business, such as child-care or lawn-mowing services. With more options, you have a better chance of making more money at an off-campus job, and you can use it however you please.
Off-campus jobs also give you more exposure to the “real world,” and real world situations can look good for future jobs. In addition, depending on your career field, you probably have a better chance of finding a job off campus in your interest area.
Even though there are many advantages to working off campus, there are some disadvantages. Off-campus jobs can be a challenge for college students and can be overwhelming.
One big thing is the transportation issue. Without a reliable source of transportation, it will be very hard to get to and from your job. Even if you do have a car, expenses such as gasoline, insurance and maintenance quickly add up and could be a lot more than your hourly paycheck.
Despite all the school demands, off-campus employees are more likely to be expected to work longer and fuller shifts, so it can make juggling school life and your social life even harder.
Add It All Up
When comparing on-campus and off-campus jobs, there’s not really one that is better or worse. It really depends on your situation. You may find it easier to be on campus because it’s more convenient. Or you may find that one job off campus that is the perfect career starter and makes everything else worthwhile. Some students can end up doing both at the same time.
If you just want to focus more on school without any other distractions and only need to make a few extra dollars, then choose carefully when getting a job because you want one that works with you and your schedule. Take the time to look at all your options and make sure your choice will further your goal in the end and help you start a career.