The Advantages and Disadvantages of On-campus Jobs
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By Elana Goodwin, Uloop
Having a job in college is an important part of growing and being independent and somewhat self-sufficient. Being employed while at school will teach your student time management skills and help them gain experience they can put on their resume that will give them a boost in their future.
That being said, there are certain extra benefits to not just having a job during college, but having an on-campus job as well. Here are some of the advantages and disadvantages that your student should be aware of when considering obtaining an on-campus job.
When working on-campus, there is typically a lot more flexibility offered than if your student had an off-campus job. Your child’s boss understands the demands of a full academic schedule and will be more familiar with the college’s breaks, finals week, etc. Their knowledge of the college’s goings-on will make it easier for your student to flex their work schedule when need be or to take off work when necessary, such as during breaks.
Additionally, students can expect an on-campus job to more willingly allow them to schedule shorter work hours to accommodate their class schedule. Jobs not on campus usually call for their workers to be there longer hours at a time, rather for just a few hours in between classes, with a changing schedule each semester.
When your student has an on-campus job, it is way more convenient for them than having an off-campus job would be. Since they are already on campus for classes, it is easier for them to get to their job as it will be somewhat nearby. If they live on campus, that convenience will be even greater as they can stay on-campus for all their needs, from classes to living to eating to working.
Further, students will not need a car to get to their job, which means they will save on gas and parking costs as they won’t need to drive to work.
Working on campus will help your student become more entrenched in their college community. At their on-campus job, they will get to know faculty, staff, and other students at their university that will help them feel more involved in their school. Having an on-campus job can also offer your student low-key networking opportunities they would otherwise miss out on if they were to work off-campus. Those connections can be useful when it comes to job hunting after college.
However, while these are just some of the benefits that on-campus jobs may provide your student, they should also be aware of some of the negatives associated with working on campus.
On-campus jobs often offer lower wages than other employment opportunities may provide. Unless your student is working as a research assistant or resident advisor, the hourly pay they earn from their job on campus will likely be much lower compared to the salary they might make at an off-campus job.
If money is a primary reason behind them looking for a part-time job in college, they should include off-campus job positions in their job hunt from the get-go so they will hopefully have more job options to choose from.
If your student has been awarded work-study as part of their financial aid package, it may be easier for them to find a job on campus, though they will still be competing against hundreds of other students looking to earn their work-study monies at those same jobs, too.
If your student was not awarded work-study, finding an on-campus job will probably be more difficult as many employers only want to hire work-study students, so the on-campus job search may be less successful than an off-campus job search.
At the beginning of the year, you and your student can appeal the financial aid package your student was offered in an effort to try to obtain a work-study allocation but there are no guarantees that that will work.
Most on-campus jobs tend to be administrative or student assistant type jobs or dining labor type jobs, with not much variety as far as the type of jobs go. If your student does not want those types of jobs, they will likely find it hard to find much else offered by on-campus employers. Instead, they may be better off expanding their job search to off-campus employers that have a wider variety of job positions they want to fill.
Before your student starts their job search, they should be aware of the advantages and disadvantages that come with having an on-campus job versus pursuing off-campus job opportunities. Make sure your student takes these factors into consideration during their college job hunt as it will help them decide whether having an on-campus or off-campus job will be the right type of employment for them.
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