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Want To Get a Job While Attending College? Here’s How

02.10.2022 • 10 min read

Nick Griffin

Subject Matter Expert

Here’s a quick guide about getting a job while studying, the easiest way to look, and the pros and cons of working and studying at the same time.

In This Article

  1. How’s the Life of a College Student With a Part-Time Job?

  2. 10 Ideal Jobs for College Students

  3. Pros and Cons of Working and Studying

  4. How Do I Get a Job While in College?

Getting into college and starting on the path to a new career is a big accomplishment - something to feel proud of whether you are a grad student switching careers or fresh out of high school.

It’s an exciting time, but also stressful. Trying to juggle college life can be a challenge with scholarships, grants, a student loan, a full-time class schedule, as well as reading and homework. There is so much to manage!

In addition, it’d be nice to have some extra cash and not rely too much on financial aid. It’s challenging to figure out how to work full-time and go to school full-time, but it’s not impossible. Perhaps, instead of a full-time job, finding a part-time job would be a better fit for you?

Finding a job that accommodates your busy college schedule can be daunting. This includes knowing how much to work and how to balance your class schedule, as well as figuring out how to find it in the first place.

This guide will help explain how to get a job while in college by running through all the challenges that college students face when trying to balance their busy lives.

How’s the Life of a College Student With a Part-Time Job?

The option to take the time in school to focus only on studying may not be realistic. Students often think that having a job will be a distraction to what they are really in school for, but also want to figure out how to save money in college.

In truth, the perks of having a job in college are vast. Most students are more likely to find success in school with a job than without one.

It turns out that having any job helps students feel more grounded and focused in their studies. Besides this, having a job creates a vast set of real-world marketable skills that future employers are looking for when it comes to landing a career job.

Questions to Consider

There are a few questions to think about with college jobs for students:

  • How much time per week does it take to go to class, do your readings, and finish your homework?

  • How much time do you need to take care of your own needs like exercise and socializing?

  • Are you willing to do an evening part-time job or an entry-level job?

  • How much energy do you want to put into finding a job?

  • What is the amount of mental capacity you can put into your work?

  • What work experience or skills do you hope to develop?

  • Do you know anyone who has a job, likes it, and you could do it?

  • What jobs does your school have available to students?

By answering these questions, you will have a better sense of what you are looking for and will not be on an endless online search of the “best jobs for college students.”

There is so much to consider when looking for a part-time job as a student and it helps to know what you need. Since a future employer will want to know right away what work hours you are looking for, you should know what to tell them.

10 Ideal Jobs for College Students

Most college students agree that the ideal job is one that fits their schedule and has a minimal amount of stress. Many students find a campus job or a work-study job to be the kind of job that fits these needs. Whatever you decide, it is important to have some agreement with the purpose of the job and the organization.

Without purpose, a job becomes just a job. Having value tied to it can serve as a break from the daily struggles of sitting in class and reading countless textbook chapters. It’s a bonus if it is a fun place to work too.

So, what are the best jobs for college students?

You need to find a job that is accessible, meaning that it doesn’t consume too much of your energy and will fit with your busy schedule.

These 10 jobs have proven to work for many full-time students:

1. School Library Assistant

Working in the school library offers the opportunity to become familiar with its databases and resource inventory. Library assistants make strong connections with school staff as well as gain organizational and relational skills.

2. Book Store Associate

It could be a local bookstore or the school bookstore on campus. Both would provide the opportunity to work with customers, organize inventory, and make a world of information available. A bonus to working at an off-campus bookstore is a discount on books and other supplies.

3. Student Tutor

It’s a proven fact that those who teach something learn it best. Tutors get to help others in a meaningful way while learning valuable skills. Tutoring jobs are available through your college or online. Look on social media, recruiters for online tutoring services want people that know what it's like to be in school and will accommodate your schedule.

4. Campus Rec Center Support

The campus rec center is always looking for responsible students to help other students. It’s a social job that keeps you on your feet with a variety of responsibilities, with a very flexible schedule.

5. Summer Maintenance Crew Member

Having a job during the summer that pays well might be a great alternative to working during the school year. Landscaping and maintenance crews are looking for hard-working, seasonal help and pay well per hour with no experience needed.

6. Barista/Server

Working in a restaurant or a coffee shop allows you to work hourly shifts and make tip money based on positive interactions with others. These not only can pay well but help to develop great interpersonal skills.

7. Bank Teller

Especially for someone going into marketing or finance, a job at a bank or credit union is great to put on a resume. Financial institutions are always looking for responsible, customer-facing help and teach a large variety of professional, transferable skills.

8. Substitute Teacher

With the current teacher shortage, substitute teachers are high in demand. Many schools are in need of educated and responsible adults to follow lesson plans while teachers are out. With automated platforms available, you can pick the days you want to work.

9. Local Non-Profit Staff Member

There are many non-profits all over the world that have a need for caring and friendly staff. With so much variety, looking into your local non-profits will probably open up a position that provides a greater sense of purpose.

10. Online English Teacher

In our interconnected world, remote work at home is more common. there are countless companies that offer teaching jobs to native English speakers. Usually, shifts at these jobs are 1-3 hours and could fit within any college schedule. As an online English teacher, you would have conversations about a diverse range of topics with kids all over the world.

Pros and Cons of Working and Studying

Managing your time while in school can be a really difficult task, but so can going to school without having any income. When going down the path of figuring out if it is worth having a job, you should write down the pros and cons.

Of course, life is give and take. And, having a job is on a continuum of various schedules and income levels that may work well or not for your needs.

Think about creating a budget. What does a budget for a college student look like? How much do you need to work based on that budget?

So, how beneficial is it to have a job while you are in school? Consider our pros and cons list of working while in college:

The extra money can create more fun experiences while in school.Can be extra stress on top of an already busy class schedule.
Helps form a social network outside of academics and builds references for a future job.Could create distractions that might pull you away from your studies and risk falling behind.
Fosters a sense of purpose and gains independence outside of school.The job could feel like a chore - boring and monotonous.
Gain marketable communication and professional skills that employers want to see on a resume or CV.Having to sacrifice other fun opportunities or educational experiences due to a work schedule.

Weighing out these benefits and complications created by having a job is a great first step. Think about what would be the ideal job for you and start there. Write down a list of criteria your perfect job would have.

It is important to be realistic, but knowing this information before you search makes the process a whole lot easier.

How Do I Get a Job While in College?

When actually going out and looking for a job, keep it simple. There are several great opportunities for college students to work while in school. Many companies are looking for quality help and are willing to be flexible.

Being in college right now proves that you are hard-working, can commit to a schedule, will show up on time, and have a desire to learn and grow. These qualities speak volumes to a potential employer and are great to include in your cover letter.

Look in these resources to find college student jobs:

Your School’s Career Center

Most schools have a designated place where offices around campus post job opportunities with flexible hours for undergrad and graduate students. These jobs will likely fit with any schedule and are offered exclusively to students.

Look for Internships

The Career Services Center may also have a list of internship locations for students where you could get paid and gain marketable skills. Also, check with professors in your department and the job board in the student union.

Local Organizations

Many nonprofits and local businesses are supporters of college students and will offer opportunities for part-time employment that works with your needs. Having a Linkedin profile can help build strong connections with job seekers in your area.

Check with Friends and Social Media

Find out if any of your friends have jobs that they love and if their employer is hiring. It can be great to work with people you already get along with and at places they enjoy working. Also, many founders and companies will post job openings on their social channels.

Organizations that Offer the Position You’re Studying for

You may be surprised that companies you want to work for once you graduate would have jobs you are currently qualified to do even if it's your first job. It could be an internship or any job that can make a transition into your dream job much simpler, with good references and an understanding of all parts of the company.

Online Flexible Jobs

Go onto a job search platform, like Indeed, and you will find thousands of college student jobs online with flexible, part-time schedules. The beauty of these is that you can work when you have the time available to do so.

Really consider what needs you have while you are in school. Take the time to explore your options and find something that you can commit to. Remember that work during the college years sets up college graduates for the career job they want.

Make sure to put your studies first and be honest with your employer if you need to change your schedule. By having the right work/school balance, you are setting yourself up to be a top candidate for any job you apply to in the future.

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