6 Elements That Make Up a Good Job for College Students

If you’re in college, you know that it can be difficult to make money while still having enough time to attend classes, write papers, prepare for exams, and have a social life. The key is finding a job with the flexibility to allow you to enjoy college.

Working your way through college can be a great experience. At Addition Financial, both parents and students sometimes ask:

"What are the criteria for good jobs for college students?"

We like getting that question because it’s an important one. Some jobs are ideal for college students and others are not. Here are six elements that make a job suitable for college students.

#1: Proximity to Campus or Home

The first thing to consider is how close the job is to where you live. If you have a car, you’ll probably have more flexibility regarding location. But if you don’t have your own transportation, you’ll need to think about how you’ll get to and from work.

In some cities, public transportation is an option and may be quicker than driving. However, some cities are still highly car-dependent. Orlando is an example – there’s public transportation, but it tends to rely on roundabout routes. You don’t want to spend hours commuting, so be practical about where you find employment.

#2: Flexibility in Hours

Most students want part-time employment. It’s important to find a job that will allow you to work at a time that fits in with your schedule. Since most classes are held during the day, that may mean that you’ll need to be willing to work nights or weekends.

Make sure that you ask any potential employer about the hours you’ll need to be available before you commit to a job. An employer who’s willing to work with you and accommodate your schedule is probably a better choice than one who has rigid expectations about your hours of employment.

#3: Reasonable Pay

Depending on the type of job you want, you may be earning minimum wage or getting paid quite a bit more than that. You’ll need to decide what makes a job worthwhile. In most cases, it won’t make sense to take a job if you’ll need to work an unreasonable number of hours to earn the money you need.

Of course, “reasonable pay” is a relative term. If a job offers you some worthwhile experience, you may not care as much about pay as you would if you were doing a job unrelated to your desired career. You’ll need to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of any job you consider before you take it.

The Alumni Approved College Handbook for Incoming Freshmen

#4: Career-Related Experience

As we mentioned above, gaining valuable work experience in a field you want to work in can make a job worthwhile even if the pay isn’t great. For many college students, finding a job in their desired field can make up for other shortcomings.

If your primary goal is work experience, then you may want to consider applying for low-paying internships in your field. These jobs don’t pay a lot, but they can give you a leg up on the competition when you graduate. They look great on a résumé and can lead to better employment down the line.

#5: On-Campus Employment

Your job doesn’t need to be on campus, but there are some real benefits to finding employment that’s on campus. There are some jobs that may offer you the opportunity to study while you work. For example, working as a library monitor can give you time to read or work on a paper while still earning some income.

Another on-campus option is to be a peer tutor. If your campus has international students, some of them may need help editing and proofreading papers. That can be an easy way to earn some extra money – and the benefit of doing work on your own time instead of being tied into an employer’s schedule.

#6: Temporary Employment

One option that may appeal to you is finding temporary employment. You won’t have the benefit of a steady paycheck, but there are many ways to earn a little extra cash without committing to a regular work schedule.

Here are some examples:

  • Participating in research studies
  • Babysitting for local families
  • Taking photographs and selling them online
  • Acting as an extra on local film shoots
  • Working campus events

The downside of this type of employment is that you’ll need to be on the lookout for opportunities if you want to earn money. The benefit is that you can be truly flexible and work only when you want to.

Good jobs for college students can be competitive, but if you keep the six elements we’ve outlined here in mind, you’ll be sure to find a job that works for you.

To learn more about Addition Financial’s student loans and how they can help you pay for college, please click here.

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