Being in college can be hazardous to your financial health. Part of the college experience is struggling to pay bills or make ends meet, but there are ways to offset that besides eating ramen every night. You can earn extra money in college by taking on various part-time jobs or internships, and these can also bolster your resume for after college. By earning extra cash in college, you’re less likely to rack up credit card debt that you’ll have to pay off later in life.
As a bonus, try looking for jobs that will give you insight or experience in the field you’re studying. Although finding a paid internship can be challenging and competitive, the knowledge you gain will be invaluable. Internships can also be a great way to network and make connections within your field. Not to mention, future employers will look highly upon past work experience in your specific field. To find these and other jobs, check your college’s job board.
Retail. Working towards a degree in fashion merchandising or sales? Try looking for a job in retail, especially clothing stores. You can also apply for jobs at stores that you like to shop at or where an employee discount would be most beneficial to you. Employee discounts are often as high as 40 or 50 percent on most merchandise and this can be a great perk of a part-time job. However, beware that a retail job can be dangerous if you overindulge and spend your entire paycheck at that store.
Work study. If you are eligible for a work study position through your school’s financial aid department, be sure to take advantage of it. Since these jobs tend to be on campus, you can cut down on or completely eliminate transportation costs. Most importantly, university employers understand the demands of being a student and often allow you to do schoolwork during slow shifts. Keep in mind that the maximum number of hours you will be able to work will depend on your total Federal Work Study award.
Tutoring. Tutoring in your specific major is a great way to study and simultaneously earn some extra money. Use your school’s classifieds or other online forums to reach out to other students and post your availability and expertise. If you play a sport or instrument, you can also offer private lessons. Based on experience and expertise, tutors and instructors are often paid high hourly rates for their services. You can also turn tutoring into a skill listed on your resume – being able to train other people in specific fields is an asset.
Work in a restaurant. Restaurants on or close to college campuses are usually bustling with professors, students, and families. They are also a good option if you have a jam-packed class schedule since most restaurant shifts tend to be in the evening. This is a great job for anyone looking to enter the hospitality or sales industry, but expect to work weekend nights and long hours.
Although working two jobs in school can be a feasible option, it can also be overwhelming on top of classes and studying. If you chose this route, be sure that it is manageable for you. Keep in mind that it may seem like a great idea at the beginning of the semester when the work load is light, but when due dates for projects, papers, and finals start piling up, you may quickly regret it. Just remember that school comes first, and prioritize accordingly. For more guidance on college finance, check out ACCC’s College Workbook.
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