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On Campus Jobs vs. Off Campus Jobs

An on campus job or an off campus job: which is better?

If you decide that you want to have a job in college, the next question you must answer is where– on campus or off campus?

There are pros and cons to both. Tempting as it may be to jump on the first job offer you get and start making money right away, it’s best to first figure out which option works best for you. So prepare your resume and consider the following four questions before you accept any off campus or on campus job.

1. Are You Willing to Commute?

The location of your work might seem trivial but it’s important to consider when choosing between on campus jobs and off campus jobs. Odds are that on campus jobs will be closer to your home and classes, and therefore more convenient for you. After a full day of classes, do you really want to spend 45 minutes commuting to an off campus job? Depending on your transportation options, it may not even be feasible.

On the other hand, you may not mind commuting to work for the right off campus job. And if you’re really motivated, you can always bring your flash cards or class notes on the bus and make your commuting time count!

2. What’s the Availability of Off Campus and On Campus Jobs?

This will depend largely on your school’s location. If you’re in a big city, odds are that there will be plenty of off campus jobs available. If your campus is located in a small rural town, however, you may be hard-pressed to find off campus jobs.

Most schools offer student employment services that provide resources and listings of both on campus jobs and off campus jobs. This should give you an idea of just what’s out there and where you can look for jobs.

3. How Much Cash Do You Need?

The main point of having a job in college is the money, right? Whether on campus jobs or off campus jobs are a better option for you will depend largely on job availability and the wage you want make.

If you’re looking to subsidize your living costs or are budgeting for a summer backpacking trip through Europe, odds are that you’ll want the best-paying job possible. In this case, off campus jobs may be able to offer you more money, especially if your school is in an urban location. Many students find that serving or bartending jobs offer the best payoff thanks to tips, and they also can be a fun social way to make money.

4. Do You Qualify for Work-Study?

When it comes to student work options, a work-study program is one of the best options out there – they are on campus and pay relatively well. What’s the catch? You have to demonstrate financial need to qualify for your school’s work-study program.

Depending on your school’s requirements, you may or may not qualify for work-study on campus jobs. Jobs included in many work-study programs are positions at the school library, cafeteria, and administrative offices.

Figuring Out Your Needs

When deciding between on campus and off campus jobs, it’s important to consider the factors that matter to you. Do you care about location? Do you want to make as much money as possible? Is there a certain type of job you prefer?

Once you’ve answered these questions, deciding whether to look for an on campus job or an off campus job should be a snap. Good luck!

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