Higher Ed Hustle: Four Advantages of Working While in College

New study says more students working through school. Here's why that's a good thing

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While living off of Ramen noodles and relying on parental allowances may be the norm for some college students, reports show that more students are working their way through college. According to this U.S. Census report, 71% of the nation’s 19.7 million college undergraduates were working in 2011. Whether it’s due to the rising cost of tuition, need for living expenses or desire for an income, there are certainly strong advantages of holding down a job during your college years.

Added cash flow
The first and most obvious reason for getting a college job is money. For some students, getting a job may be an absolute necessity due to a tight budget. This can also be a huge help for students who don’t want to rack up credit card debt or student loan interest. Earning extra money on the side also helps kick the broke college student reputation that many college students have to bear.

Work experience
Two things that can be gained from almost any job are experience and references. Even if your job doesn’t directly correlate to your major, having steady work experience while in college will show that you have strong work ethic and the ability to multitask. Depending on the nature of your college job, you may learn new skills that will come in handy in school and/or in the workplace after you graduate.

Budgeting
There’s no better way to learn how to responsibly handle finances than to do it. Nothing will teach you the value of a dollar faster than watching your hard-earned money go in and out of your bank account. Using the money that you earn from your college job will cause you to budget realistically.

Time management
A college job can help you to develop valuable time management and organizational skills and improve your ability to focus and concentrate. Coordinating work and study can be challenging, but it can also pay off by forcing you to learn techniques to use your time as productively and efficiently as possible.

What are some other advantages of working while in college? #SoundOff and follow Jamie on Twitter @JayNHarrison.

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