Work while studying?

When you are in JC or University, thinking of working may be the furthest thing from your mind. You are concentrating on school, and dealing with a great deal of studying. While many will shy away from work during this time, it can actually be very beneficial to have part-time work while in school.

One of the biggest benefits of having part-time work while schooling is the exposure that you will get to the “real world”. While it may be more common in the past for students to work for a couple of years before pursuing higher education, it is now the norm to finish your studies before working.

While this arrangement has its benefits, it also results in students studying for the sake of passing exams, while not really retaining knowledge that would be useful once they start work. Part-time work in a related field to what they intend to do would give them a better idea of what skills and knowledge employers are looking for. It will give students a heads-up in developing and building these skills and network.

One other obvious benefit is the salary you will draw as a part-timer. But don’t be too quick to spend all your cash on having fun. If you’re still receiving sufficient allowance from your parents throughout the school term, it’d be wise to save up the extra cash you receive from your job. For example, there are finance students who use the money saved to invest in stocks and shares, earning them dividends, capital gains and experience in the trade. Others use the extra cash to pursue entrepreneurial dreams and start a mini business while in school. Even if you have no such interest, the extra savings could help in repaying your student loan once you’ve graduated, reducing the total interest you’ll have to pay over the years.

Trying out a different area of work – even if it’s your dream to become an engineer, you may also have wondered what’s it like baking cakes and waiting tables. Even if you’re not considering a full-time career in these areas, studying is a good period of time to try out the different jobs available. It will expand your horizons and allow you to develop skills beyond what you can learn in school. Even though there may seem to be little in common between engineers and waiters, it is essential to realise that being successful in your career entails you having both vertical and horizontal skills. While schools can teach you the hard skills, the soft skills are best picked up by interacting with people.

Overall, do make sure to find a good balance juggling part-time work and your studies. The satisfaction and experience can be worthwhile.

Homework Elves is an online platform that allows students to get academic help on the go. It is open to university students to join as “tutors” or “students”, depending on whether you want to ask or answer questions. Join us today at


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