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Working while in University

Updated on July 5, 2011

I was lucky in where I was born, and where I decided to go to university. During my time in university I still lived with my parents, and here in Quebec for the longest time, university education has been very inexpensive. This allowed me, because I worked during university, to finish university without a student debt. Obviously if you have to go away to attend university you will have that additional cost, and especially if you are not in Quebec, you will likely be paying considerably more for your education, however, there are still advantages to working while in school.

  • No matter how much you earn doing your job, it can be used to offset how much you will have to borrow. Even if it only lowers your debt by a few thousand dollars, those are dollars that you won't have to pay later on.
  • Someone working fifteen to twenty hours a week and being a full time student will have very little extra time. Having only a small amount of extra time will help to really focus the student as they will have only a fixed number of hours to do their homework and studying. This will by its very nature teach the student time management skills that will be to their benefit later on in life.
  • A student's CV, once they graduate, will already have an entry in the 'Previous Employment' section. Job interviewers will be impressed by the fact that the student had a job and studied at the same time - it shows a level of proficiency and organization that other candidates may not have.
  • The working student will not have as much time for debauchery as they will be either at work or at school or asleep for the most part. The students themselves will not be too thrilled at this prospect, but this will certainly make the parent happier.

About that last point, while I did work three out of the four years I was at university, I still managed to have a social life, I still had friends and went to the occasional party, I just didn't see them quite as often as I would have liked. This taught me a level of responsibility that I may not have otherwise learned - I had to behave reasonably responsible in order to keep my job and to continue to do well in school.

The impetus for me to write this hub is for what happened in my third year. I worked through years one and two, left my job near the end of my second year, did not work during the third year, but then started a summer job in between my third and fourth years that I was able to negotiate as a part time position during my fourth year. My best grades were in the years I worked. In that third year I had my worst grades because I had a lot of time on my hands. Since I had so much time, I kept putting off homework and studying and ended up not doing some because it got too late and I fell too far behind. When I was working, I would try as much as I could to do homework as soon as it was assigned so that I wouldn't fall behind in any of my courses.

Did you or are you working during university?

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To conclude, I recommend, if at all possible, that a student should work during their university time so that they can learn how to focus better on their studies and reduce the amount of distraction time available.

Please note that while I used the term university exclusively here, this hub could apply equally to college.


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    • Phil Plasma profile image

      Phil Plasma 6 years ago from Montreal, Quebec

      Thanks, WIB, it is amazing how true it is that if you want to get something done, you give it to the busy person.

    • whoisbid profile image

      whoisbid 6 years ago

      It is a good Hub and I guess we should not let lazy people drag us down

    • Phil Plasma profile image

      Phil Plasma 6 years ago from Montreal, Quebec

      Thanks EB, my parents were not in a position to pay for my university education, however, that I could continue to live in my parents house was a form of subsidy that really helped me out.

    • Ebower profile image

      Erin Bower 6 years ago from Georgia

      You make some excellent points! I didn't have to work during school, because my parents paid for most of it, including living expenses. Although, I feel bad now, because they are paying off my student loans still. I wish I would have worked in order to get some experience and to make my resume look more full like you said. I always work under pressure, so that will be an added advantage as I work while I go back to school to start my masters in English in January. This is an informative hub, so I voted it up and useful!

    • Phil Plasma profile image

      Phil Plasma 6 years ago from Montreal, Quebec

      Yes, Deb, that is also a definite advantage, and yes also, great job on the semi-colon usage! Thanks for stopping by.

    • profile image

      Debstar 6 years ago

      I see one more advantage to having a job while going to Uni; when you are finished with Uni you still have a job to tie you over until you find your ideal job. If you have been a good worker you should also have a good reference to produce at job interviews.

      Did you notice that I used a semi-colon? Hope I did it right.

    • Phil Plasma profile image

      Phil Plasma 6 years ago from Montreal, Quebec

      Thanks Apple, I think the way the economy is going, some students will be lucky to even find a job, but it will greatly assist them in the future.

    • applecsmith profile image

      Carrie Smith 6 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      Another great hub, Phil. I agree that working while going to school is a good thing. Having little or no debt after graduating is a big step forward in your future.

    • Phil Plasma profile image

      Phil Plasma 6 years ago from Montreal, Quebec

      Matt, thanks for the visit.

      MM, Leaving school with a crushing debt can certainly be debilitating.

      Rachael, yes, working during school isn't for everyone - for me it helped with my grades, for you it didn't.

    • RachaelLefler profile image

      Rachael Lefler 6 years ago from Illinois

      Well my grades suffered when I took on a part-time job in addition to being a full-time student. It's important to think of getting good grades as your primary job.

    • Man from Modesto profile image

      Man from Modesto 6 years ago from Kiev, Ukraine (formerly Modesto, California)

      Additionally, the number one debt in America today is no longer home loans. It is higher education loans. AND, these loans are NOT forgivable in a bankruptcy. AND, as soon as a loan is defaulted, fees, interest and fines can nearly triple the loan.

    • mattdigiulio profile image

      mattdigiulio 6 years ago

      Phil- Great hub. It's too bad college is so expensive these days. A job is a good idea, for time management, cash flow, and maintaining responsibilities. Voting up.

      Best, Matt D.