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Getting A Job in College: Where to Look

-Lucy Jackson, Freelance Contributor

College costs are rising. In the last 20 years, the cost of tuition at out of state public colleges have grown by 194 percent. For those choosing private universities, they have seen a 154 percent increase in the last two decades. The average cost of an engineering or construction degree now stands at over $10,000 annually. Due to rising costs, more and more students are considering alternative options to help them pay for a degree.

Student loans are a go-to options for several, however many graduates end up leaving school with over $37 000 in debt and spend a large part of their life repaying this debt. As of July 2017, the federal student debt in the America hit $1.4 trillion. Other options, including scholarships, and grants are available but these can be limited. An increasingly popular alternative is to secure a part-time job or apprenticeship.

All across America, graduates are struggling to repay their debt. It can be overwhelming trying to find a job that will pay and fit with your class schedule.

Here are some great options to get you started:

Community town jobs and internships

The towns where colleges are located quickly become social and business hubs. Filled with restaurants, boutiques and book stores, it is a great place to work. The chances of your hours being flexible enough to attend classes are high and location wise, it can be an easy commute.

These businesses are seeking college students who can do part- time shifts. These positions usually require a friendly personality and knack for customer service. Administrative jobs such as filing or bookkeeping are also available.  

However, do not feel the need to limit yourself to just book stores and retail outlets. Engineering firms and contractors sometimes need part-time staff to assist on administrative tasks. As a bonus, gaining an internship at a firm can account to 3 credits at your university. Check with your school adviser.

Freelance or Startup jobs

Another option to consider is getting a head start on your career early by starting your own business or becoming a freelancer. Most times, all you need is a laptop and a place to work. Your dorm room is just the right fit. 

Have a talent in art or design? Why not become a graphic arts freelancer. For those that are more crafty with their hands, picking up small freelance construction jobs around your neighborhood is a great way to get started. Not only do you make future professional contacts, but you also gain experience in the industry. Be sure to do your research when pursuing this route and take the time in creating and promoting a professional image.

Work study jobs

The work study program offered by the government and colleges allows students to work part-time and earn money towards their college expenses. The program is usually based on campus and positions range from store assistants to mechanic workshop assistants. They are set around your class schedule, making it quite ideal for someone working their way throughout college. Normally, it is the university that decides your hours available for work and this is allocated on your award letter in your financial aid package. You must be enrolled in at least 6 credits to be eligible. Students are able to view current listings on their college services portal.

Another benefit of a work study job is being able to take time off when you need the time to focus on studies. This is particularly useful when finals and midterms roll around. Some jobs that are considered work study jobs include dining hall jobs and campus recruitment or event planning.

The choice to attend college does not have to end in thousands of dollars of debt. Many students go through college working and paying for their education. Be sure to explore your other options for financial aid at your school of choice.

If your goal after college is to have limited student loan debt or to be debt free, check out these options. Head on over best part-time job sites and search engines, and start your search!