Are you preparing to go back to school and start the new semester? While that’s happening, are you thinking of working and studying at the same time?
Regardless of whether you’re looking at a part-time degree or a full-time diploma mixed with a part-time job, it can be tough to figure out whether you’ll be able to hold down a role in admin, sales, retail, or F&B while pursuing your educational goals.
Before you make your decision, though, you should take a look at our list of pros and cons to see how to combine work and school together.
PRO: Extra income to use
Of course, the most important reason that people work while studying is the money that they receive through a part-time job. Studying is about spending money, not earning money, and even if you’re only studying part-time, you still won’t be reimbursed for your time unless you take on a job. Oftentimes, students might not be able to afford to go back to school unless they continue to earn some income, and a part-time job would provide a good balance between work and school.
Plus, just because it’s a part-time job doesn’t mean that the pay is low. We’ve previously discussed some part-time jobs in sales and hospitality that can be more lucrative than an entry-level full-time job while allowing you to work less than 30 hours a week.
PRO: Learn time management early
Full-Time students usually only learn how to manage their time when they start to have to balance work with family; although schoolwork itself can be tough to manage, the lack of other distractions means that students can focus on their grades. However, this means that they often struggle to manage when they have to balance their work with finances, etc, when they start working.
On the other hand, mothers who work while taking care of their children have mentioned that they are masters of time management; since they have limited hours at both work and home, they learn how to increase their productivity and maximise the amount of work they can get done. Students who are holding down part-time jobs have similar constraints, and hence learn how to manage their time much faster than full-time students. They know how to balance the stresses of work with the deadlines of schoolwork, years earlier than others.
PRO: Get a head-start on work experience
Some entry-level roles such as F&B and Hospitality jobs request for candidates to be proficient at both soft and hard skills. This can be impossible for fresh graduates, who haven’t had the job experience necessary to have developed these skills.
If you’ve been working while studying, the job experience in your resume can help you to stand out to potential employers. Another advantage if you choose a part-time job in the target industry you want to excel in: you get to network and work with professionals who have been in the industry, allowing you to make relevant contacts that could help you to get a better full-time role in future.
CON: Stress and Overwork
Of course, there are cons to working and studying at the same time. Working during the day, and studying at night can wreak havoc on your sleep patterns and cause a large amount of stress. Especially as you get nearer to exam periods, the need to study even more can make a part-time job feel like a burden.
CON: Time scheduling and lack of downtime
Part-time work tends to rely on scheduling and shift work, and this can be subject to changes. For example, you might be called in suddenly to cover for a colleague on your off-day that was planned for studying. You might have to choose between school and work some days, if your schedules clash, and the combined schedule might feel like you never have a moment to breathe.
Of course, while this is problematic in the long-term, it might be manageable in the short-term if you have colleagues and classmates who understand your situation and are willing to help you in taking notes or shift work. It is up to you to figure out if you’re able to manage the stress that comes with schooling and working concurrently.
Why don’t you check out our list of part-time jobs on our GrabJobs platform?