Earning Whilst Studying…
For many people, entering higher education may mean sacrificing their earnings in the short term for longer-term gains. This is all well and good, but if other commitments, such as family, are dependent on your wages, it will be essential that you continue to have a job while studying. There are, of course, pros and cons to having a job while studying, and a number of factors to take into consideration.
Higher National Diplomas or IT qualifications may lend themselves to part-time work within the specific industries. As such, you should look to the level of commitment required for your study to determine whether employment is a viable option.
Once you’ve determined the feasibility of working alongside your study, you should next take a look at the pros and cons of having a job while studying, some of which we’ve detailed below.
Holding down a job alongside your academic studies demands a huge level of commitment and will leave you with very little free time. That said, there are a number of positives to come out from combining employment with your studies:
- Extra money: When push comes to shove, the reason anybody works is to earn a wage. As a student, your funds will always be limited, so taking part-time employment around your studies will provide an income that will help cover expenditure throughout your time in education.
- Budgeting: Working while in education also has the benefit of teaching you about money management. Real-world experience will set you up for life after your academic career, and being able to budget effectively will prove essential.
- Experience: As many graduates will tell you, finding a job once studies are over is never easy. If you’ve managed to gain experience, particularly within your chosen industry, while studying, you can expect your career prospects to be bolstered.
- Balance: Like budgeting, learning how to effectively balance your work and life commitments only ever comes through experience. By working alongside your study, you will quickly learn what is possible and what isn’t, setting you up for being better at prioritising things in the future.
Of course, while working alongside your studies brings the benefits of added financial security and the ability to learn valuable life skills for the future, there are inevitable drawbacks to taking up employment:
- Overworking: Think about your timetable; if you’re in the classroom from 9am until 4pm, and then at work from 5pm until 11pm, it doesn’t give you must time to rest. Overworking can have a terrible effect on your health and should be avoided.
- Quality of work: If you’re working when not in the classroom, spreading yourself too thinly across your many commitments will soon affect the quality of your work. Tiredness and not having enough hours to meet deadlines will have a detrimental effect on your studies, so ensure your study and work schedules are flexible to support your educational development.
- Isolation: The social aspect of any qualification is essential to your success. As such, it’s important you’re able to interact with others comfortably. By dedicating yourself only to your studies and your work, you’ll soon isolate yourself from others, leaving your time in education feeling like it’s missing a vital component.
There’s no right or wrong answer as to whether you should have a job or not while you’re studying. Each case is different in its specifics, so being able to identify whether or not you would benefit from seeking employment is essential. At the UKCBC, we’re happy to sit down and help you determine the best course of action, identifying the best balance between work and study.