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Articles > Money March, 05, 2018

The Pros and Cons of Having a Part-time Job

Lucy Noden
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8.11 / 10

Amongst the vast amount of advice given to new students starting university is the reoccurring pitch of gaining a part-time job. There are many pros and cons to having a job while at university, as well as alternative options for making money if a job isn’t for you. Based on my own experiences I think I have some good advice I can give you, so let’s start with the positives.

part time job at uni - young person working in five guys

(Pic: Britt-knee)

Benefits of getting a job:

1. Money – This is the main reason we all reluctantly decide to get a job. For students it’s a great way to survive between loan payments and splurge on those luxury extras.

2. Experience – The dreaded word we all hear, but it is true. Gaining a part time job at university is a great way to gain experience for your CV and it shows that you are great at balancing your work load.

3. Schedule – It’s actually a great way to ensure that you are organised all week. Having a work schedule on the weekends means that you have to schedule time to do you assignments and to shop/clean/meet friends during the week.

4. A change of scenery – There’s no harm in finding another place to go for a few hours. After writing assignments, reading books and staring at the wall, it’s great to have a change of pace. Focusing your energy on a complete different task helps your mind to rest and you will come back to work with a clearer mind.

5. Different people – As much as you may love your classmates and housemates, it’s always good to meet new people. You hear new stories and you get to chat about different topics. It builds your confidence and develops your conversation skills.

The downsides of a job:


1. Less free time – When you have university all week on top of working evenings or weekends, your schedule becomes very busy. This does mean that you have less opportunity to spend time with your friends or explore your new city.

2. Early shifts – If you’d rather not turn up to work doing your best impression of a zombie, then sleep is crucial. This means early nights and early mornings. Unfortunately this adds up to very few nights out, house parties or late night movie marathons.

3. Spending – Although you are earning money now, a lot of places require a work uniform or smart clothes and shoes which are never cheap. If you have to travel to work and also need some decent food to stay alive during your shift, this will soon bite into your salary.

4. Extra-Curricular Activities – With your time taken up by work little room is left for other social activities, specifically volunteering or social clubs. These all require a lot of commitment and if you’re looking to earn money you may not be able to commit to any free activities.

5. Everyone is the same – You’re not the only student hunting for a job. Every student in the university is looking for a job to help them out. This includes all the new students in your year and also any current students that are looking for a change. You need to get CVs out and get yourself seen by these companies.

There is hope! When it comes to money and experience, there are many options for students to explore. If you’d rather have the experience gained through volunteering and joining social clubs, then you can always earn money on sites like The Opinion Panel Community where you can earn money for taking surveys from home or while you’re out and about.

If you still want a paying job but don’t like the idea of losing your free time, fear not! In terms of number of assignments and lecture requirements, first year is definitely the most demanding. As your time at uni progresses, contact time is reduced leaving you with more hours of independent study. So even if you are too busy to do everything in your first year, second and third years could leave you with more free time to take up a job or extra-curricular activity; allowing you to build up your university portfolio.

During my time at uni I juggled a joint degree with a weekend job, as well as volunteering at a charity shop. My commitment to my volunteering took up many days each week, leaving me to work on assignments in the evenings. Despite the number of different things I was doing I still had time to have fun, go out and enjoy my time at university, so it is possible.

Whatever you decide to do I wish you the best of luck during your time at university.

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  1. aidan

    Hit the Nail on the Head

  2. Hamza Khawaja

    I think the article is of great importance especially for students who are host elites. They have to manage their studies and living expenses both. Online earning or working at offices enhances skills of a student and also teach them discipline. Students can enjoy their lifestyle which is necessary for their health. But focusing too much on jobs while studying might effect student’s grades. I think students should prefer their studies firstly and keep jobs as part time.

  3. Name

    Having a part time job at university is a good thing to do, but sometime it can depend on the course you are doing as to what jobs you do.

  4. Angelica

    Spot on

  5. name

    Having a part time job is such a good way to make money especially whilst being a student it gives you the chance to earn, meet new people and learn a lot of skills and qualities that we should all have. However it is tiring when you’ve got course work to do but this article is so right and the pros and cons are sooo relatable

  6. Name

    I think this is so right, also you feel a lot tired especially when you have coursework, and a job sometimes gets hard to juggle everything

  7. Nafe

    I think that in the first year it will be good to have a job to support yourself while at uni especially for those that live out. For some it can help to meet new people outside their accommodation and course environment. With that being said, getting in a job in second year may be hard to juggle with uni work and other commitments therefore it may be harder to have one at that time. So if your looking for a job try look for one that’s close to home to reduce travel costs and time. 🙂

  8. Akw

    I agree with this article completely. It really comes down to an individual’s need

  9. Ayesha

    I think part time jobs are useful as you can gain experience and skills that you may not have or are less confident in.

  10. Kharis

    Could not agree more! I was dying to have part time job since I was 15 so that i wasn’t asking my parents for money all the time but after working in my current job for just under a year it’s so time consuming. The majority of co-workers won’t cover your shifts when it comes to exams or revision. Trying to balance the two is hard. However it gives you the experience for other jobs and its good for employers to see that you have that experience

  11. Nancy

    This is just what I needed. Thank you! I agree with both pros and cons however I have just finished my GCSEs; I have a lot of time on my hands. And for me part-time jobs are a great way of not only getting money but also gaining more experience for future jobs to add to my CV which is great and I also need to improve my confidence and I think this is the best way to do so.

  12. sridhar

    this is good

  13. fatehi Mohammed alhammadi


  14. Freya

    it’s so good having a job while in education and I have money coming in which I can get anything I want with it even pay for fuel to go to my school even though I don’t have as much time it’s a life lesson

  15. Zee

    this is the most important thing to think before starting a job with university’s hectic schedule. Part time jobs can be very helpful too because some of the students do not have such financial support that they continue their studies with ease and this is also important for the improvement of an individual’s skills like leadership and development. Part time job close to your university is better than anything because it can be time saving. Meeting new people will ultimately strengthen your people skills.
    Though university projects and job may be tough, you should consider the job.

  16. clanews

    Thank you I love you blog

  17. Debora

    I think it’s good to have some extra income coming alonside having uni responsabilities, but not everybody can afford to have just a part-time job. Some students actually gotta have 2 part-time jobs or one full-time job to be able to pay the bills, rent and still spend on uni projects and materials. Not everybody gets loans and family help.
    So when it comes to this option, students struggle a lot to get all uni work done and still work.

  18. Leanne McIntosh

    Having a job was the best thing for me at university. In my first two years I worked three evenings a week at tesco and it really forced me to schedule my time properly giving me something constant each week where the uni timetable was irregular hours changing from week to week. In third and fourth year I gave up this when the uni work started to get tougher in favour of two zero-hour jobs which were much more flexible. There are plenty options available which can suit each stage of every course. Without my part time jobs I never would have landed an excellent grad job as I probably wouldn’t have had the confidence to apply.