The incidence of college-going students has increased consistently. Despite the rising tuition prices and costs of attending colleges, WGBH news/associates finds that more than 68% of surveyed Americans believe that a college degree is worth the expenditure that one would incur on it.
The opinions differ based on the age group of the surveyed participants. Still, the average consensus is that Americans believe that attending college is a worthwhile investment because college graduates earned 80% more than high school graduates.
Stronger preference towards going to the college is evidenced by the fact that more than 14.59 million students are expected to join public institutions for the 2019-20 academic year. This is a marked increase from the attendance of 2018. In comparison, only 5.14 million students were expected to join private institutions.
Although the enrolment statistics of 2019-20 was lower than that of 2010, people joined for various degrees across all the institutions in America.
These are impressive statistics because the increase in tuition fees was enormous, far outrunning the average increase in per capita earnings. The average increase in tuition fees was more than 37%. In light of the unhealthy increase in the costs of education, students are increasingly opting to work while studying.
The major reason that was quoted for this was that students wanted to emerge after four years with little to no debt. The concern is genuine because student debt is at an all-time high of $1.5 trillion, owed by more than 45 million Americans. Even though the delinquency rates on those loans amounted to less than 1% of the debt, the average balance per borrower is more than $35000.
Until a few years ago, the line, ‘Hiring people for an entry-level position; 3 years prior experience required,’ would have made one chortle with glee. However, it is fast proving to be a reality because, as a study points out, a consistent 70-80 percent of all college-goers are engaged in active labor as well as a full-time course for studying. Today, almost half of all employers prefer work experience over an education degree. So, supplementing your education degree with relevant work experience is vital.
Here are some ways that you can find work while studying:
A part-time job is a great way to pay for study expenses and, if the pay is good enough, earn some pocket money for your spending as well. Part-time jobs are generally flexible so that one can tailor them according to one’s schedule. Across the US, part-time jobs are preferred not just by college-goers but by more than 15% of the general population as well.
These jobs can be anything from waiting on tables, being a bartender to being a customer service agent, door-to-door salesman to being an assistant in a large firm.
All these jobs provide valuable experience that adds value to your resume at the time of your final placement. Even international students are allowed to work as many as 20 hours a week across the US and most of Europe.
Summer or Winter Vacation Jobs:
Students generally work during their summer or winter break. Many countries allow international students to work as many as 30-40 hours a week as a full-time employee. This is a great opportunity because your work does not come in the way of your education. Besides, as a full-time employee, you have a better chance of getting better-paying jobs at good locations.
If utilized well, the money earned through these jobs could be used to pay off a significant part of your student loan. Finding a summer job isn’t without its problems too. With the falling employment trends, you need to search for a job that suits your skills. Summer jobs could be acting as a lifeguard, scooping ice cream, or acting as an assistant on a food truck.
Internships are a great way to work while studying. Although most internships happen during summer or winter break, or university-designated periods, it is not uncommon for some students to work an internship during their regular college hours too.
The major difference between an internship and other forms of work is that internships provide a certificate of work, and they usually count in the final grade. Paid internships offer a good way to repay a part of your student loans. Besides that, they also open up avenues for better job opportunities through references.
In some cases, the company that hired you for an internship will also offer a placement opportunity after the successful completion of your degree. Sometimes, internships are available on campus only like assisting a professor with his research, working with the librarian, or working in the admin department of the university.
While volunteering is generally an unpaid service, organizations view it as a great value addition on the resume. That is because a volunteering service reflects the personality of the potential hire.
Because volunteering requires a lot of initiatives and innovation in the workplace, organizations are more inclined towards hiring people who have had volunteering experience. Besides, volunteering is done by a lot of people across professional classes. You never know when you would find someone who could provide credible references for your future work.
Casual Employee or Freelancers:
This is the most common form of employment during education for a lot of students. With the increase in technology, businesses can reach out to people for remote work. It not only saves costs for the businesses, but it also provides individuals with the ability to choose the kind of work they’d want to do.
In just the US alone, more than 35% of the workforce is freelancing. In fact, freelancing has become highly lucrative. As per a study, skilled freelancers earn more than regular employees. This appeal has about 51% of the freelancers stating that no incentive could make them switch over to regular employment.
Some jobs on this list could pay you well. In fact, there is no thumb rule regarding the payment that each job offers. Some people could land summer jobs that pay more than internships do. More than money, they contribute to a great resume that would help you stand out to the employers. Proper planning will help you manage your education and work-life appropriately.