Working while studying: finding good jobs for university students

Let’s talk about dough. Bread. Cheddar. (Why are so many words for money food-related?) Even if you’ve bagged a scholarship, chances are you’ll need some extra cash while you’re at uni. Tuition, rent and of course, the fun stuff like hitting the town and weekend getaways all add up. Which probably means working while studying will be your best option.

But work doesn’t have to be a drag. With a bit of strategy and focus, you could snag a job that fits your timetable and beefs up your skills at the same time.

Here’s how.

Options for working while studying

A person stands behind a counter and hands over a set of two coffees that a customer has ordered.

Local part-time jobs – score part-time gigs on or off-campus. Think retail, hospitality, or even admin roles at uni. Chances are local businesses are used to having students work for them, and are flexible to accommodate your studies. It’s a win-win.

A person sits at a laptop and is smiling at the screen as they are working.

Remote work – want flexibility? Go remote or freelance. Work from anywhere, on your own time. Think graphic design, virtual assistance, research or translation. And that’s just for starters. Hit up online platforms – you might even get yourself some gigs with folks across the globe.

Two people work together at a desk.

Tutoring – share your smarts. Tutor high schoolers or your uni peers. Pick your favourite subjects and cash in on your knowledge.

A person uses a handheld radio while wearing high-vis at an event

Event staff – work events like conferences, concerts and sports games to get in on the action. You’ll help with setup, guest registration and making sure everything’s where it should be. Bonus: evening shifts mean no clashes with your classes.

Two people work on installing solar panels.

Internships – many internships don’t pay, but some do – or they might cover your expenses. Find ones relevant to your degree for hands-on learning that fits your studies.

Strategies for finding good jobs for university students

First things first: Hit up your university’s career services team. They’ve got everything from job boards to killer workshops waiting for you whenever you’re ready to dive in. At Charles Sturt, we go the extra mile by setting up events where you can rub elbows with local businesses on the lookout for fresh talent. Talk about convenient!

But don’t stop there. Make connections with your professors, classmates and industry movers and shakers at networking events and online hangouts like LinkedIn. Who knows? Your next big break could be just a chat away.

And guess what else? The internet’s your best friend here. Scope out not only the big job sites but also hit up local Facebook groups and council websites. You’d be surprised what gems you can uncover there.

Last, but very much not least, join Earn As You Learn (EAYL). This is Charles Sturt’s dedicated program to help students like you secure work while they complete their degree. The team can give you a hand with finding opportunities, interview prep and tips on crafting a top-notch résumé. Just ask Bachelor of Business1 student Saskia-Jayne Handley:

“The EAYL team helped me to identify job opportunities that really suited my capabilities and personality that I wouldn’t have recognised on my own. They helped me rework my résumé so it looked the part and read much better than my original document. After the initial EAYL catch-up, I had a job in a matter of days!”

Skills beyond the bills – other benefits of working while studying

Forget the old adage that cash is king – there’s more than one royal in town when it comes to the perks of working while studying.

At the top of the pile? Transferable skills. Also known as soft skills, these will serve you well in any job. Think communication, teamwork and problem-solving. Moreover, who says you can’t flex those financial management muscles in your job too? Budgeting and balancing your cash flow isn’t just important for work – it’s a skill for life, too.

And there’s more. Like professional networks. Making some contacts with business people in your community is never a bad thing. Who knows, it could pay off big time down the road.

If you find a job that syncs with your studies, it’s like hitting the jackpot. At Charles Sturt, we’re all about weaving work placements into your degree, but if you can also score a job that lines up with what you’re learning? That’s next-level experience, right there!

Make working while studying work for you

Scoring work gigs while at uni is all about finding that sweet spot: figuring out how much time you can spare without sacrificing your grades. While still leaving enough room to kick back and have some fun. Plus, it’s not just about making bank. It’s about expanding your horizons, meeting new folks and snagging skills and connections that’ll come in handy later.

Get in touch with our careers team for help and advice.

And good luck!

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