Is it worth it to work at your college while taking classes at the same time? You know the short version of this post (Pro: you get money. Con: you have to work more.) but every job is different, and some might be more suited to your taste than others. Here’s a rundown on the typical campus jobs selection.

Kitchen Worker

Pros: No need for special skills or much intelligence for this one. Understand how to rinse, wash, and stack dishes, and you’re halfway there. Know how to hand plates of tacos to lines of students, and you’ve got the other half down. Plus, you often get free meals.

Cons: You’re in the food industry, which is a lower tier profession for a good reason. It sucks. It demands constant physical activity, interaction with rude customers, and exposure to a lot of questionable chemicals from table or dish cleaners. Not to mention the smell. It’s worth it if you really need the money and don’t have the time for anything better.

Library Assistant

Pros: It’s quiet. Being a librarian is moderately prestigious – everyone assumes you’re a well-read person, even if you’re not. You deal with the studious side of the college population, so costumers are usually respectful and communicate well. And, depending on the job, they might let you study homework in your spare time at the information desk.

Cons: English, History, and Communication majors are usually given preference for these jobs, so you might be out of the loop. Also, a working knowledge of the Dewy Decimal System is a must. Neither of these problems is huge, though. There’s no harm in trying for this position.


Pros: If you enjoy smiling, you’re already halfway qualified. This is another low-skill job: most of your time will be spent transferring phone calls and looking people up in directories. Depending on the size of your college, there are probably a lot of receptionist positions, so competition isn’t strong.

Cons: Remember the smiling? This job is all about advising people cheerfully. If you’re not a people person, you’re not a receptionist. Plus, you’ll need to learn quickly, since receptionists are treated like the college’s private search engine.

Teaching Assistant

Pros: The pay is good, and entire classes of students look up to you as their source of knowledge and their personal friend. If you’re planning on entering teaching, this is great prep.

Cons: There’s a lot of busy work. You’ll correct the same multiple-choice tests over and over, week after week. Also, the professor expects you to act as his or her understudy, so you might wind up heading a class discussion on short notice. All that, and you need to have great grades to be considered. But hey, it looks great on the resume.

Resident Assistant

Pros: You’ll be rolling in cash. Money-wise, this job is the near top of the student worker list at every college.

Cons: You’ll have no time to roll in your cash. The job pays a lot because it demands a lot: all the pain and suffering on your floor or house will be channeled directly to you, 24-7. You’ll have to show up to the semester early, leave late, and handle a ton of paperwork in between. Good luck.


Pros: You can get a lot of internships through your college, directed at your major: the public relation office for communication majors; the college’s graphic designer position for art majors; the finance office for accountant majors; the AV department for engineering majors; and tech services for computer science majors.

Cons: You have to beat everyone else in your major for the job. But it’s one of the best resume builders on this list, so it’s worth it. Go for it.

Campus jobs aren’t always a bad idea.