Pros and cons: on-campus vs. off-campus jobs

Cameron Turner, a sophomore exercise science major from Germany and Mary Janders, a sophomore exercise science major from Salt Lake City, are fitness attendants at the Human Performance Center. Carlie Gillis | Sun News Daily

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The college experience looks different for every student and finding the right job can often contribute to the academic journey.

Two options readily available to students include on-campus and off-campus jobs. Both have pros and cons, so it’s up to students to find the right fit for their lifestyle. 

Thomas Thacker, a sophomore media studies major from St. George, found an on-campus job this semester as the lead media site specialist for the information technology department. 

“The job is basically helping with media like computers. The little touch screens on each of the teacher’s desks is mostly what we do,” Thacker said. “We also set up zoom meetings and conferences.”

Because Thacker’s IT job takes place on campus, it allows advantages such as flexibility and meeting new people.

“Working on campus is almost all pros because I can clock out right before a class and clock back in after class, so my schedule fits right around my school schedule,” Thacker said. “I also get to meet faculty and staff here and also some of the students.” 

Other advantages to an on-campus job include being close to student life and not having to spend gas money for the commute to an off-campus job. Despite the many pros, disadvantages to jobs on campus often include lower pay and less options available for students’ interests. 

Grace Pepiot, a junior communication studies major from Elko, Nevada, found an off-campus job as a daycare teacher at Home Away From Home.

“I love my job because it’s just fun,” Pepiot said. “I work with toddlers, so I’m just constantly moving, and I learn something new from them every day.”

Since beginning her job in May, Pepiot has discovered the pros and cons of her off-campus job. 

“I would say I get better pay from my off-campus job, but some cons for my job is that it’s quite a drive and I have to leave campus,” Pepiot said. “I miss out on some of the involvement opportunities on campus.”

Some other factors to consider when choosing an off-campus or on-campus job is what the application process looks like.

Handshake, an online recruiting platform designed specifically for students, is what students are encouraged to use when looking for a job. On this platform, all students have an existing account, so all they have to do is add a resume and information about them.

Rochelle Blatter, senior career counselor, said, “Handshake will list anyone who has decided to post with us which is on-campus, off-campus, internships and entry level jobs, so it’s great for a student.”

Individuals can filter out the jobs they want to see by searching for a specific location or type of job. Many of the employers on Handshake will also list their starting pay and whether or not they can be flexible with students’ schedules.

“Most of the employers who are interested in hiring students go to Handshake because they know that’s their target audience, so community members don’t have access,” Blatter said. “It’s only for our students.”

Although jobs provide a source of income and take financial stress off of college, maintaining a healthy work-life balance will ensure students’ success and happiness as they go forward.

“I would say students need to try to balance how many credits they take with how many hours they think they can work and not overextend themselves,” Blatter said. “They also need to make sure that with their busy schedules, they find a little bit of time for themselves.”

Another thing to consider is that the right job now may not be the right job down the road.

“I would definitely suggest for freshman and sophomores, any job is fine as long as its helping you move forward and pay the bills,” Blatter said. “As you get to be a junior and senior, the best thing would be to find a job in your industry.”

With over 15,600 thousand jobs on Handshake alone, students looking to find a job can determine what job will best balance out their schedules.

Employment specialist Cheryl Brandt said, “I think finding a company and a culture that fits in your lifestyle is probably the best way to balance work and school.”

For those unsure of what job will best suit them, resources are available on campus to help students with their questions.

“My advice is to come to Career Services and meet with a career coach,” Brandt said. “We can help and guide you in what you’re looking for as far as career opportunities go, and we can look over your resume.”  

Students looking for more information about finding the right job can visit the Career Services Office on the fifth floor of the HCC. It’s open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m..