More students are working while attending school

Yuliya Petrova, a student at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, typically arrives home from work at 3 a.m. After being on her feet for a usual 8-hour bartending shift, Petrova begins studying for a test and finishes a paper before waking up in a few hours to go to class.

Petrova works 40 hours a week between two jobs while taking four classes at UNL.

Just like Petrova, many students are joining the trend of working while attending school. According to a study done by Citigroup, in 2014, 80 percent of students in the U.S. have a job. The average student works 19 hours a week.

“I would say, from my experience, a majority of UNL students are working while attending school,” UNL Career Services professional,” Christine Timm said.

[column size=”one-half”]“Some students work part-time jobs that may not relate directly to their major, other students are working as research assistants, interns, etc. The jobs provide funding and experience.”

Students work on and off-campus jobs for a variety of reasons. The most popular are for financial funding and to gain experience before they graduate.

Like Petrova, some students not only pay for their own tuition, but also for their books, rent and food. These students are heavily affected by the rising costs of tuition.
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In 2014, UNL’s tuition costs $15,950 per year for in-state residents and $22,089 per year for out-of-state residents.


“Although I can’t say with 100 percent certainty, I feel that the increase in tuition costs in the past decade correlates with the increase in the number of students with jobs,” Timm said.

Career Services, located on the 2nd floor of the Nebraska Student Union, is a career center that provides free career exploration services for students, faculty and alumni. They are available for walk-ins and appointments made via telephone or email.

[column size=”one-half”]“At Career Services, we can help students with any type of on-campus job they seek,” Timm said. “Campus recreation, libraries, and housing are some of the larger employers of students.”

Timm thinks that for some students, a job may help them discover skills and interests that they otherwise may not have known they had.
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“Jobs help students make connections with other employees and managers, which may eventually result in connections for more advanced positions or even jobs after graduation,” Timm said.

Andrea Nelson, a junior at UNL, agreed. Aside from a paycheck, her job at Suntan City is getting her sales experience that will pay off later.

Research has shown that part-time jobs help students with time management. Jobs also help students build other skills such as communication, technical, interpersonal, etc., which are valuable to employers.

“Working full-time and going to school full-time is like living a double life,” Petrova said. “It keeps you really busy, but it is a good experience.”

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