Are off-campus or on-campus jobs better?

Illustration: Madalyn Drewno - The Sentry

Illustration: Madalyn Drewno – The Sentry

By Leshaye Williams

It’s a well-known fact that money is needed to get through college and an on-campus job can be an ideal way to get some extra money. This not only helps to cover school-related expenses but also life-related expenses while socially benefiting students through community engagement.

On-campus employment provides the much-needed flexibility around busy class schedules so that students do not need to choose between working or going to school. There is a clear understanding that students will be in these positions and will have busy academic schedules and workloads.

They also provide much more manageable shifts in comparison to normal eight-hour shifts that can take up important study time. And since CU Denver is seen as a commuter campus, the streamlining of work and school to one location can lessen the stress of commuting to multiple destinations throughout the week. This can lead to less money being spent on gas for drivers or less trips back and forth for public transportation riders.

Since on-campus employment is generally a part-time position, the limited hours provide an extra level of structure for students without being overwhelming. This added structure helps students learn critical time management skills that can be applied in every aspect of life, during school, and after graduation.

Working on campus is also a valuable way to navigate the college experience and network with the college community.

Additionally, a sense of belonging to a community can give student employees a well-rounded college experience. For all students, regardless of being new, transfer, or continuing, being involved through employment can provide countless opportunities to engage with other students and professors, and many chances to hear about and get involved in campus events or groups.


By Alexander Elmore

When college students begin searching for employment, it makes sense they would start their search at the closest possible point: campus. However, just because you don’t have to travel far between a class and your job doesn’t mean that working on campus is necessarily the best option.

For starters, universities such as CU have restrictions for how much students can work during the week. The maximum number of hours allotted to student workers is 25 hours. This capping of hours likely stems from attempts at offering all student employees the same number of hours a week, making sure students have enough time to study between classes and work, or simply being the university’s desire to not have to provide insurance for student workers; ultimately, it is still a blockade for students wishing to make more money.

While it can be nice to know that the work schedule will be mostly unchanging, since students can only ever work up to a certain amount, hypothetically, what if one week the student has more time to work because of a break in classes or less homework? Too bad, they only get 25 hours. The rule is more of a deterrent than a plus.

The second biggest deterrent against on-campus jobs is the location itself. Yes, working on campus means there isn’t a commute to work after class, but, is that a good thing? The types of jobs available on campus are drastically more limited than those in the rest of the city. While it is common to receive work-study aid from the government, the actual on-campus jobs are never plentiful enough to provide all students with a job.

While there is still no guarantee that a student would receive a job off campus, the odds are much more in the student’s favor. There are simply more jobs available off campus than on.

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