Should You Work While Earning Your Online Degree?

Published on: June 04, 2022

One of the main reasons why students choose online learning over traditional methods is the flexibility that it offers. Earning a degree online can also cut back on a lot of costs associated with studying, such as travel and accommodation. However, something that many students have had to deal with even before online learning is whether to enter the workforce or not. Of course, not all students have the luxury of choice as they need to work to pay for their studies. Students who are in the position of being able to choose need to weigh up the pros and cons of working while studying.


1. You Have A Source of Income

The most obvious benefit of working while studying is that you have a source of income. Students often have to rely on their parents for money while studying and this might just be enough to cover things like clothes and personal necessities. A source of income can increase the money that students have for the essentials along with some extra to put into their savings. Doing so can ease the burden on parents and also teach students how to be more financially responsible. Not having to rely on their parents also makes students more independent. Finally, with a source of income students don't have to worry about incurring debt that they have to pay off after completing their studies.

2. You Improve Your Time Management Skills

Time management is one of the most important skills in life and working while studying can teach students how to do so efficiently. Achieving a balance between work and studies can be stressful, but working students often learn how to manage their time better than full-time students. Learning how to manage your time effectively is a very useful skill to learn early on and students who work pick it up very quickly due to necessity. This can also give them an advantage over full-time students who only learn how to master this skill later in life.

You Gain Work Experience

These days employers value experience as much as skill, which can give students who work an advantage over the competition. Full-time students who enter the workforce only after completing their studies will have much more limited experience compared to their working counterparts. Even if the work is not related to your degree or preferred career path, it can still provide students with valuable transferable skills. In addition, having some work experience always looks good on your resume.

4. You Gain Life Experience

Working while studying is not just great for gaining work experience, but also valuable life experience. Depending on the type of work you might get to interact with people from cultures and backgrounds. This can help to boost your confidence and can also make you more adaptable as a person. In addition, working students are able to better hone their communication and decision-making skills. Students who lack this type of experience can struggle when entering the workforce for the first time after completing their studies.

5. You Make Connections

Everyone is familiar with the saying "It's not what you know. It's who you know." Working while studying can give students the opportunity to network with other professionals and build up contacts that can be useful after they have completed their studies. Of course, there's no guarantee of this happening, but their chances are much higher than full-time students who do not network at all. Even if you do not make any professional connections while working you'll still be expanding your social circle, which is also beneficial.


1. You Have Less Free Time

Working while studying can teach students how to better manage their time, but this is not always the case. Students who struggle to prioritize their time efficiently may end up with either their work or grades suffering in the process. It is also easy to underestimate how much time work and studies take up, which might leave students with a lot less free time than they expected. This, in turn, can have an adverse effect on their social life which is also not good for their mental health.

2. You Will Have A Lot More Stress

Studying can be stressful, but adding work on top of it can increase the overall anxiety of students much higher. Students must achieve a balance between their studies and work or one of them will suffer in the long run. Having to constantly switch between working and studying can also cause students to feel burned out and they can end up quitting their studies or giving up on their jobs. Students often overlook the fact that their studies will become more stressful as they near exams or that they won't always have a good day at work, which can have a knock-on effect on their studies.

3. You May Develop Negative Views About Work

Students who do not have any degrees or experience yet might only be able to find part-time jobs that are tedious. In addition to not really learning any skills that can lead to career advancement, it can also install negative views about work, which is harmful in the long run. Factors such as transportation costs, having to buy meals, or paying for work clothes can also quickly cut into the money earned while working, which is very demotivating.

You Might Not Get Enough Sleep

Depending on the type of job students might end up having to work night shifts or odd hours. This can disrupt their sleep cycle and lead to exhaustion, which is not good for their studies. Not getting enough sleep can also make students more susceptible to getting sick.


Working while studying has a lot of benefits, but it is worth carefully weighing them against the cons. Not all students are able to properly balance their studies with work, which can be detrimental to both. This is why students need to make sure that they will be able to handle the additional stress and lack of free time before making a commitment.

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