More and more learners are juggling demanding work alongside their college careers. Instead of going to extracurriculars or club activities in between classes, these student workers are waiting tables, working retail, and punching the clock in different ways when not in school.

Surprisingly, around 70-80% of college students hold a job while being enrolled in school with 40% working at least 30 hours each week. Considering that many adult students in this position also have a family to care for, it’s clear that school isn’t the only thing on their mind.

While managing all these responsibilities is certainly challenging, there are some definitive benefits. Holding down a job while pursuing your degree earns you several advantages that students without jobs simply can’t get.

Let’s see how studying while working full time can put you in a position to succeed.

You’ll maintain a full-time income.

As college tuition continues to rise each year, all students would love to graduate debt-free. When juggling a job along with your studies, this doesn’t just have to be a dream. With a full-time income, it’ll be much easier to manage the cost of your tuition and all other related expenses. With the extra help of tuition assistance programs, like the renewable C2C Grant, qualifying adult learners can get another leg-up on their school expenses. A steady paycheck also makes it easier to focus on your school work without the distraction of financial stress.

You’ll receive employee benefits.

Full-time employees often receive a host of benefits from their employers. As a returning student, having these extra benefits can really come in handy. Health insurance can protect you from financial hardship if you’re in need of expensive treatments or medications. Dental and vision insurance might pay for what basic coverage doesn’t. You might even get reimbursed if your college’s tuition includes health coverage. 66% of employees also receive retirement plans, like 401 k accounts, which can help give adult learners a leg up on saving for the future.

You can even receive tuition support from your company.

Many companies hiring in Mississippi offer employees financial support when returning to school. Employers view this support as an investment in their employees that will make the company more valuable overall. Let’s take a look at a few MS companies where you might want to consider working due to their generous tuition reimbursement plans

*data according to EStudentLoan

As you can see, there are many prominent companies offering tuition support to their employees. You can always ask your current employer about related opportunities even if they’re not publicly advertised. 

You’ll graduate with working experience.

One of the biggest hurdles that new graduates face when entering the workforce is a lack of real-world experience. No matter how high a person’s grades, employers still seem to prefer those who have actually spent time in a professional field. While traditional students might have to settle for entry-level positions for lower wages or even unpaid internships, adult learners who held a full-time job throughout their studies will graduate with actual experience. This puts you at an advantage when applying for new jobs both in your current field or in something entirely different.

Your professional attitude will benefit your studies.

When managing a full-time job along with your studies, you’ll maintain a professional attitude that will greatly benefit your approach to studying. Students without your perspective might be more likely to stay up late, procrastinate, and attend too many parties - resulting in lower grades. You’ll remain more determined and focused on completing your coursework. With this professional outlook, you can stay better organized, be more prepared, and less prone to distraction. By the time you graduate, you also won’t have to struggle like most students when shifting from no work to a full-time job.

How to make the transition easier

Transferring from a full-time job to a full-time job with college courses isn’t the easiest transition. It’s manageable, but you’ll have to be disciplined and willing to make some necessary changes. Here are some strategies you can use to make the transition easier:

  1. Talk with your boss and coworkers: In order to balance your work and academic life, you should talk with your boss and coworkers to get their buy-in, support, and to set expectations when it comes to your working hours, deadlines, vacation time, and other important details.
  2. Get help with your kids: An estimated 19% of adult learners also have children to care for. If you fall into this category, you know how hard it can be to find downtime. Getting some help with your kids from family members or friends for even a few hours a week can give you some much-needed time to focus on your coursework.
  3. Manage your time wisely: Time management is going to be your best friend when returning to college while holding onto your full-time job. Instead of trying to manage different schedules, it’s helpful to combine all of your appointments, classes, and deadlines into one calendar to avoid conflicts.
  4. Keep your school and work life separate: It might take some practice but keeping your work and school life separate can help keep stress and anxiety low. When you’re at school, give all of your attention and energy in order to make the most of the opportunity.

The C2C difference

The Complete 2 Compete (C2C) program helps to lessen the obstacles to completing a degree for returning Mississippi students. A dedicated C2C Coach will work with you individually to develop a plan for the quickest route to graduation. By transferring credits from your school history, you might be closer to graduation than you think. Program participants are also eligible to apply for the renewable C2C Grant which offers $1,000 in support to help pay for classes and reduce the cost of returning to college.

Complete our online application today to see if you’re eligible for the C2C Program.