Best Off-Campus Jobs

Working Away from Campus Just Might Be Your Best Option

Baristas serving customers in coffee shop
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It's no secret that most college students work during their time in school -- because they have to, because they want to, or because they both want and have to. And while working on campus has some obvious benefits, working off-campus can be downright amazing. If you're thinking of working off-campus during your time in college, check out any of the following options:

Coffee Shop

It sounds so simple, but working in a coffee shop can be great for college students. It keeps you busy; you'll meet a lot of people; you'll likely get discounted, if not downright free, coffee; you can earn tips; and you'll learn a skill that will transfer to wherever you live next. Additionally, some major chains offer benefits for part-time workers, which can be a serious bonus during your time in school.

Wait Staff at a Nice Restaurant

If you're going to wait tables, do your best to find a really nice restaurant. Your tips will be higher, your boss will likely be more experienced, and the little things -- like air conditioning during the summer -- will all add up to a nice work experience.


Retail can be great for college students, especially if you work at a major chain. The skills and training you receive in your college town, for example, will make you highly appealing to similar stores back in your hometown. Additionally, any discounts you receive on clothing or other items can come in extremely handy. Lastly, because retail stores are often open in the evenings and on weekends, you might be better able to find shifts that accommodate your class schedule than if you worked in a traditional, 9-5 office.

Entry-level Administration

Don't sell yourself short; even a semester of college might put you ahead of other administrators who don't have any college experience. Consider looking for entry-level administrative jobs that can help you build a resume and some important skills during your time in college. Ideally, when you do graduate, you'll then have both the experience and the formal education to skip past entry-level jobs.

In a Field You're Interested In

If you're extremely interested in a certain industry, try finding a job you can get during your time in school that's still in the field. True, you likely won't be able to start at the level you're hoping to after you graduate, but working in your desired field can help you confirm that you're aiming for the right place. (Additionally, any connections you make can help you once you do start looking for more advanced work.)

In a Non-profit

Non-profits can be amazing places to work because they offer so much. In addition to helping communities and individuals, non-profits offer some great benefits to their employees, too. Because most non-profits are small and/or understaffed, you can learn a lot of skills through just one job. You might do a bit of marketing, some community work, some financial management, and some supervision of projects and other people. Consequently, what seems like a small non-profit job just might end up being a huge opportunity for you to learn all kinds of skills.

Any Job with Benefits

Let's be honest; it can be hard to coordinate benefits like health insurance, retirement plans, and even tuition payments during your time in school. If you're lucky enough to find an off-campus job that offers these benefits (tuition reimbursement, anyone?!), leap on it. While you may not see the actual money behind these benefits in your paycheck, you'll undoubtedly feel their advantages during your time in school.

Any Job that Provides Housing

Fortunately, there are some pretty great off-campus gigs out there that also provide housing. Being an apartment manager, for example, can be a great option during your time in school if you can great free or reduced-cost rent as part of your paycheck. Being a nanny, too, might also be an option, as long as your family is understanding and flexibly about your college commitments.

Any Job Online

Working off campus doesn't necessarily have to mean working in a traditional brick-and-mortar place. If you can find a job working online, you'll have no commuting costs. Some online jobs offer flexible schedules while others require you to be available during specific days and times. Finding something that works for you can be key and a great way to experience an off-campus job without the traditional drawbacks.

Any Job at a Place You Want to Work After Graduating

Getting your foot in the door in an entry-level job still counts as getting your foot in the door. And while everyone has their dream job, most people also have their dream place to work. If you know where you'd absolutely love to work after you graduate, see if you can get a job - any job - there during your time in school. You can meet people, build your reputation, and network in a way that you'd never be able to do from the outside. And all of this will, of course, come in handy once you toss your graduation cap and are looking for full-time work away from campus.

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Your Citation
Lucier, Kelci Lynn. "Best Off-Campus Jobs." ThoughtCo, Aug. 27, 2020, Lucier, Kelci Lynn. (2020, August 27). Best Off-Campus Jobs. Retrieved from Lucier, Kelci Lynn. "Best Off-Campus Jobs." ThoughtCo. (accessed January 23, 2021).