It’s a common dilemma: Should you work on or off campus? If you’re trying to determine how to find a part-time job, here are some tips for determining which work experience is the right fit.
The starting rate for on-campus jobs is higher than the state minimum wage. All campus jobs pay at least $10.15 an hour and can increase based on a student’s relevant experience.
Off-campus jobs, however, are only obliged to pay the Indiana Department of Labor’s minimum wage, which is $7.25 an hour.
Students should carefully consider their class schedule, study time and other commitments outside the classroom before pursuing a part-time job, said Jan Nickless, senior associate director for the Career Development Center.
Some students work 29 hours a week, and some work five. Try taking a 10 or 12 hour a week job, Nickless said, and leave time for volunteer experiences, clubs and organizations. Employers want to see students who can balance their classes, jobs, clubs, organizations and activities, she said.
“Time management is a huge factor in being successful as a student and also having a part-time job,” Nickless said.
Off-campus employers who attend the fall jobs fair request to see student’s class schedules, and say they will work around it, Nickless said.
Which job is right for you
Nickless recommends freshmen, and even sophomores, try to find on-campus jobs. The environment on campus facilitates academically-related networking opportunities and conversations, and employers might be more apt to check in on students’ studies and personal life.
“They’re going to be really supportive,” Nickless said. “That’s going to happen a lot more readily in an on-campus job.”
Some freshmen with previous work experience might want to work for the same company they worked for in high school, Nickless said, and upperclassmen living off campus might be more inclined to pursue off-campus work.
Some jobs on campus will offer students professional development opportunities, Nickless said, allowing students to gain soft skills, like communication, alongside hard skills, like leading outreach presentations.
International students should check their VISA status and consult with the Office of International Services to determine their options.
What students say
Katie Janoski, a junior who works at Noodles & Company, said she felt her off-campus job offered a more flexible schedule than her previous work on campus. Her hours and times change every week, which she prefers.
While Janoski said the pay discrepancy factored into her decision, she said her job pays close to the campus starting wage.
“It was worth it,” Janoski said.
Junior Andrew Crabtree said he initially started looking for jobs on campus, but his connections with people working off campus made that search easier.
The tips he makes delivering for Jimmy John’s might make his pay greater than what he could find on campus, he said.
Master’s student Priyanka Pandya said the process of applying for her job at Sugar and Spice in the Indiana Memorial Union was pretty short. It involved an online application and a 30-minute interview.
The location on campus — and near bus stops — is convenient, she said.
“If we have classes, we can just rush,” Pandya said.
How to find jobs
- Visit the Career Development Center. They help students find part-time jobs on and off campus and internships.
- Attend job fairs. There are 14 career and internship fairs between Sept. 4 and Nov. 8, according to a letter from the CDC executive director.
- Browse MyJobs through the CDC website.
- Search for on-campus job postings through IU’s Human Resource website. Choose category “part-time/temporary.”
- Look directly on a department’s website to see if they have any positions listed.
- Network with friends and professors.