By Tammy Ko, University of Missouri

There are two types of ways to view college jobs: I need to support myself and provide for everyday expenses versus I work to build my portfolio for future hiring opportunities. The decision that I chose to make was that paying for the bills, providing for everyday expenses and preserving my intellectual capacity for studying was more important. By doing this cost-benefit analysis one can find which value is more important when deciding what type of job is most beneficial for them.

Being a college student seems like a must in the 21st century. Even Bill Gates himself said more jobs are being created that need  education levels of college-level or higher. But being in college and graduating has become ever more difficult and with growing financial burdens.

According to Pew Research over 44 million Americans owed about $1.5 trillion dollars in student loans by the end of March 2019. This is catastrophic news because according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the unemployment among recent grads has been rising since the recession residing at around 6 percent. Is college really worth it?

Yes, it seems like it. According the Census Bureau, the average earning gap among college grads and noncollege grads was $19,550 dollars annually in 2010. This shows that it is very important for students to finish school and do well in their studies.

In my cost-benefit analysis, I chose to give up a marketing internship at the Chancellor’s Office with great prestige for working at a tea shop.

As a student at the University of Missouri School of Journalism famously known for the Missouri Method, a style of learning through real-world journalism exposure, I was encouraged to find opportunities that not only paid, but educated me. The marketing internship was perfect. But that opportunity that came with a cost, working 10 hours per week working from two places, the News Bureau and Veterans Center on campus.

Responsibilities included organizing the website of the Veterans Center to be more user-friendly, creating content on social media, designing the outline of a monthly e-newsletter, writing an average of two stories weekly and meeting with people that provided resources and ideas about how to proceed.

After assessing the responsibilities and intellectual effort that would go into the internship, juggling it with classes and having a second lab job that required 12 hours weekly, I was not ready to commit. Alternatively, I decided to take a job at a downtown tea shop that paid the same  but required less intellectual energy.

According to Georgetown University’s Center of Education and the Workforce, seven out of 10 students work while being in college, and this number is growing. It seems unavoidable for many students to have a job while being in college. As a student I chose to have a job that helped pay for my bills not one that advanced my resume that freed up a lot of my time and created less additional stress for being in school.

Working morning shifts and knowing the routine every day, I was able to not give second thought about what I had to do at work, while still meeting monthly expenses. So, which one is more important for you? Analyzing the benefits of two jobs is a skill that one needs to learn before jumping into the workforce and a great skill to learn.

Tammy Ko is a student at the University of Missouri.