College Life vs. the Working World

When students first leave college and get a job, they’re entering a whole new world. In general, college students have more freedom while employed professionals have more responsibilities. On the flip side, once you get a job you’ll have more independence, more money, and a whole new world to explore. “It’s a Wonderful (Student) Life” is a humorous infographic that looks at all of the ways college life differs from the working world. For example…


  • College students on average get 8.3 hours of sleep per night.
  • Employed professionals get 7.7 hours of sleep per night.

Dress Code

  • College students can feel free to attend class in a t-shirt, sweatpants, and flip-flops.
  • Sloppy appearance is the number one characteristic employers associate with unprofessionalism.

Rush Hour

  • 67% of four-year students live on campus so they can walk to class.
  • 45.6 minutes is the average round-trip commute for the working professional.

Vacation Time

  • The average college student gets 22 weeks of vacation per year.
  • The average employee gets 2.5 weeks of vacation per year.


  • 65% of students worry about having enough money to make it through the week.
  • Average starting salary for college graduates: $48,661.

Down Time

  • Hours of leisure and sports the average student gets per day: 3.6
  • Hours of leisure and sports the average worker gets per day: 2.6

Playing Hooky

  • 29% of college students report only showing up to class to take exams or to borrow notes and other materials from classmates.
  • 29% of workers report playing hooky from the office at least once last year, calling in sick when they were well.

See the infographic below for a more colorful look at the statistics and differences between college life and the real world.

Publisher: TheDegree360

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