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by Andrew Fennell | November 16, 2022


A gap year can be beneficial for many reasons—and you don’t need to go jetting off around the world to make it count! From saving your earnings to having time to reflect on your future, a gap year can be a great way to take a pause from academia—and even invest in your future while you’re at it. Below, you’ll find five of the top reasons for taking a gap year in 2023.

1. Save money living at home

Taking a stay-at-home gap year can be an amazing way to make money and not have to worry about spending it directly on your living expenses. So long as your parents are happy for you to remain at home, a stay-at-home gap year is a great way to start earning—while being able to enjoy your money.

You can even use your savings to make your college experience more enjoyable when you eventually enroll—with rent and utility bills costs at an all-time high, many college students are having to navigate a difficult cost-of-living crisis. If you take a gap year, you’ll be able to save for your college expenses and have a more enjoyable time during your studies. You’ll have enough cash to make the most of the student experience, and not have to worry about finding a part-time job alongside your studies.

2. Get on the career ladder

Since the post-pandemic summer of 2021, record levels of job resignations have meant that it hasn’t been too difficult to find a well-paying job—even if you’re a school leaver. Many companies explicitly offer roles for career beginners and school leavers, where you’ll be able to enjoy on-the-job training in a professional, paid role.

Landing a good job during your gap year is also effective preparation for the world of work. You’ll obtain hands-on experience working in a professional team, and you won’t come out of college feeling unprepared for the challenges of the modern workplace. Your resume will also show potential employers that you already have the necessary skills and experience to function in a modern workplace, giving you an edge over your graduate competitors.

3. Make career contacts early 

Another key benefit of taking a gap year—if you work during it—is that you’ll have the opportunity to make key career contacts early on. This is going to make it easier for you to find a graduate job when you finish college, especially if you plan on working in the same industry as your gap year job.

As you may already know, finding your first graduate job can be incredibly difficult. You’re competing not just with your peers from your own college, but from every college and university in the USA and elsewhere! Having your foot in the door early can make it easier to lock down that first graduate position.

4. Think about your future

While the high-school-to-college pipeline is the most traditional route students take, there’s no evidence to show that it’s the most effective option when it comes to building a successful career. Taking a gap year allows you the time to reflect on your future. You might find that your initial degree doesn’t interest you anymore, or you may find that you want to remain in the world of work and build your career, rather than head off to college. You’ll even have the time to explore your passions and hobbies—and the time to try making a career out of them.

In short, a gap year allows you breathing room to make important decisions about your future, without the pressure of your academic advisors nudging you in one direction or another.

5. Travel

While travel isn’t a prerequisite for a fulfilling gap year, there’s no reason you can’t incorporate it into your gap year plan. For example, you could spend six to nine months of your gap year working at home, while spending the last three months traveling around the world before heading to college.

Travel enriches you on a personal level as well as a professional level—having a mix of work and independent travel on your resume looks great to hiring managers. Not only will you demonstrate that you’re self-sufficient but you’ll also prove that you’re already equipped for the world of work—and the many challenges that come with it. 

Andrew Fennell is the founder and director of StandOut CV, a leading CV builder and careers advice website. He is a former recruitment consultant and contributes careers advice to publications like Business Insider, The Guardian, and The Independent.