These days, a good job is hard to find. But that won't be a decent excuse for a slim résumé when you're sitting across from the recruiter next year. Like it or not, college students are expected to be capable of pulling good grades in tough classes while gaining professional experience on the side. Hiring managers want to know that they won't need to train new employees in the basics of life on the job. The 10 jobs listed below are great choices for students because they look good on a résumé, work around class schedules, offer decent pay, or--if they're really great--all of the above.
On-campus IT support job: This is one of the best work-study jobs you'll find if you are working on a degree in a relevant area. You'll be able to gain real-world experience without leaving campus.
On-campus career services:
It isn't easy for college students to learn the ins and outs of the professional world while keeping up their grades. Working in career services can help you become familiar with the job-hunting process and become comfortable talking with employers and recruiters, says
This is the gold standard of college jobs: You get professional experience and working-world connections, you build knowledge in a real-world work setting, and someone wants to pay you for it. If the work is relevant to the career field you're likely to pursue, even better. This is the best way to test the waters and find out if a particular field is right for you, says
Unpaid internship: This is obviously not as great for your wallet as a paid internship, but the good news is that recruiters don't care.
Waiter or waitress:
Don't turn up your nose. This is honest work, you can earn a good amount of money, and employers will typically work around your school schedule. Even better, you can often return to a restaurant after taking time off, and consistency looks good to a hiring manager. The bottom line for your pocketbook and for your future job interviews: "Working while you go to school is always going to be more beneficial than not working," Karsh says. In part, that's because the millennial generation has the unfortunate reputation of seeming "entitled," and a history of hard work shows that you're not taking much for granted.
This can be a great choice for a student seeking a career in the laboratory sciences. Off-campus lab assistant positions are often part time and may require only a high school degree. Colleges often employ lab assistants in campus research labs, sometimes through work-study programs. Research experience can be very appealing to employers, says
Professor's research assistant:
If you're having a tough time finding a job, consider working closely with a professor as a research assistant. You might propose a position to a professor in your discipline, Shatkin says. Not only will the skills you learn improve your career prospects, you'll forge an advantageous connection. "The recommendation you're going to get from that professor is better than from one who knows you solely in the classroom setting," Shatkin says.
Home health aide:
If you're considering a career in healthcare -- a solid choice in this economy -- working part time as a home health aide could provide some valuable insight. Home health aides often work with the elderly, helping them take their medicines, work through physical exercises, and perform basic grooming. Healthcare jobs have held up during this recession, and the number of home health aide positions is expected to grow much faster than the average for all occupations.
If you're headed for a career that involves communications -- and most do -- you may gain advantages working, paid or not, as a writer. You might find work with a campus publication or the school paper.
About 1 in 4 tellers work part time, so college students might find flexibility in a bank job. You'll gain customer service experience, and you'll be forced to become familiar with numbers. Sometimes students who are interested in working in the financial industry get their feet wet as tellers. Remember, when searching for a job, you're ideally looking for something that's relevant to your future career, Shatkin says.
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10 Best Jobs for College Students
These days, a good job is hard to find. But that won't be a decent excuse for a slim résumé when you're sitting across from the recruiter next year. Like it or not, college students are expected to be capable of pulling good grades in tough classes while gaining professional experience on the side. The 10 jobs listed below are great choices for students because ...
When it comes to foreclosure, the problem isn't just the 7.2 million jobs that have been lost during this great recession. There are millions of Americans who took a huge pay cut to keep their companies going. Unpaid furloughs and 10 to 25 percent pay cuts mean tens of millions of Americans are having a much harder time paying their bills -- and their mortgages are at risk as well.
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