When it comes to work, college students need flexibility – with a full class load, extracurricular activities and homework, a job can be the last thing on a student’s mind. But college expenses pile up quickly, and a part time job is a great way to offset costs while still staying focused on your academics. It can also be a great resume-builder.
While it may not apply directly to your ideal career path, jobs demonstrate other valuable qualities – time management, work ethic, teamwork, etc. – that will be especially useful when it finally comes time to search for that first job out of school. There are a number of part-time jobs that provide this basic foundation of skills and experience, applicable to almost any job.
Here's a list of part-time jobs that college students may want to consider while in school.
1. Tutor. Tutoring demonstrates a commitment to academics, teaching and fostering progress – all great characteristics. Often times, tutors also have the flexibility of creating their own schedule and potentially working from home, making it an ideal choice for part-time work. If you did really well in one of your classes, ask the professor about tutoring opportunities within that class. You can also visit the university’s educational resource center for tutoring opportunities.
2. Child Care Worker/Camp Counselor. When working with children, time management, leadership and being able to balance many things at once are just a few of the valuable skills you may pick up. If you enjoy working with kids, this could be a dream part-time job. Not only can babysitting provide flexible hours, but it typically pays well. Also, there’s always the possibility of getting some of your homework done during your downtime, especially if you babysit kids at night. Being a camp counselor is also a great way to meet other students and learn team building dynamics through various camp activities. Camp counselors usually get free room and board providing a great opportunity to save money over the summer. Search online or check with the career office for open positions.
3. Waiter. Restaurant work is challenging, fast-paced and requires balancing work and customer satisfaction, all of which is applicable to other working environments. Since servers can somewhat dictate their own schedule, it can be easier to work around a class schedule and you’ll get to walk out of work with cash in your pocket.
4. Teaching Assistant. Getting further involved in academics, networking with your professors and helping to mentor students a just a few of the valuable experiences you get as a teaching assistant. If you enjoy working with students, are especially passionate about a subject, or even want to get closer with a particularly interesting professor, ask your professors about opportunities to work with them, or if they know of another professor who needs help.
5. Paid Intern. Doing an internship is a great way to show interest in your field of choice. With companies always looking to hire college students for internship or fellowship programs, you may just have to do some digging to find the ones that are paid. Either way, you’ll gain valuable experience in your industry and can help accelerate your career goals. When it comes time to look for your first job after graduation, your internship experience combined with your education will help separate you from your peers.
6. Resident Assistant. If you live in the dorms, becoming a resident assistant (RA) could be a perfect job. Normally, RAs get free room and board along with an hourly wage – great perks. RAs are also required to be an ongoing resource for the students, an ambassador for the school and initiate creative planning for the students – all skills that transfer well to a more formal position.
While your studies are your main focus, these part-time jobs not only temporarily help foot the bill, but also help cultivate valuable skills that will look great on your resume. Just remember, make sure whichever job you choose still leaves you with enough time to get your homework done, too!
Dennis Bryar is a branch manager within the finance & accounting practice at Chicago-based Addison Group. Addison Group is a leading provider of professional staffing and search services with offices nationwide and specialized practices in administration & HR, finance & accounting, healthcare and IT.