Five of the Best Jobs to Seek as a College Student

Let’s face it, in today’s economy a college graduate needs every competitive advantage they can get when it comes to landing their ideal first job in the professional world. Stellar grades and involvement in extra circulars, while extremely important, do not provide the real-world work experience that many employers seek in new hires. Taking on a part-time job is not only a perfect resume builder, but is also a great way to achieve some financial independence.

Seeking an on-campus job removes the need for transportation, and with the time commitments posed by classes, papers, studying and exams, the convenience of an on-campus job is noteworthy. Below are five on-campus jobs that will put some extra cash in your pocket while also helping to set you apart from the competition come graduation time.

1. Departmental Intern / Research Assistant
What better way to gain the inside-scoop on your field of study than by assisting your professors with research projects and other tasks? You will have the chance to form strong relationships with faculty members; be privy to information, opportunities and knowledge your classmates may not be; and be able to “sink your teeth” into projects that may reflect your future career path.

2. Bookstore Clerk
A job at your campus bookstore will help put a few extra dollars in your bank account and may also afford you a discount on textbooks, which can help offset a substantial college expense.

3. Tutor
Tutoring fellow classmates, or even local high school or middle school students, is advantageous for numerous reasons. The ability to properly teach someone is a beneficial skill to have. It requires one to be a good listener, a problem solver and a leader and also often entails looking at something from an entirely new perspective.

4. Social Media Marketing Assistant
Social media is here to stay and today’s youth certainly has an advantage over their predecessors, simply because it is a large part of many of their daily lives. Put that knowledge to work for you. Offer your services to your campus’ marketing department. Whether it’s assisting with a Facebook page, a Twitter account or writing a blog geared toward incoming students, this type of job will help you improve your communication skills while providing a valuable service to your university.

5. Resident Advisor
The cost to live on campus can be high, but part of the fun of college is campus life. Gaining a position as a resident advisor often means free (or at least reduced) room and board. You will typically be able to squeeze in some study time while on duty and helping to resolve conflicts between fellow students is also great preparation for the team environment found at most companies.

Starting College in the Summer versus Fall?

High school graduation is looming, you’ve been accepted to your university of choice, and now you have a big decision to make: when should you start? There are pros and cons to both waiting for fall and for getting an early jump on your education this summer.

During summer semester, classes tend to feel more relaxed and the campus is much less crowded. This gives you ample opportunity to get used to your new home away from home without all the crowds of fall semester. However, don’t forget that summer semesters are shorter than fall and spring semesters; this means the same amount of coursework is crammed into a shorter window of time, potentially leaving you busier than you would otherwise expect. Do you have scholarships lined up for college? If so, you’ll want to check with them to see if summer classes are covered or not as many scholarships will only fund fall and spring semesters.

On the other hand, you’re nearing the end of your K-12 education: a journey lasting more than a decade! Don’t you deserve a summer off? While many would argue that taking a whole summer off is lazy and an inefficient use of your time, there is something to be said for taking a breather and decompressing before jumping into the next phase of your life. You can use that time wisely to prepare for college placement tests, catch up with friends and family, and to save money from a job so you’re able to spend time with the new friends you’ll make over the next few years.

There is no right or wrong answer to when you should begin college; it’s a personal decision that must be made based on your own personality and other factors that are specific to your life. Think about what makes the most sense for YOU and do what you need to do in order to be best prepared to make the most out of college.

What Should I Major in at College?

Choosing a college major can feel like the biggest decision you will make early in your college career. Luckily, most colleges offer students time and flexibility in making the decision. If your career goals and academic interests have been obvious for years, choosing a major may not be very stressful. If you have many different academic interests or are unsure about your future career, it can be more challenging. Most colleges report that 15-20 percent of their first year students are undecided and about half of these students will declare a major before they enter their sophomore year.

Business and Economics
Majoring in business can seem like the standard choice for students who don’t have a specific major in mind, it can also be a very flexible subject. Many business programs allow students to concentrate on a specific area such as marketing or finance. Some students may choose to combine business with an economics major or a computer science program in order to broaden their education. Many business majors will find positions in major companies while others may choose to continue on to get an MBA.

The Sciences
Many students who want to go to medical school choose to major in biology. other students who want a career in the sciences may choose chemistry, physics, or bio-chem. Majoring in the sciences often means committing to time-consuming lab courses, but for students with a strong interest in the sciences, these majors can provide a solid foundation for future academic programs and careers.

Social Sciences
Majoring in psychology, sociology, anthropology or political science can be the start of many diverse career paths. For students who want to become psychologists or work in social services, this is often the first step towards a masters or doctoral program. Political science is a popular major for students who want to attend law school or work in government. Anthropology can translate into many different cultural positions, museum work, or careers in archeology.

Students who want to become teachers will generally major in education based on the age bracket they plan to teach. Secondary education teachers are often required to take courses in their subject area along with general education classes. Education majors often spend part of their college career observing in the classroom and student teaching

Many colleges allow students the freedom to double major, add minors, and concentrations that will help them to create a unique college experience. Many students choose to minor or double major in a foreign language, or pair up majors that will help them in their chosen career path. Taking the time to research the different majors and find out where majors are landing jobs after college can be a good way to make the decision. Talking with your adviser or with a professor in the department is also a great way to gather information as you make your decision.

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How Do I Choose a College From My Accepted List?

It’s a great thing to know that you’ve been accepted to multiple colleges. After years of researching colleges, preparing for the SAT, and keeping your high school transcript strong, you can relax and know that you have some real options for next year. For some students, choosing the top college from the accepted list is easy, one has stood out all along. For many high school students, however, choosing a college from the accepted list can be a challenging and nerve wracking process. There are several factors that can help you to narrow your list down to the perfect college.

Financial Aid
One important factor that high school students should discuss with their parents is the financial aid packages that have been offered by each college. If one stands out as a great deal, it may be too good to pass up. College is expensive and being given a significant financial aid package or scholarship from one of your top-choice schools can be a huge relief for the family.

Once you have visited the colleges on your list, you can think about how their locations will affect your college experience. Maybe you always anticipated going to school far away, but as the time draws nearer, that school one-hour away seems like a much better choice. For other students, proximity to a favorite city or a certain landscape may make the next four years seem a lot better. Location is important and it’s okay to factor that in when you choose a school. Remember, you’re also choosing a new temporary home.

Campus Visits
Thinking back to campus visits can be a deciding factor in the college decision process. Was there one school that felt like home from the beginning or a place where you really saw yourself fitting in with the current students on campus? If you can’t remember details from a college, you may not have been very impressed with the school. If professors stand out in your mind as being great teachers or you really had a great day during your tour, that can help to make your decision a lot easier.

Don’t Stress!
Remember, while it’s tempting to think that you are searching for that one perfect school, chances are you will be happy on any number of college campuses. You have already put in the effort and narrowed schools down from your original list to come up with the very best fits for you. In the end, it’s all about making an informed decision.

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