5 Useful Skill-Developing Jobs For College Students

By Julia Dunn on January 13, 2016

College students are always seeking job experience in order to get ahead, and employers should know that students aren’t just trying to make money these days — they’re hungry for job skills that can help them land a great position upon college graduation.

Employers can do students a favor by offering them jobs that give them more than just a paycheck; here are five types of student jobs that will actually help students acquire the skills necessary to succeed.

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Event Planning

An event planning position will help students learn to multitask and be detail-oriented, both skills imperative for the world after college. Employers associated with some kind of student life office at a university can hire students to help plan, coordinate, and even run campus events like workshops, presentations by campus guests, and other fun student events from start to finish.

Positions like these may require that students make phone calls and emails to individuals and businesses on a regular basis; this element of a job gears students up to communicate efficiently both during and after college.

Furthermore, event planning puts a lot of little skills to use pertaining to public relations, relationship building, logistics management, public speaking, and goal-setting. All of these are skills which students will likely need in their first full-time post-undergraduate careers.

The fun of an event planning job is that students will never have the exact same experience twice when planning events, because every event will likely be unique in some way and involve certain challenges that others may not involve. A dynamic job like this keeps students on their toes and thinking holistically about a project as well as on a small scale when details are concerned.

Publicity/Social Media

As more and more companies in the “real world” develop a social media presence for advertising, communication, networking, and creating customer bases, students need to know how to use social media in a professional manner. Employers can assist college students in this field by offering positions such as “social media manager” or even “comment moderator” which allow students to learn about effective social media uses.

If you are an employer who could use a social media presence or who wants help learning about websites such as Facebook or even Snapchat, hire a student. Not only will your student employees be able to refine their teaching skills when giving you the Twitter lowdown, but employees will learn how to apply social media in the professional world.

A job in publicity and social media in college might also teach students how to maintain a clean social networking profile, and how to use certain features.

Learning Support Services/Tutoring

Academic support services are in high demand at universities — there will always be students who need extra academic support and supplemental resources to pass their classes. To refine students’ teaching skills, employers should offer tutoring positions through college resource centers.

Students can gain a lot of valuable knowledge from a job teaching other students, seeing that after college (and throughout life in general), students will need to be able to clearly communicate and synthesize information. No matter what field or profession students pursue, they should be pocketing some experience teaching others in a formal setting.


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Any writing job is helpful for students during and after college. Employers who offer students jobs writing in any capacity should know they are giving students great experience that can be translated to any career.

Furthermore, students with writing experience will in turn develop stronger editing skills, and they’ll have a portfolio at the ready for any future position that requests a writing sample.

Customer Service/Office Assistant

Working with people is a universal skill that college students need to master early on, and although customer service-type jobs tend to have a bad reputation, college students can gain great problem-solving skills in customer service or office assistant jobs.

These positions tend to involve answering phones professionally, using computer programs like Excel for data entry, and file sorting, which helps students develop their organizational skills.

Even though these positions seem relatively simple, they are fundamental to teaching students how to complete basic tasks that will undoubtedly be part of a full-time job later on after college. Employers can always use an office assistant or two to help manage the front desk of their organization or sort out important papers in a storage room.

Ultimately, employers looking to help students grow should create jobs that do not only help them pay rent, but offer valuable experience upon which they can draw in future job interviews and new careers. The more targeted jobs are to students’ interests, the more students will get out of their position.

Any job which teaches professionalism, responsibility, interpersonal skills, and the importance of independent and collaborative work will serve a student employee well after the job is over.

By Julia Dunn

Uloop Writer
UC Santa Cruz
A writer, editor and educator based in Northern California.

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