7 Skills Students Hope to Develop Through a Part-Time Job

By Christine Ascher on February 10, 2017

While in college, students typically look for part-time work both to earn some extra money and to learn and develop new skills that will put them at an advantage when it comes time to apply for full-time jobs. In addition to a degree, it is becoming increasingly essential that students enter the full-time workforce with some experience under their belt.

With this in mind, even the most seemingly basic job, from one in retail to one in the fast-food industry, can help students develop essential skills that they will need to secure a position in the future. Some of the skills that students hope to develop and that will benefit them the most include the following.

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Time Management

Many college students struggle with time management. In school, if you miss a deadline it may affect your grade and your professor’s opinion of you; however, typically the consequences stop there. In the career world, however, missing a deadline can have far greater consequences. It will affect the superiors who are waiting for your work to be complete and it may affect your coworkers if they share responsibility for the task as well.

In addition to teaching students the importance of timeliness, working a part-time job will help them practice effective time management. By delegating several tasks to be completed to a student worker, they will learn to allocate their time efficiently so that everything is completed on time — a skill that will no doubt prove useful in the future.

Customer Service

Being proficient in dealing with customers is essential for students looking to work in almost any field. Even when customers are difficult, students must learn how to maintain a positive attitude and work towards a solution for any problems that arise, just as you would work to please your clients when working as a lawyer or consultant, for example.

Client satisfaction is always important, and learning how to properly deal with customers is one of the most beneficial skills that a student can gain from a part-time job.

Problem Solving

Working in a part-time job should teach students how to think on their feet, which in a full-time job, or even in graduate school, will undoubtedly come in handy. Unlike in the classroom where students typically have time to ponder any problems that you come across, being on the job holds them accountable for resolving issues in the moment. Any minor crises that occur can only be beneficial for students in terms of providing opportunities to think fast, which will turn into valuable learning experiences.


Though it also pays off to be organized when it comes to school, many students do not really learn how to be organized until they are held more accountable for their actions — for instance, when they first begin a part-time job. Keeping files organized or maintaining a carefully planned schedule are habits that students can develop through a part-time job and that will certainly become even more necessary when they graduate college and enter the real world.

Whether it’s for their full-time job, graduate school, or simply for keeping track of their bills, being organized is a key characteristic that students hope to establish while working a part-time job.


Communication is essential for almost all aspects of life. In order to be able to work well with others, share ideas, and understand others’ opinions, students need to have good communication skills. By interacting with customers, coworkers, and superiors, a part-time job provides the perfect opportunity for students to develop their ability to speak and listen well. Given that listening is essential for effective communication, it is important that students are given the opportunity to interact with customers or other workers when issues arise to learn how to listen and solve problems.

Technological Skills

With technology becoming increasingly widespread and useful in many fields, more and more full-time jobs nowadays require specific technological knowledge. For students, even basic skills such as using Excel can prove invaluable in the future. Learning how to use just one software program will help students understand how technological software works and will allow them to learn how to use other programs even more quickly in the future.

In addition, through using social media, students will better understand the promotional importance of Twitter and Facebook for professional use. Utilizing technology is, therefore, a helpful task to allow students to hone in on their technological skills.


When taking a part-time job, many students want to improve their ability to work as a team. Proper teamwork is essential to the success of most companies, given projects often require collaboration. Working with others in a part-time job will teach students how to share ideas while also respecting those of others, and will help them get used to making compromises. In addition, it will teach students how to stand up for their own ideas or, conversely, to admit when someone else has better ones.

By Christine Ascher

Uloop Writer
Hi! I'm Christine and I'm currently a senior at the University of Southern California, where I study English Literature, Economics, and French.

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