Most higher education students enter college with their eye on a future career; what they may not realize is that, in addition to coursework, the jobs they hold during their college years may actually reward them with valuable career preparation, as well.
Only 29% of college students surveyed have the luxury of not having a job; a significant 71% are employed in some capacity. The majority of unemployed students are underclassmen; 48% of the unemployed are freshman, compared with only 18% of 4th year and graduate students.
And while three-quarters of students say they’re working “just for the paycheck,” it appears that those approaching graduation are more serious about working at jobs that strengthen their career skills. Nearly half of seniors and graduate students believe their job is part of their learning experience, compared with only 26% of first-year students, and 56% believe it will look good on their resume. In that regard, 43% of upperclassmen believe their job is preparing them for a future career very or extremely well, compared with only 25% of freshmen.
Slightly under one-third of students have had any sort of internship during their college career. For those who did, though, it seemed to have been a worthwhile experience; only 17% believed that it didn’t particularly prepare them for their future career.
Students don’t necessarily take advantage of the career preparation services provided by their schools, though. While 80% of students said their institution offered a career fair and most were aware of resume writing classes and interview training, over half of students said they rarely or never took advantage of the campus career services offered.
Of those who did, 62% participated in a career fair, almost half took a resume writing workshop, and 38% made use of the job boards.