Finding The Perfect College Part-Time Job For Your Major

A lot of factors go into planning a college career—applying for financial aid, choosing a major, and even figuring out whether you need to get a job. It’s enough to make your head spin.

If you do decide to work, there might be some significant benefits in finding the right part-time job for your college years, including:

•   Paying for unexpected expenses: You might need to pay for membership dues for a club you want to join, clothing, or extra cups of coffee during finals week.

•   Job experience: Part-time jobs might provide you with experience in your chosen field.

•   Advantages in hiring: Employers, post-graduation, might prefer to hire entry-level professionals who already have some industry-relevant work experience.

So, how do you find the right part-time job during college? When is the right time to find that job? It could be when you’re still applying to schools or after you’re already established in at your chosen college. Whenever you’re looking, here are some ideas for finding the right fit for you.

Starting Your Freshman Year

When you first start college, it can be an exceptionally busy time as you adjust to college life, start new classes, find your way around the campus and surrounding areas, make new friends, decide whether to join clubs and other organizations, create a schedule for studying, and more. So, you might wonder, how can you possibly find time to get a job and work part-time?

If that’s how you feel, then it may make sense to determine if you need to work right now. But if you have financial need, the Federal Work-Study program may be right for you.

This is a federal program that provides part-time jobs for students with financial need. To find out if you qualify, you can start by filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FASFAⓇ) , then check with your school’s financial aid department to see if they participate. Funds and choice jobs can go quickly with this program so, if interested, you might want to apply as early as you can.

In work-study programs, jobs can include community service -focused positions and/or work related to your area of study. This, of course, raises a question: What if you don’t yet know what you want your major to be? If so, that’s perfectly normal, especially during your freshman year.

Many colleges want you to choose your major by the end of your sophomore year—so if you want or need to work during your freshman year and haven’t yet declared a major, you could consider applying for jobs of interest and use this experience as part of your career exploration.

In fact, exploration might be the right first step when choosing a major, as well. Think about what you’re good at and what you enjoy. You could join academic or pre-professional clubs and talk to other members, as well as to professors and counselors, to find a major that captures your attention.

You might also consider if a particular major has the potential for the salary you’d need to live your lifestyle of choice.

Perfect Jobs for College Students

First, you might take a look at college job postings. Colleges frequently have career service centers “>career service centers that list job postings, so you could take full advantage of available resources, including making an appointment to find out all that’s available. Also, you might talk to members of clubs that you belong to, classmates and friends, professors and counselors to get the word out that you’re looking for work.

You could also consider job postings in the surrounding communities. If you don’t have your own vehicle, what public transportation options are available? Online job databases, such as , , , , , might be good places to start looking for nearby jobs.

Searching online for the types of jobs you’re looking for could lead you to a corresponding job board or company posting. If there’s a specific company you think would look great on your resume, you could apply for an entry-level job, even if it’s not perfectly matched to your goals. It might be easier to get transferred or promoted than it is to get the coveted job from the get-go.

You could use the power of social media, both to broadcast your wish to get a particular type of job and to look for listings. LinkedIn can be an excellent job-hunting tool.

As you look for jobs online, you might consider filtering them by words such as “remote” or “telecommute,” because there’s an opportunity in today’s gig economy that might not require you to leave your dorm room or apartment.

By creating your own mix of income streams, you could experiment with different types of jobs and get insights on whether you’d be interested in becoming an entrepreneur. Skills you gain might make you valuable to employers, including the fact that you’re willing to hustle to earn income. You might be offered a more traditional job through your gigs and meet people who can help you in your career. , for example, offers writing gigs as well as editing and proofreading ones, plus internship opportunities (more about the latter idea later in this post!). You could also find photography gigs online , as another example.

If pursuing gigs appeals to you, you might want to figure out what’s motivating you. It could be cash for college and experience for the future or something else. The beauty of freelance gigs is that you can often work them around a class and study schedule because they aren’t typically 9-to-5. You could figure out how much time you can dedicate to this side hustle without cutting into your studying.

College Internships

College internships are also a potential way to gain valuable work experience. Interns typically work at a job in their field of choice, often (but not always) part-time. There are paid internships as well as unpaid ones. Besides providing work experience—and possibly being a paid opportunity—college internships might help you decide what you want to do as a career or even help you earn college credit .

To find internships opportunities, you can talk to your school career center and counselors, and network with professors, members of professional clubs, and so forth. You could also attend career fairs or look online for opportunities. Sites like and searching online using terms like “find college internships” could be a good place to start.

If you know of a specific company where you’d like to intern, you could look at their website for information. Since competitive internships typically go quickly , you might want to start this process as early as you can. Your school counselor may offer timeline recommendations for internship searches.

Financing Your Education

One reason for finding a part-time job in college might be to help pay for your education. And, for many students, loans are also a part of funding their education. These loans may include either federal student loans or private student loans.

Here at SoFi, we offer private student loans for both undergrads and graduate students. But we want you to know that we believe you should exhaust all of your federal grant and loan options before you consider a SoFi private student loan.

If you do decide that private student loan is the right fit for your educational needs, we’re happy to help! SoFi’s private student loan application process is trusted and fast. We offer flexible payment options and terms and no hidden fees!

Learn more about SoFi private student loans today.

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