Many students attend university in order to gain an education that will help them advance in life. However, students can gain more than book learning at university. It’s also possible for university students to gain valuable experience and make good connections.

The part-time job you hold while at university can provide you with regular income, allowing you to start saving for retirement, as well as to help you stay out of debt while you spend money on the occasional fun treat. Doing the right job, though, can provide you with valuable life skills and help you network in an effective manner. Here are 5 great jobs for university students:

1. Alumni Affairs

If you are looking to make good connections, as well as learn professional skills, working in an alumni affairs office can help. You learn how to behave professionally, as well as develop valuable communication and management skills. Additionally, you have the chance to help with networking events, and meet university alumni. Make a good impression, and get to know influential alumni, and you will have an “in” when you leave university.

2. Tour Guide

For those looking to improve their presentation skills, this can be a great job. You will show prospective students (and their parents) around the campus. Tour guides learn to communicate effectively, and develop a sense of ease in front of groups. Additionally, you might also have the chance to meet alumni, and other influential people. Your job as a tour guide can help you learn skills that help in any career.

3. University Marketing Department

When you work in a marketing department, you have the chance to learn valuable, real-world skills. Management and communication are major skills learned in a marketing department. On top of that, it’s also possible to learn more about business, and the way marketing campaigns are put together. Whether you plan to be an entrepreneur, or climb the ranks at a major company, experience in a marketing department is valuable and directly translatable to the “real world.”

On top of that, many marketing departments at universities are also involved in social media, and other tech-related marketing. Learning computer skills, as well as Internet skills, can benefit you in any job. In a marketing department, you are likely to learn how to draft a press release, craft social media messages, and manage a marketing campaign. You might be surprised at everything you can learn from working in a university marketing department. Plus, if you do a good job, you will receive excellent references and build your career network.

4. IT Support/Help Desk

Many universities offer IT services and student help for tech support. If you plan to work in a tech field (and maybe even if you don’t), working in the IT department can be a big help. You learn about computers, and how they work. Additionally, you will troubleshoot and develop problem solving skills that can be used at any job. Working with other students can also help you develop people skills, and learn communication. These are great assets no matter what field you go into. And, as technology becomes increasingly integrated into our lives, it doesn’t hurt to have a solid understanding of computers and computer systems.

5. Career Services

Want to learn how to sharpen your interview skills and write a resume that gets you hired? Work in career services. This department helps students prepare to find work when they finish university, and you can receive first-hand information and practice at improving your marketability.

Not only can you learn the ropes when it comes to a successful job hunt, but you also might have the opportunity to work with various employers. You have the chance to speak with hiring departments, and with other company representatives. If your university has a career fair, you will probably get to help set up – and get an inside track to meet participants. Your networking opportunities are many when you work for career services.

What about Working for Yourself?

Of course, you can also work for yourself. University is a great time to be your own boss, if you have an entrepreneurial streak. You can work as a freelancer, or start up a company. There are many opportunities for those who are willing to work hard. Starting a side gig can help you learn a number of valuable skills, from fundraising to presentation to marketing. While university provides great opportunities to experience new things and gain new knowledge, don’t forget to develop the practical skills that will get you hired later.



Miranda is freelance journalist. She specializes in topics related to money, especially personal finance, small business, and investing. You can read more of my writing at Planting Money Seeds.