Summer vacation has finally arrived, but the last thing students should do is treat it like an actual vacation. On the contrary, it’s a good time to get some work experience in the books. Summer jobs help students do just that while learning about their industry and earning money for college. Best of all, they look great on a resume! In this article, we’ll offer up a few ideas for a number of college majors.
Accounting, Finance and Economics
Bank Teller. This entry-level job is a good pick for college kids, since it only requires a high school diploma and basic math skills. Plus, it can help a student get their foot in the door at an institution they’re interested in working for full-time after graduation.
Junior Bookkeeper. For those pursuing an accounting degree, this is a great place to start. Many companies keep students onboard throughout the school year, and they’re usually able to gain internship credit hours.
Entrepreneur. What better way to gain experience is there than to try something yourself? Econ majors should consider launching their own business – think t-shirts, product development, music lessons, etc. This provides valuable insight on microeconomics of a business and macroeconomics of the industry.
Tax Preparer. Next Spring, students can obtain a Prepared Tax Identification Number (PTIN) and register with the state to prepare taxes. This is another way to make money during college and expand a student’s employment history.
Business, Management and Hospitality
Administrative Assistant. Depending on the company, students may be responsible for communicating with clients, coordinating employees and scheduling. These duties require effective time management and project completion skills, which are appealing qualities to have later on during a job search.
Dental Receptionist. This position involves handling billing and insurance information, customer service and scheduling appointments and reminders. It provides firsthand experience for students pursuing a hospitality degree.
Summer Camp Program Coordinator. Students in this role are responsible for staff supervision, coordinating programs and activities, camper wellness and administrative tasks as needed. Most employees will begin as a counselor or assistant before taking on an advanced position.
Transcriber. With flexible hours and a high hourly wage, this is among the simplest of summer jobs. Students work from home, listening to audio recordings and typing what is said. Plus, the pay increases if the student becomes specialized in legal or medical transcribing.
Marketing, Advertising, Journalism, English and Communications
Freelance writer. This is the perfect part-time position for creative minds. Freelance writers work from home and choose the frequency of their assignments, meanwhile building their portfolio for future career opportunities.
Resume writer. Not everyone is gifted in preparing for the job search, so there’s an availability for resume and cover letter writers. Students should check for openings with firms that contract out writers, or ask around campus for students who are graduating soon.
Radio promotions team member. Most radio stations do live events all summer long, providing employees with experience in marketing and public relations. Plus, it may lead to a full-time position later on.
Campus Tour Guide. Students can get a rewarding job, right there at the school. This is a great opportunity for those with a knack for selling and the position usually continues as a work-study position throughout the school year.
Photography, Theater, Fine Art and Graphic Design
Freelance Photographer. This one requires a nice camera and an artistic eye, but freelance photography is a great way to expand a resume and make good money doing it. Additionally, this experience can help edge out the competition when applying for full-time positions after college.
Freelance Graphic Designer. For those with the skills for it, freelance graphic design is a fun, lucrative summer job. Plus, since students can be as creative as they wish, without fear of using up company time, it’s a good way to boost a portfolio.
Intern. Most students have an idea of the companies they’ll apply to upon graduation. However, believe it or not, the best time to apply is now, as an intern, since it often leads to a full-time position. Students can look for opportunities at local newspapers, art galleries or design agencies, and they may even tailor the position based on the student’s interests.
Government and Political Science
Congress Intern. Many students choose to do their internship with a U.S. Senator or House Representative in their state capitol or Washington, D.C. The standard job description includes giving tours to the public, answering phone calls and taking notes during sessions. While this provides a unique experience, students shouldn’t expect to rake in much cash. Additionally, they’re responsible for finding housing and investing in business attire.
Food Service Worker. Whether it’s bartending, waiting tables or working as a barista, serving is a great way to meet new people and work on soft skills, like effective communication. Plus, due to tips, it can be much more lucrative than other college jobs.
Volunteer. While this looks good on any resume, it’s especially important for those going into service work. It’s best if the experience relates to the student’s career path, such as a non-profit organization, human rights advocacy groups or public policy.
Campus Government. Over the summer, students should research the various clubs on campus, including student government. These are a great way to expand one’s network and a board member position is a serious resume-builder. Plus, many organizations strive to incorporate charity work each semester.
Psychology, Sociology, Criminal Justice and Corrections
Youth counselor. Students collaborate with other staff members, under the direction of a supervisor, to assist children in building positive coping strategies, healthy relationships and independent living skills.
Intern. This allows students explore their career options, while still in school. As always, it’s important to look for internships that aligns with one’s career goals.
- Psychology students may consider working in a mental health facility and become a patient advocate, interning in a school to consult students on career and degree options, helping with professional sports teams to become a sports psychologist or working in a private practice to learn about the environment and duties.
- Sociology students can intern with a city or state legislator assisting with political campaigns and policies, at a nonprofit organization helping to find donors and raise money or as a legal intern for a law firm or government agency.
- Criminal Justice and Corrections students benefit from interning at work release facilities, adult and juvenile probation, a coroner’s office, anti-human trafficking organizations or with local police departments.
History and Geography
Library Assistant/Circulation Clerk. Working in a library provides a salary as well as easy access to study materials and resources during downtime. Plus, this job can be found on campus which puts students in the position to make helpful connections.
Museum Assistant. Students typically assist in day-to-day operations including customer service, merchandising, security and database management, as well as the experience expanding knowledge of the field. It’s also the fastest way to secure a job offer after graduation.
University Employee. Summer employment may be available within the department, doing staff work or research. While the position may be unpaid, working directly for the college is a good selling feature for future employers.
Conservationist. Students can participate in park and trail maintenance, research and tasks like clearing out invasive species with organizations such as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service or Department or Natural Resources.
Engineering, Chemistry and Biology
Intern. For these majors, hands on experience within a student’s chosen field is critical. Depending on the position, students may work as a researcher, surveyor, developer or applicator.
College Tutor. This fall, students should consider tutoring their peers in course-required classes. This demonstrates a deep understanding of the topics to future employers, plus provides flexible hours and compensation during the school year.
Hospital Scribe. Students can gain clinical experience by recording data for a doctor at the patient’s bedside. In addition to an hourly wage, this position familiarizes students with the responsibilities of the medical field.
Lifeguard. Students receive basic first aid training, CPR training and even on-the-job experience in the case of an accident. Plus, there may be positions available at the pool on campus.
Phlebotomist. This license requires only a high school diploma and training course, according to the American Medical Technologists. Students are responsible for drawing blood samples to pass to the laboratory to be checked for health issues.
Orderly. Similar to a Certified Nursing Assistant, Orderlies help hospital patients with basic tasks like bathing and getting dressed. Additionally they assist the nursing staff with housekeeping tasks and transporting patients as needed throughout the hospital.
Dog Walker. For those in Veterinary fields, students make money while connecting with animals. Another way to pad the resume is by volunteering at a Humane Society or veterinary clinic.
Teacher Education and Professional Development
Child Care Worker. Students typically supervise the children in their care, prepare meals and organize snack times, plan activities and record children’s progress and interests. Whether at a daycare or as an in-home nanny, this is the perfect summer job for those pursuing a career of working with kids.
Childhood Education Tutor. Regardless of the class, this is a good opportunity for aspiring teachers to hone in on their skills. Students may choose to work with Pre-K, elementary or high school students depending on their area of study.
Computer Science and IT Development
Consultant. Students can apply to computer shops to work in repair and reconstruction. Additionally, Best Buy’s Geek Squad may be a good fit.
Programmer. Students should look for summer jobs or a paid internship at an agency, network security firm or a large company with in-house IT.
Remember that summer jobs build character – and that’s a good thing when students start working in the real world after graduation. While we’re on the subject, here’s a friendly reminder students should start preparing for future job interviews by asking for references, building a LinkedIn profile and cleaning up their social media pages.