There are many reasons to work while taking classes. From building your network to developing career skills, your job can mean more than its paycheck.
Discover the benefits of working during college
Working while pursuing higher education helped me gain valuable skills and insight. It allowed me to explore my current passions, while developing new ones.Emiley Brettnacher, current student employee
27.3%of students (with known career outcomes) completed at least one student employment experience during their time at IUPUI.
72.1%of students (with known career outcomes) completed at least one internship, practicum, co-op, student teaching, or clinical placement.
92.7%of students agreed that their internship(s) complemented their degree and helped prepare them for their future careers.
Are you prepared for work after college? Working while obtaining your degree can make you career ready for after graduation. The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) has established eight key competencies for career readiness, which you can learn more about here. Finding opportunities like part-time work or internships can help develop these top skills employers are looking for.
NACE's eight key competencies for career readiness:
- Career and self-development
- Critical thinking
- Equity and inclusion
General reasons to work
You have your own motivations for considering a student employment experience. Here is why other students like you have chosen to work while at IUPUI.
A resume is a summary of your education, experiences, certificates, and other professional accomplishments. Employers read this to understand your qualifications. Whether you're a volunteer, an intern, or work an entry-level job, your experiences are valuable to include on your resume. These experiences can help you grow in the eight competencies listed above.
Working in a new environment—whether it be an office, the classroom, or even the Campus Center—can open your eyes to what you are interested in because everyone has their own preferred work environment and culture. Discovering this now can help guide you where you want to go after graduation.
College is all about networking. While working, you build a web of professional contacts that can help guide you to valuable opportunities. Plus, you could gain a potential reference for future internships and graduate school applications. The sooner you begin networking, the better.
Balancing your studies and working will help you learn how to manage your time efficiently. You'll have to make important decisions about how to use your time when you aren't in classes or at the workplace. This means delegating time for studying, eating, socializing, and taking care of yourself.
When you start receiving a paycheck, you have to decide how to spend your money. If you're having trouble managing your money, MoneySmarts is a resource available to IUPUI students to assist them in making smart financial decisions.
Common questions and concerns
We get it—you're not sure if student employment is for you, or you may want to know a little bit more. Here are some answers to more common questions and concerns that may help.
Employers consider all kinds of experiences relevant, not just paid employment. Volunteering, student group participation, leadership positions, and many more experiences are related to positions on-and off-campus. Check out the Resources section for more information on putting these experiences into your resume.
One of the benefits of working for IUPUI is the minimum wage of $10.15/hr. If you make more than that now, consider that student hourly employees do not have FICA taken out of their taxes, which means you keep more of your paycheck. Our Earnings Calculator can calculate the difference of income for off-or on-campus work based on taxes, weekly hours, and hourly wage.
Also, continuing to challenge yourself in new positions and building skills are key to preparing you for internships and full-time opportunities. Think about the skills you are missing, and search for opportunities that will help you build those! If you need help identifying skills you are missing, make an appointment or drop in to see us.
Most part-time positions at IUPUI work around your class schedule. Do you have a two-or three-hour break between classes? Why not earn some money while you wait? Working at IUPUI can enhance your time management and save you some gas money. Remember that unless the job description states otherwise, the position will work with your class schedule.
If you’re worried an off-campus employer won’t accommodate, be sure to discuss your concerns during the interview. Letting them know that you have a responsibility as a student can help them work with you on your work schedule. It’s important to be honest about how many hours you feel comfortable working while keeping up with your studies.
Be careful not to make assumptions about a job before you read the description. The description outlines all of the responsibilities you will have and what qualifications the employer is looking for. More than likely, you would be interested in the responsibilities and meet the skills needed.
Future employers will be looking for skills like oral and written communication, problem solving, professionalism, and more. At any job, you generally have to expand and apply these skills. This means these positions are relevant to your major. Trust the experts. Every job gives you more transferable skills than you might initially realize. Making assumptions can mean missing out on excellent opportunities for growth!
The anxiety attached to starting a new job is normal. Any of our office staff remember what is was like to begin work in a new place. However, as you continue on your undergraduate journey, it’s important to remember that the experiences you gain now will benefit you in the future. Trying new things and being open to exploring your work preferences, will make choosing your career after graduation much easier.