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How Can College Students Earn Work Experience

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work experience

As a college going under graduate, if you possess some previous work experience, you are more likely to land a job. You will have a greater chance of receiving job interview calls from organizations and eventually become successful during the campus selection process. A recent study has revealed with college education, employers are looking for experience.


Nearly 91% of employers who responded to NACE’s Job Outlook 2017 survey prefer that their candidates have work experience, and 65% of the total group indicates that they prefer their candidates to have relevant work experience. Another 26% of respondents prefer work exposure of any type. (

Luckily, there are several ways to gain valuable work experience, while you are still in college. Take a look at a few actionable ones that we have collated for you below.

Ways to gain valuable work experience while still in college


Gain valuable work experience from summer internships


You are in a tough job market. In order to stand out, you need to make the internship a top priority. An internship will not only give you a competitive advantage over all the other candidates. It will also build a network full of references from the individuals you worked with.

As we can see in the table below, exactly 56% of the employers prefer candidates who have gained experience through internships.

Become the placement coordinator of your college


Treat it as an opportunity to pick up great PR (public relations) and communication skills. As a PC (placement coordinator) in the placement cell, you will not only interact with your peers but also with placement officers (TPOs) and lecturers more often. This job role will keep you on your toes and eventually expose you to diverse people, challenges, and processes. While wearing the hat of a PC, if you manage to keep your marks/grades high, no one can stop you from successfully getting placed in a good company.


Assist your professors in their research


College sets the stage for your career. So, surround yourself with professors and great mentors at all times. When you assist your professor in their research, as an (undergraduate) student, you are at a better position compared to your peers, in the academic sector. Besides, you may get a stipend for the job! Earning your own money builds confidence and independence any day. The point here is working as a student gives one perspective of the real world and also gives you an opportunity to find early mentors to strengthen your work ethics.


Part time student job


Getting a part time job might seem impossible as a college goer. But a great referral from an already placed senior or an acquaintance can give your job application a decisive edge. Easier said than done! But what’s the harm in trying?


Do independent research


Independent research experience comprises of research-led learning, paper publishing and discussions about research in a curriculum. If you have never written a research paper before, it will not be easy. Yet, such a research-based program will offer you a significant amount of experience and add more weight to your CV.


Take up freelance projects


Freelance projects offer ample scope and exposure to students. The best part is some companies count freelance-stints as valid work experiences, especially the relevant ones. As a freelancer, you control your work timings to study for college, earn good money, gain experience and have better-controlled work relationships. Sometimes, a good freelance stint might turn into a full-time job offer for you!


Become a tutor. Start a club to teach your juniors


Benefits of tutoring go way beyond a typical part-time gig. If you are good at studies or in a particular subject, you have an added advantage over others in your batch. This is your chance to start a club to tutor friends, especially juniors. Also, tutoring is the best part-time job for students!


Complete massive open online courses


Better known as MOOCs, these are useful for college students. Being free web classes, they typically don’t award credit but do impart valuable skills. Students who are almost done with a coursework can start studying via MOOCS to acquire newer in-demand skills. Naukri Learning is a leading MOOC aggregator today, displaying several MOOCs from Collabera, VMware, PMP, AWS, ITIL etc. Similarly, you can also start teaching online. Try YouTube, Udemy, edX etc. to start your very own line of tutoring videos!


Workshops and seminars


Just as importantly, keep attending workshops, seminars, conferences, and other events in and around your city. Take notes from learned and established speakers at these gatherings. Their advice will help you upgrade your skills. Such events also prove useful in building a network beyond the college crowd.


Changing hiring preferences of employers


Over the years, hiring preferences of employers have changed drastically. As we can see, 64.5% of employers want candidates with relevant work experience and 26.1% prefer work exposure of any sort.

hiring preferences

Why work experience is important


If you haven’t got a clue about your career yet, gain some work experience. It is a perfect way to experiment with different career options. You can also explore diverse jobs without actually committing to anything (through freelance and part-time stints). That would almost be like dipping your toe in the water without taking the plunge.

You pick up new skills while acquiring work experiences! Juggling academics and work obligations seem tough. Your schedule will ostensibly leave little time for other pursuits, but you will have plenty of chance to pursue professionally oriented opportunities. The best part is there will be minimal time commitment and you will still manage to reward people with your skills, experience, and expertise. Eventually, you will be able to excel in a field after earning a degree.

You earn money and that makes your college life all the more enjoyable! The fund you generate for yourself via short-stints supplies you with wonderful memories that last forever.

You get to network with professionals in the industry which adds more value to your work experience.

You feel motivated and are all geared up. Interestingly, you learn to navigate your way through the jungle of office politics. In other words, you are ready to face the corporate world.

With all the above points you will polish your resume and make it look much better.

In an ideal scenario, you might gain work experience in your chosen field. Yet the key to a successful career lies is gaining a variety of experiences and skills that can be applied to any workplace. Don’t fail to appreciate the importance of work experience and its benefits. Rather carry a proactive outlook towards your search for an ideal workplace. With vision, desire and a long-term career plan, you will surely gain valuable workplace experience. Eventually, it will empower you to succeed even as the job market falters.

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