Attending college is not only often expensive, but you may also have limited free time. That means that you could have trouble holding down even a part-time job. So, how about opting for a full-time job while attending college online?
Starting Career While Attending College Online
By Andrej Kovacevic
In today’s hyper-competitive job market, students can gain a distinct advantage over their peers by starting their careers while still in college. New education options that allow for greater flexibility, such as getting degrees online, make this very doable. These alternatives allow students to pursue career-related projects or even get a job while completing coursework. The following are some of the things you can do to start your career while working towards an online degree.
Participate In An Internship
Internships are one of the best ways to obtain work experience and start a career while still in college. Some degree programs will even list the completion of an internship as part of the program requirements. These are good programs to consider in general because this requirement demonstrates a college’s connection to and understanding of the professional workforce as well as its commitment to the success of its students. The downside to internships is that they can be highly competitive and may not pay much, if at all. Fortunately, they are not the only option students have.
Another great way for students to start their careers while earning a degree online is to start doing work on a freelance basis. For example, students getting an online degree in IT security could take up freelance work such as website programming or blogging about the subject. Students may even decide they like the freelance lifestyle and go on to keep doing it or even start their own business. At the very least, it will count as relevant work experience on your resume and give you practice and knowledge you can use to succeed in your first job.
Volunteering can jump-start your career too. Nearly all employers consider volunteer experience when evaluating candidates for a position because the work volunteers do mirrors paid work. If your goal is to work in a non-profit or in social services of some kind, volunteer work will look even better on a resume. Ideally, volunteer work should be within your chosen industry for it to carry the most weight but volunteer work of all varieties can help you develop skills that will be valuable in the workforce. If you volunteer for an organization, they will be more likely to hire you into a paid position once you complete college if such positions exist.
Land A Job
While this is not possible in all occupations, particularly ones that require degrees and professional accreditation to obtain, another option is to simply start applying and land some sort of job in the field. Often, these jobs will be very entry level, but they will give students work experience in their chosen industry. Once a student gains their degree, they will be in a good position to get promoted within their organization and continue embarking on their career path. To get a job while still in college, be realistic, leverage all work experience you do have and make it clear you are in the process of obtaining a degree in your chosen subject.
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Look Into Supplementary Education
Something else you can do while still in college is to utilize other resources that will help you launch your career. Books, webinars, blogs and other similar resources are all good sources of information. These resources can be about your chosen industry as well as general career advice that is useful to every professional. Topics to look into include performing well in job interviews, cultivating good management skills, navigating office culture, writing resumes and more.
Online education can provide you with a broader array of networking opportunities than you would have access to by attending a traditional college. Sites like LinkedIn, for example, allow you to connect with anyone you meet during the course of your online education. A strong network will help you grow professionally, find mentorships, expand your knowledge base and alert you to job openings that may be of interest. It is always best to start networking while you are still in college so you will have connections already in place when you are preparing to graduate and start looking for a job.
Related Article: Networking – The Best Job Search Strategy
It is possible to jump-start your career while still in college. Online degree programs actually make this easier to do. Consider the various ways you can obtain work experience or even get your first job in your field while still in college. By doing so, you will be in a much better position to enjoy a long and successful career.
Andrej Kovačević is an accomplished digital marketing specialist and an avid internet technologist. He believes that the key to modern marketing excellence is a constant willingness to learn and adapt to the ever-changing digital world. Currently, Andrej is the Head of Production at Amebae Online Pty Ltd.
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