Enrolling in a diverse array of classes isn’t the only way to explore college majors. You can also join clubs and organizations, volunteer in your community, and take on a part-time job. Campus jobs are a great option for students because your supervisors inherently understand your scheduling needs. Work hours are generally reasonable, and you can get paid while learning certain skills. Having a part time job during the school year may also help you prepare for your first internship. Here are five popular campus jobs that can help you explore college majors:
1. Teaching assistant
Working as an undergraduate teaching assistant (or TA) is an excellent way to get to know what a specific field of study is like. As a TA, you’ll likely grade student work, as well as answer any questions that students have about the course material and assignments. You might even get to lead part of a lecture. This is great practice if you are hoping to be a teacher or professor yourself. You’ll be in a prime position to determine whether this is a field of study you’d like to pursue, and the professional relationship you form with your professor will be extremely valuable – you’ll become familiar with his/her research, and he or she should be able to give you insight into related career fields.
2. Writing center assistant
Second in this list of popular campus jobs that can help you explore college majors is the writing center assistant. Working at your campus writing center will allow you to develop transferrable job skills, and a glimpse into the majors of writing, education, and the general humanities. You’ll be able to work one-on-one or in small groups with peers who are writing papers. In this way, you’ll become familiar with content from a wide range of majors, as well as with the typical assignments required of those majors. This kind of tutoring will give you a sense of whether you’d like to work in education, as well as any of the fields you dabble in while helping students. You may also want to consider taking a tutoring job outside of your school, where you can be exposed to students of all ages in the community.
3. Computer technician
If you’re technologically minded, look into becoming a computer technician – perhaps at the informational technology help desk, or in the library, computer lab, language lab, or other media center. Your responsibilities might include helping others with technical difficulties, computer or media failure, or a simple question and answer about using certain devices. You may be able to work in a specific department – such as computer programming, engineering, or statistics – to get to know different majors that way. You’ll also gain a deeper sense of what it’s like to work as a technician or resource person.
4. Administrative assistant
Almost every department needs an administrative assistant. Inquire with the academic departments of fields you’re interested in, as well as at the career center, the study abroad center, or even the admissions office. This is an excellent way to get to know the inner-workings of a specific field, as well as to see whether or not you’d like it. You might have to do tasks like filing, copying, and running for coffee, but what’s valuable are the connections you’ll get to make in a field that interests you.
5. Research/lab assistant
If you’re passionate about or intrigued by the sciences – whether natural or social – investigate research and lab assistant positions. These jobs can give you hands-on experience working in a lab itself or helping to crunch numbers and synthesize data for a professor. You’ll often work for a specific professor and get to know his or her project well. While you might not want to follow in the exact same field of study, you’ll still learn about what you like and don’t like in terms of interesting majors or future jobs. Research experience may also help you in aplying for grad school.
If you have the time in your academic schedule, look into part-time campus work. There are a variety of popular campus jobs that can help you explore college majors. In these positions, you’ll get to investigate different fields of study and make some pocket money at the same time. Here are some good reasons why you should have a part time job in college.