Students need real-world employment

By By Eric Evans

By Eric Evans

In 2005, the Higher Education Research Institute showed that an average of 69.4 percent of full-time students have “some” or “major” financial concerns. As unemployment continues to rise, we see the majority of students not earning much of a paycheck, all the while using alternative, though risky, methods of income.

For many students, school loans are the easiest temporary solutions to the demands of expenses, despite the risk of increasing debt. According to the same report, more than three-fourths of students plan to rely on funds from parents or family as they go through school. Sure, their education will increase, but job experiences continue to plateau, so when debt finally does catch up8212;and trust me, it always does8212;they find themselves overworked in their senior year with an entry-level job and looming tuition bills. To prevent this, students should utilize the tools endorsed by the U, especially Career Services.

Every year, the U Career Services spends a countless amount of time and effort preparing for career fairs, providing professional expertise in any desired major or career and creating a variety of workshops designed to educate students and alumni in finding and sustaining appropriate employment. A faculty of a dozen advisers (one of whom you’ve already been assigned to) sits ready to give proper advice and counsel. These resources, however, remain underestimated, as more than half of graduating students (according to the HERI) walk without a paying job8212;something that is both literally and figuratively more valuable than a degree.

Jobs of all kinds8212;especially when related remotely to your desired career8212;provide valuable work experience that will complement students’ repertoires as they near the cap and gown. First-hand knowledge of management practices, observed from any angle, demonstrates what to do and what not to do in positions of leadership. Paying attention to criticism employers give, finding what makes a good or bad company and observing customer relations are all tools for almost every level of employment.

Students should not turn away from the possibility of working while enrolled, despite modern difficulties of finding suitable employment. Extreme efforts could and should be made by all students to find reasonable employment that fit their needs, using the connections and advice of the U’s Career Center and career counselors. As they do, they will find an increase of hands-on experience, a better understanding of what life outside of the university bubble is like, and if they work it right (which is the goal) they’ll only really be sacrificing their time in front of the television.

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Eric Evans