Today we welcome guest blogger Paul Shonowo who is an IT Careers Consultant with Just IT. Here he gives an insight into how part-time work can enhance your career prospects. Paul is an alumni of GSM London.
An increasing number of students work part-time to help fund their studies, and this is becoming more common as the cost of living rises. While having an extra source of income may seem like ‘just something to help you get by’ while you study, have you thought about the effect your part-time job might have on your career prospects after graduation?
A study carried out by the NUS revealed the following results:
- The number of university students working part-time rose from 59% – 77% during 2014 – 2015.
- Although 56% of these students worked part time, they under-estimated the overall expense of studying at university.
- 87% of these students stated that they worked part-time in order to enhance their CV and build employability skills.
CV Development – If 87% of students think that a part-time job will develop their CV, then one would assume that this would be the case. However this may depend on your chosen career as well as the part-time role itself. Consider these two scenarios:
Scenario One. – You are an employer and you had to choose between two recent graduates, who had both worked part time while at university. Would you be more inclined to choose the graduate with the most relevant experience?
Most university students think that any experience is significant. This is not the case, as employers would prefer a student that has relevant experience in the role that they are applying for.
Scenario Two – You are an employer and you had to choose between a graduate who had recently completed a 1-year work placement, and a graduate who has worked part time for a year? Who would you choose?
Any student, who has worked full-time, will know that there is a clear difference between working full-time and working part-time. Full-time experience will equip you with a broad range of workplace experiences while part-time work will only give you exposure to the certain sections of the work environment.
Take a look at – For students seeking to develop their CV without completing a placement year programme, they may want to consider undertaking an internship. Finding an internship may be difficult so I have listed a few sources specifically for undergraduates.
Finance While at University – Did you know that there are thousands of charities whose sole aim is to support individuals that are experiencing financial difficulties? Consider your options by looking into external financial aid such as grants and scholarships.
The website trustfunding.org claims of having over 4,500 charities and trusts that give over £4.5 billion a year. This is not to say that your entire time at university should be funded through charities but it’s worth looking into. Generally, a charity may be willing to provide funds for educational equipment. This could range from a laptop to camera equipment. Here is a short list of sources:
- Open charities,
- Educational Trusts,
- Charities Digest,
- Directory of Grant Making Trust’s,
- The Grants Register.
You may generally associate it with high academic achievement but there are a variety of ways to receive a scholarship. There are student competitions that could award anything from cash prizes to the full sponsorship of your postgraduate study. An example of a website that advertises such competitions is: https://www.studentcompetitions.com/
If you are more of the social type then you could look into becoming a campus rep for a brand. This will allow you to socialize on campus whilst earning an income. For example, a marketing student may want to look into getting experience with a company such as https://www.commandoapp.com as this may enable them to develop and showcase their marketing skills.
It is important to keep in mind that your university degree pathway should assist you towards your chosen career. A part-time job may help but there are other non-traditional methods to enhance your CV or gain financial aid.
Finally let me leave you with a simple piece of advice: If you have identified your career path, then seek practical experience in your chosen field, for you can be certain it will strengthen your job prospects in the future.