Research Assistants: A College Job Opportunity That Earns More Than a Paycheck

There are many jobs available for students looking to earn some extra cash while they study for their degrees. Many positions available to undergrads are considered “unskilled” and therefore easy to obtain for people who haven’t completed their formal education. A hungry co-ed may not be too troubled by the fact that these unskilled jobs don’t look too great on a resume. After all, it’s just about paying the bills, right? While you might just be thinking about immediate needs while job hunting, consider looking at research assistant positions on campus. They are a great opportunity to not only earn decent money but also add to your resume and provide networking opportunities.

The pay grade for undergrad research assistants may be comparable to other jobs you qualify for at the moment such as serving fast food or working as a part-time receptionist, however, the skills earned in a research position can net you a far higher salary down the road. You may decide that a full research career is not in the cards for you but learning these basic skills may help you bag a better paycheck later on in your career.

Working in research generally means you’ll be supervised by a professor. This is a wonderful opportunity to get to know someone in your field and build a valuable connection. Don’t just look at the professor as a boss. By becoming a trusted assistant, she may be willing to help guide you through your student career and be an asset in helping you in your post-college job seeking. Few unskilled jobs give you access to such an influential person.

Most unskilled jobs fall flat on a resume. Sure, you are just looking for a few extra dollars to help get you through college but spending time at a meaningful job will put you one step ahead of all other job seekers. Showing you have worked as a research assistant in college will tell potential employers that you are meticulous, detail oriented and can follow precise instructions. Once you have finished working towards your degree and enter the workforce, you will appreciate any asset on your resume, as entry-level jobs can be extremely competitive.

College is all about investing in your future. This doesn’t only have to happen in the classroom. As you are about to enter a very competitive job market, you will need all the advantages you can get. Considering a position such as a research assistant will give you much more than a few dollars in your pocket. You will have gained the opportunity to net a higher salary, a helpful mentor and a much more polished resume.

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