The Top 3 Summer Jobs for Students


Summer is a time to relax and recuperate, but it’s also a great opportunity to gain work experience and make money. With a challenging job market facing them after graduation, it’s essential for students to buff up their resumes and make connections while they’re still enrolled in school. For college students wondering about their summer work prospects, here are the best summer jobs fields and positions to explore:


summer jobsIf you’re a student looking for part-time or full-time work during summer break, consider interning at a company you’re interested in working for after graduation. There are a variety of internship positions only open to college students, where you can earn course credits in addition to professional experience. Fastweb has a large list of nationwide internships in various different industries that you can apply to based on your interests or major.

While many internships are unpaid, they all offer the opportunity to make connections and gain new skills, which will pay off financially in the future when you’re searching for a job. After graduating, you’ll be able to list your intern work on your resume and use your former supervisors as references. Your experiences can also help you become more confident and focused during your post-college job search because you’ll have a better idea of your own professional abilities.

Volunteer Work

summer jobsSimilar to interning, volunteering can be useful in helping you decide what you’re passionate about and what field you should pursue after college. Sites like Idealist and Indeed can connect you with a volunteer program that correlates to your passions. So whether you’re interested in education, public policy, environmental issues, or humanitarian work, you can find a position that’s well matched and right for you.

In addition to being professionally valuable, volunteer work can also be personally satisfying. Volunteering allows you to serve others, gain fresh perspectives about the world around you, and gives you a chance to work in a field you’re passionate about outside of academic pursuits.

Freelance Writing or Designing

summer jobsIf you’re a good writer or designer looking for more flexible work this summer, you should consider doing freelance work. Freelancing gives you the freedom to create your own schedule and work from home, since most positions are open to telecommuters. If you like setting your own work pace and want the opportunity to improve your skills as a writer and designer in the digital realm, then a freelance job is right for you.

Since there are so many online businesses and companies that utilize the web for marketing, you can find writing and design jobs fairly easily. Available freelance jobs include web or graphic designer, website content writer, blogger, and social media developer. You can find a position that meets your skill set or knowledge, as well as create a freelancer profile, on sites like Guru.

Many freelance jobs don’t pay well at first but you’ll be able to set higher prices for your work once you have more experience. You can become a more desirable freelancer over time by adding work to your resume and increasing your online exposure. You’ll be able to send links of your work and show that you have an online presence to future hiring managers.

Freelancing, volunteering, and interning, all offer the important opportunity to gain professional experience in fields that you may want to pursue after college. If a position you want is unpaid or doesn’t pay well, you can always take on a part-time server or retail job in order to supplement your income. While food service and retail work can help you gain customer service experience and make extra cash, they don’t offer a career path that’s useful or interesting to most college students. This summer, try to invest your time and energy into a job that can improve your professional skills, add value to your resume, and help you land a job after graduation.


Javaher Nooryani is a writer and editor based in Denver, CO. She has a BA in American Literature & Culture from UCLA and a Masters in English & American Literature from NYU. As a former tutor and advisor, Javaher is passionate about higher education and is glad to share her knowledge on CollegeFocus, a website that helps students deal with the challenges of college.

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2 Responses to “The Top 3 Summer Jobs for Students”

  1. I am glad you mentioned volunteering as a resume builder and as something that adds benefits to college applications. We focus most of our time looking for the financial benefit instead of the spiritual in our daily experiences. But the spiritual is what makes a better character statement.

    • Suzanne Shaffer says:

      Aptly stated Douglas. Today’s students need that character builder component in their lives. Volunteering as a teen usually translates into volunteering as an adult.