The U.S. Department of Education predicted that there were 2.7 million graduate students in the country in 2008. Most students entering graduate school will need a job to pay for school and their living expenses during school. If you are a recent college graduate, you may not have started a job in your field yet. If you have been out of school for awhile, you might need to change your working situation to be able to attend graduate school. Some schools have mostly night classes to accommodate working students; otherwise you might need to cut back on work hours to fit around your schedule.
What is the graduate job?
The job for a graduate student could be most anything. Some of the best jobs are in the field that the student is studying, for example, working as a research assistant in the biology department or being a teacher’s assistant for the education department.
Jobs found on campus can usually be the best because those employers are aware of your need for a flexible work schedule and will work around classes and study time. Other jobs that are excellent for students are internships in the field you are studying.
If you find a job outside of the school environment, make sure that the employer knows what your class schedule will be like and that it will probably change each semester.
What are the requirements of the job?
Job requirements for most graduate jobs are a Bachelor’s degree, preferably in the same field as the job. If you are switching to a different major, you may still be able to find a job or internship in your new field.
Other requirements are good time management skills, the ability to stay focused for long hours of both class and work, and whatever skills are needed in your chosen field.
What is the work environment?
For graduate jobs on campus, you may be working for one of your major professors. In many fields, you will be carrying out research for the professor. Many times, this research will work into a foundation for your thesis or dissertation.
Internships in the community may be the same way, giving you experience for your thesis or dissertation.
Jobs will have to fit around your class schedule, so you will often work evenings, nights, and weekends. The number of hours per week will depend upon what you can handle and what the job requires. Talk to your employer when an especially busy week, such as finals or the deadline for a big paper, is coming up. You might be able to work fewer hours to spend more study time for these projects.