There are many opportunities available for college students interested in working with kids. Students with an interest in education, counseling, social work, music, art, science, and museums; can find many internships and summer jobs available right in their own communities. Summer recreation programs offer students a chance to work with young children in the areas of art, sports, music, as well as providing opportunities for leading day trips to local historical sites and areas of interest.
Summer camps are also a good way to gain experience working with children of all ages. There are many day and overnight camps available for children with special interests and needs. College students possessing a special talent may apply to camps to teach children a variety of skills. If you possess talents in the arts or music, what better way to use your talent than to share it and teach it to someone else? Overnight camps are great experiences for students interested in pursuing a career in education or psychology since children need ongoing support while they are living away from home.
Many schools offer summer programs and seek college students to assist teachers. These experiences are excellent resume builders for anyone interested in going into education. Many museums also offer educational programs and provide learning experiences for children. In our college we offer students an opportunity to work in the childcare center on campus as a way to get hands-on experience working with preschoolers.
Students interested in psychology, counseling, sociology, or social work may find internship opportunities at an agency that deals with improving the welfare, health, and safety of children. These experiences offer an opportunity to gain exposure in any of these areas of interest and provides relevant work experience for those who do go on to pursue a career in one of these career fields.
For those students interested in traveling and gaining exposure to a different culture, there are many opportunities availabe for teaching abroad and for working for families who are looking for live in assistance. Being an au pair in a foreign country can provide unique experiences while spending time in a new culture and developing or improving on your foreign language skills.
Working with children can be enormously satisfying, but it is not for everyone. If you know you love children, getting an internship or job in one of these areas is probably for you. If you are not sure, it is critical that you get some exposure working with children prior to making a career decision.
It’s also a good decision to work with different age groups to learn which group you enjoy most. Some students find that they just love preschool, but have no interest in working with children at the elementatry level; while others enjoy high school, but don’t want to work with young children on a daily bases; but, ironically, I don’t find many students who opt to work with junior high students, and maybe that’s because it brings them back to a time in their own life, that they rather not remember.