UTAH TECH UNIVERSITY'S STUDENT NEWS SOURCE | April 15, 2024

How working remote is transforming college students’ job opportunities, future careers

A Utah Tech student joins a Zoom meeting as part of her job. Due to the convenience of being able to work from home during poor weather conditions or when they are unable to attend in person, remote working is becoming more popular and accessible. Miki Akiyama | Sun News Daily

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The pandemic changed how many people go to work as remote working has rapidly become an option for many employers. This enables job seekers to find work nearly anywhere without the stress of commuting. Remote working has many pros and cons, but is it a possibility for college students?

In a world with rapidly evolving technology, remote working can benefit many people including college students.

Utah Tech’s Career counselor Leann Weibert said, “A remote option can provide students a more flexible work/school balance.”

According to Forbes, only 12.7% of employees work from home; however, it’s slowly becoming more popular, with 32.6 million people predicted to work remotely by 2025.

Various job fields such as tutoring, freelance writing, virtual assisting and coding offer remote jobs.

Eliminating commute time could ease the stress for many students who work part-time jobs.

“I work as a remote high school tutor, teaching high school students in a wide range of subjects,” said Grace Kazmierski, a sophomore computer science major from Billings, Montana, and Sun News Daily opinion editor. I love working remotely—it’s a perfect balance for me. Working remotely allows me to be really flexible with my schedule.”

As we progress into the future, job opportunities may continue to change and evolve.

Dottie Catlin, executive director of career services, said, “Many companies recognize the value of hiring college students for part-time roles that can be performed remotely.”

In some fields of work, like information technology, equipment may be provided to employees. College students who work remotely can gain the experience on their resume that some future employers may want while having the technology to succeed in remote work.

“For some of our College of Science, Engineering and Technology internships, students had the option to procure a computer on loan,” Weibert said.

Students who work remotely can have the benefits of added flexibility in their schedules. Kazmierski said: “I don’t have to follow a typical 9-5 schedule. I can even hop on between classes and get a bit of work done.”

Remote working may be a great option for students who may have a busy schedule, need to build their resume or need the flexibility that working remotely offers. Students who want to work remotely can find many remote jobs on Handshake.

Although working remotely comes with many benefits, it also has some challenges. With added distractions from home and isolation, students may find remote working to be challenging. A survey by McKinsey reported that 49% of employees are burnt out from remote work and the lack of communication.

“Establish a routine, designate a workspace, take breaks, visualize success, stay healthy, reward yourself and seek support if you need it,” Catlin said.

Working from home causes challenges for a work-life balance. Without an office, many workers need to have strong discipline and motivation.

Weibert said, “Students working remote need to have excellent time management and communication skills and need to be self-motivated.”

Though the predicted number of remote workers is set to rise by 2025, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says otherwise. In 2021, 29.8% of employees were working remotely. In 2022, there were only 16.4%.

“When doing a search at jobs currently posted in Handshake, 19% were purely remote and 48% were either hybrid or remote,” Weibert said.

Whether remote working continues to rise after the pandemic or declines, it seems as though many employers are calling employees back to the office. According to Business Insider, big corporations like Amazon, Apple, Disney and Meta have stopped offering remote work.

With the job market rapidly evolving, students may find remote working their preference with many considerations like work-life balance, motivation, isolation and flexibility for job seekers to take into account.

Whether the trend toward remote work continues or recedes, it’s clear that the dynamics of work are changing, creating both opportunities and challenges for the workforce of the future.