One of the suggestions I gave on the gap year post was to become a research assistant, or RA. I wanted to take some time to explain what that means. Institutions that conduct research (universities, nonprofit firms, institutes, etc.) require assistance at all levels of research from PhD level, to MA level, to even the BA level. These organizations will hire recent college graduates to work, full-time, on their research projects. The “research assistant” (some other places call them “lab managers” or “policy research assistant” etc.) level is typically for individuals who have a bachelors degree. On average, these jobs last between 1-3 years and they are literally designed as a gap year gig. That’s why I love them so much.