The pay cheque isn't the important thing. Experience working in a professional environment is. The difference between how you work on a class project and how you work in a professional environment is vast.
For example, class projects are typically:
- very small
- implemented by a single person or at most a very small team that does not change over the lifetime of the project
- finished within a short period of time
- built with unchanging requirements determined by a single authority and entirely known from the start
- implemented with little need or regard for ongoing maintenance.
Exactly none of those things will be true of a typical industrial software development project. The need to take these kinds of factors into consideration completely changes how you design your software, what tools you use, what processes you follow...