Online Jobs For College Students So You Won’t Be Broke Anymore
Recently, we wrote an article about fun, flexible, well-paying jobs for college students.
But we only covered a broad range of jobs; some can be done remotely, but many had to be done in person.
And although some of those in-person jobs are flexible and rewarding, I think we can all agree that making money from a laptop is the dream for many time-crunched college students and working adults alike.
So in this article, we’ll show you a ton of ways to make money online as a college student.
Some of these will require minimal skill/experience in the field (such as graphic design) but most of them require no more than your laptop, a WiFi connection, and some self-discipline to start working online.
Let’s jump into it!
Not sure if you’ve noticed, but we talk a LOT about making money blogging. If you are interested in starting your own blog after reading this, make sure to check out our article on how to start a profitable blog!
After all, it is quite simply one of the easiest ways to make money from your laptop (once you get it going).
As a college student, however, you have numerous unique blogging opportunities that non-students may not have.
For one, you’re surrounded by anywhere from a few thousand to tens of thousands of your peers.
Because of this, you have a huge head start on building an audience.
You can share your blog among friends, classmates, and even on social media.
But that’s not the only reason blogging can be such a lucrative student gig.
By merit of being a college student, you don’t need to think too hard about your niche.
There’s a huge supply of topics/niches to start a blog around:
- Your major
- Topics you understand because of your major
- Extracurricular activities
- College lifestyle tips
- College financial tips
- Other hobbies
Notice how all of these are based on experiences you can have while in college.
Unlike non-students, you won’t have to spend hours researching niches and keywords because you are already surrounded by potential blog fans (aka your classmates) and you’re having these experiences.
Not to mention you are part of your target audience.
But you can really niche down, find a market hungry for information, and convert them into a rabid fanbase if you combine some of these things together.
For example, let’s say you’re a finance major who’s crazy about personal finance and frugality.
You could start a finance blog geared towards college students, then write from a “I’m a college student myself, here’s what works for me” angle.
Or perhaps you’re studying engineering but you make time for a variety of extracurricular activities.
In this case, maybe your blog is all about helping engineering majors find time for a life outside of studying.
Whatever you do, students at both your school and other colleges/universities will find your content helpful and you’ll see rapid growth in your traffic if you keep at it.
And it’ll come to you naturally because you’ll be writing about your experiences instead of attempting to create a niche blog about a boring topic you know little about going in.
Plus, employers love to see students with blogs for many reasons.
- Professional presence – If your blog is on your professional website (if you have one) and is centered around your field of study, that’s a huge plus in the eyes of employers. Companies like to see candidates that are knowledgeable and think critically about their chosen field.
- Drive – Spending your free time working on side projects is very attractive to employers. It shows that you’re motivated to go above and beyond.
- Creativity – No one wants to work with a bunch of robots; employers enjoy seeing job candidates that express the human side of themselves through the written word.
- Hard skills – Good writing is sorely lacking in many fields, especially the more technical ones. Not to mention blogging forces you to learn the basics of SEO and internet marketing, skills that can be applied to a myriad of different positions.
- Soft skills – Maintaining a blog is hard work and takes time. Successfully doing show tells your employers that you’re great at time management, organization, and communication.
Oh, but you want to make money from your blog too, don’t you?
We’ve talked about ways to monetize your blog before, but here are the big money-making tactics again:
- Affiliate marketing
Now don’t expect to be pulling a middle class salary your first month of blogging, especially if you don’t have the money to purchase premium blog features like advanced themes and plugins.
Your cash inflow will be barely more than a trickle at first…
But put in the work every single day, and that trickle will turn into a sizable blogging income stream as more people discover and are wowed by your blog.
Maybe you’ll make enough to quit the workforce before you even join it!
Social Media Management
Think you’re social media savvy?
Are you that guy/gal that everyone knows from Twitter or Instagram?
You could make money managing social media!
There are two ways you could do this:
- Land a remote social media management position (such as a student job on campus or for a local business)
- Freelance as a social media manager
Like any other job, the former is much more guided, but there may be less opportunity and you don’t get to set your rates.
The latter is riskier and has a steeper learning curve (after all, you’re basically starting your own business) but you have complete freedom to set your rates and hours.
Typical social media tasks include
- Posting multiple times a day to all social media
- Promoting your client’s business
- Gathering and analyzing data
- Create new ways to expand social media reach
Now, you might think social media management positions are reserved only for marketing majors.
In fact, many smaller/less “elite” businesses won’t care about your major; rather, they want to know what you can do for them.
If you have experience running social media for a club or organization you’re in, leverage that. And if you have hard data to prove you’re good at social media, that’s even better. Businesses love to see that you have legitimate experience to back up your skills.
Heck, you could even leverage your personal social media if it’s popular among fellow students at your college or university.
As long as you have a strong grasp on various social media and their uses, there are some businesses that would like to speak with you.
Take their social media off their hands to give them more time for more pressing business matters, make them some money or gain them some fans, and you’ll have a a steady (and potentially substantial) stream of income.
Many businesses have plenty of other administrative tasks that they’d like to outsource so they can focus on their primary line of business.
In the past, they’d need an office assistant to be present in order to handle all these internal tasks.
Thanks to the internet, they no longer have to hire an assistant to come in to the office each day; instead, they can hop online and find a virtual assistant (VA) who can perform their tasks remotely.
No two VA gigs are alike; however, some common VA duties include
- Customer service
- Data entry
- Social media
To succeed as a VA, you need to be a great communicator and be very organized as there are a lot of miscellaneous tasks involved.
If you want to find some VA gigs, you can use freelancer marketplaces (like Upwork or Fiverr), search job boards (like Indeed or Monster), or simply reach out directly to businesses. Some other sites of interest that you may want to check out include Virtual Assistant Networking and Zirtual.
There are also numerous VA-focused sites as well due to how in-demand VAs can be. You can find hundreds of open VA jobs with a simple google search.
Virtual assisting is an interesting gig because you get to see the inner workings of a diverse set of businesses. One day, you might be handling customer service for a small eCommerce operation; the next day, you might be perfecting the monthly calendar for the CEO of a bigger company.
Any virtual assistant work you do will look great on a resume because it implies you possess great communication and organization skills; these are vital to succeeding in just about any job post-college.
Graphic design is one of those student jobs that does require specific experience (and typically demands that you’re in a relevant program at your school).
This is true whether you’re taking a job or freelancing on the side during your student years.
But if you qualify to do some graphic design, it can be quite beneficial.
First of all, you can make a good chunk of side money: A lot of entry-level graphic design jobs pay above $12 an hour for work similar to what you might do.
Of course, you can charge more as your skills improve and higher-paying clients come your way.
But the pay isn’t the only benefit.
By working as a graphic designer, you have a chance to start building your portfolio and your practical skills long before you strike out into the real world.
You’ll have a head start on the job search!
And if you freelance, you’ll learn plenty of other useful business/entrepreneurial skills that will serve you well no matter if you take a full-time job or decide to go the self-employment/business route.
As for opportunities…
Similar to other jobs on this list, you have many avenues for scoring graphic design projects:
- On-campus jobs
- Job boards
- Cold prospecting local or non-local businesses
Graphic design is really one of the best online side gigs for college students out there; gain valuable skills, build your portfolio, boost your resume, and get paid to do it all!
If your friends have ever told you that you have a “voice made for radio”, then there’s a ton of money just waiting for you to go earn it.
We’re talking about voice over work, of course.
How do you get started in such a unique industry?
All you’ll need are some vocal chords (hopefully you have those), a willingness to learn, and obviously a laptop with a wifi connection.
There’s plenty of opportunity to put your voice to work:
- Film narration
- Audio books (Check out Audible.com)
- Online courses
- Animated shows/movies/video games
And depending on how your voice sounds (is it aggressive? Sensual? Comedic? Articulate? Unique? Any accent?), you could jump into a voiceover niche to more easily secure clients and charge higher rates.
Some people are blessed with golden voices, and their vocal gifts allow them to command very hefty sums of money.
But you don’t need to be Morgan Freeman to make money off your vocal chords; as long as you’re willing to dedicate time and energy towards learning the basics of the craft, you can pad your bank account simply by talking into a microphone.
Who knows: maybe your work ends up in a major production of some sort!
English and writing majors rejoice!
As a direct result of the high-demand for writers (and the unfortunate fact that there are many “writers” who aren’t that great at their job), there is also a lot of demand for proofreaders to ensure the writer’s work is adequate.
But before diving into the “how” of becoming a proofreader on the side, we need to distinguish proofreading from editing and revising as they tend to be used interchangeably.
Revision is the first step; it deals with the “big picture” aspects of the paper such as argument clarity, content structure, and idea development.
Editing is done after revision. An editor will take a revised written piece and improve the quality of the writing.
Editors will improve the flow, ensure proper word choice, check for consistent tone, and ensure proper use of the written English language.
Proofreaders have the most technical but least complex job; read through a revised and edited piece of writing to catch errors such as
- Erroneous spelling
- Incorrect grammar
- Improper/missing punctuation
- Bad sentence structure
- Wrong verb tenses
These 3 processes are important to distinguish from each other because you don’t want to market yourself to clients or employers as something you’re not.
It’s also important because revising and editing papers are slightly higher-level tasks than proofreading; clients may expect more relevant formal education out of you to do revision or editing work.
With that out of the way, let’s talk “how”.
You could start out in the proofreading business simply by offering to proofread your classmates’s essays and presentations for a price.
All you’d do is have them send you their essays. Proofread them, send back both the original copy and the proofread copy, and have them send payment to your payment processor of choice.
Now you might be thinking that broke college students would rather do it all themselves then fork over what little money they have to have their paper proofread.
But you’d be surprised if you set a reasonable price when offering up your proofreading services.
Many college students love their free time, but not at the expense of missing easy points on important essays for their classes; this leaves you a large market if you attend a big state school.
Another opportunity to get paid proofreading is to look for job openings at your school’s writing center. Not all writing centers will offer remote opportunities, but it never hurts to check with your college’s writing center.
Lastly, as with any skill, you may have to do some cold/warm prospecting.
One of your biggest types of clients could be aspiring authors; many authors have already had their books revised/edited by other professionals, so you could step in and offer your proofreading services.
In addition, you could contact professors at your school and see if they’d like to hire you as an editor.
Taking the “professor” route could pay off big time in the future if you develop a strong working relationship with them; if they’re within your specific major, they could hire you for an assistantship sometime down the road or even write you a letter of recommendation if you need one!
Not to mention the industry connections they might have.
And if all else fails, there are tens of thousands of businesses that desperately need someone to fix up their written documents.
Sure, your school hires students to tutor their peers on campus…
But you actually have to get out of bed, look presentable, set a fixed tutoring schedule, and actually travel to campus just to make a quick buck!
What if you could still make good money tutoring without even having to leave your bedroom?
It’s possible now with the proliferation of online tutoring services.
And what’s even better is you don’t have to tutor fellow classmates in complicated college-level subject matter; many online tutoring services cater to multiple ages/grade levels.
So if you wanted to tutor algebra 1 as a senior in college, the opportunity is definitely there.
That being said, let’s go over some of the best places to make money by tutoring other students over the internet.
Chegg online tutoring is one of the best student jobs out there for many reasons:
- $20+/hour pay
- Referral bonuses
- Flexible hours (work as much or as little as you want)
- Work from anywhere
- Pick your desired subject(s)
All you need to do to signup (assuming you’re in a 4-year degree program) is
- Signup for Chegg
- Provide 2 forms of school ID
- Take any required subject proficiency tests
We wrote more about becoming a Chegg tutor in this article; give it a read after you finish this one.
Upwork might just be the kind of freelance marketplaces; even more so now that it recently became a publicly-traded company, that you are looking for.
Anyways, Upwork has freelance projects of all kinds available.
Most of them involve writing, marketing, or web development; but if you spend a bit wading through all those posting, you might find some tutor gigs.
Make sure to add Upwork to your repertoire of client acquisition tools!
Another site that doesn’t require past tutoring experience, tutor.com is a great place to bank some extra cash by helping students better understand their studies and earn higher grades.
You aren’t stuck with students your age, either; tutor.com serves every age/grade from kindergartners all the way up to adult learners.
Unfortunately, you can’t just join and start tutoring. There are a few requirements to meet:
- Be at least a sophomore in college if you don’t hold a bachelor’s degree
- Have at least 5 hours a week of availability
Complicating matters even further, some subjects require you hold a college degree before you can tutor said subject:
- College essay writing
- College statistics
Earnings are decent on tutor.com. They vary by subject, but you can expect to make anywhere from $9/hour to $13/hour.
Not as much as Chegg, but still nothing to shake a stick at.
Tutor.com might not be the best choice, but it’s an option if you want to diversify your tutoring client base.
No More Excuses To Be Broke!
Before the internet and barring your possession of any high-demand skill, your student job opportunities were limited to positions like fry cook, retail associate, or on-campus tutor (among other similar positions).
But now that technology and the internet has come so far, you have an almost endless amount of methods for making money.
And the great thing is that many of them don’t even require you to leave your bed!
Did one of these jobs catch your eye?
There’s no harm in spending your next study break investigating it further.
When you’re making a decent living from your laptop while still in the “best 4 years of your life”, you’ll thank yourself for doing that initial search.
And those “best 4 years” will only be better now that you can afford to enjoy them!
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