Table of Contents
- Online Tutor
- Freelance Writer/Editor
- Resume Writer
- PowerPoint Presentation Designer
- Social Media Manager
- Data Entry Worker
- Virtual Assistant
- Product/App Testing
- Online Job Scams to Avoid
- Final Thoughts
College tuition is expensive as it is and if you’ve taken a student loan, you’ll be spending a large part of your adult work life paying that off. But at the moment, why not relieve the stress on living expenses? Some extra cash to take care of food, to watch that band you’ve always wanted to see or even to take a short trip somewhere could be more than helpful. You’re an adult now, so why not stop asking your parents for money sooner rather than later?
There are several opportunities for you to work online, from the comfort of your dormitory or a cafe or library on campus. As long as you have high-speed internet, a laptop or computer and some time on your hands, you’re good to go. Depending on the job, you may also need some other tools. For example, if the job requires making phone calls, you may require some noise-cancelling headphones and a dial pad to hook up to your laptop. If all of that sounds doable, here are some online jobs that not only pay but also allow to set flexible work schedules.
You spend your week around books and knowledge as it is, why not further the chain of learning? Since you’re already in the zone to study, putting together some extra material to teach an online course should not take as much time. You can either become an online tutor for the subject you’re currently studying or something else that you have knowledge of and can speak about with some authority. When people read the description of your course and your qualifications and interests, you should come across as authentic. There’s no point in teaching the course if nobody wants to learn from you, right? So pick your subject after some consideration.
The great thing about this is that you don’t need to go looking for this job. If you have something to say, just get down to work and upload your course online. You can try Udemy to upload a course or take a look at platforms like tutor.com and Wyzant. Most online tutoring platforms pay for the number of times your course material is used.
If you have a flair for writing, put that skill into bringing some extra cash into your bank account. With the online nature of most content we consume, several platforms are on the lookout for writers and content creators. There are a host of topics to write about, from travel to fashion, food, beauty, fitness, etc. – there’s room for content of all kinds. The format of writing can be varied too. Different platforms look for magazine-style articles, short catchy copies, listicles or even striking copy that can be used on social media. If you have an expertise in a subject, you can even offer your skills as a technical writer. These jobs tend to pay more as the knowledge is specialized and not as widely available.
As an editor, too, you may find opportunities with similar organizations. But if you don’t want to invest as much time doing the research and writing yourself, take up a role as a virtual editor. This will involve proofreading someone else’s writing, looking for grammatical errors and generally making a piece of writing more readable.
In today’s job market, who isn’t looking for a writer and editor? Any place that publishes content online is looking for someone to create and edit that content, be it advertising agencies, media websites or businesses looking to spice up their websites. There are even content mills that act as the mediator between the writer/editor and the client providing the brief. Problogger Job Board is a great place to find leads for blogging jobs and copywriting.
You can even start your own blog! Why wait for someone else to hire you? Find a niche that you can write well about and get started. There is money to be made from affiliate marketing and advertisements. Get started with WordPress.org!
Not a very traditional idea of what a job should be, but there are more takers for resume writers than you would have imagined. Most people either don’t know how to write a good resume or simply don’t want to. It is, after all, a pretty laborious task to list your qualifications and sell yourself to a potential employer. A resume writer refines the personal information the client provides and packages it in a sophisticated way. You don’t need too many skills to become a resume writer, but you can check out preliminary courses such as this one on Coursera.
Upload your own resume on common job hunt websites for starters. Several freelance writing platforms, such as Writer Bay, also have openings for resume writers. If putting yourself out there through these portals is proving to be difficult, tap into your own personal network. Perhaps a friend or relative needs some help polishing their resume. Start there and perhaps, through word of mouth, you may get more clients on campus.
Nobody’s pulling a fast one on you. PowerPoint presentations are still relevant and are much in demand in several corporate companies. If you mastered PowerPoint to ace a presentation in college, channel that skill into making money! Speaking of money, there is a fair amount to be made making PowerPoint presentations. You can often charge per slide.
Most people either don’t know how to make good PowerPoints or cannot find the time or interest to do it. That’s where you step in! You can enhance your PowerPoint skills by using tools like Visme and Google Slides which allow you to design attractive templates and infographics, making your presentation richer and more engaging.
There are many instances where keynote speakers or businesses run out of time to make their own presentations. They often outsource that PowerPoint work so they can focus on building their own arguments and speaking points. Check out portals like Fiverr which connect freelancers with clients and potential jobs. These are short-term errands or jobs that need to be turned around at short notice and designing a PowerPoint presentation is exactly that kind of job.
If you’re born in the 1990s, there’s a high chance you’re proficient with internet lingo and social media. You have to live up to your millennial identity, after all! If you’re browsing through social media as it is for leisure, why not convert those hours on Facebook into something lucrative? Every company, no matter what the industry is, wants to be put on the social media map. To do this, most organizations look to young, vibrant people who speak the language of social media.
As a social media manager, you will be expected to manage your client’s social media accounts – from scheduling posts for their Facebook profile to sending out witty tweets from their account and making them look promising and youthful on Instagram, these are all your responsibilities.
You can always post your resume on regular job finding websites, but if you think you’re not making headway there, since it’s a platform for people already in the workforce and not students, start by approaching clients directly. Is there a company or a business you already patronize? Do you have a plan for how they can do their social media better? Formulate a pitch and send it across, you may get a positive response! Target smaller businesses that could use all the help they can get.
Data entry work is one of the oldest and easiest jobs there is for students. Most companies usually get interns or junior staff members to do this work and as a college student, you can be both! The work is laborious and repetitive for sure, but hey, at least it gives you some extra cash to spend. As a data entry worker, you will be expected to go through old company files and documents and manually enter relevant data into Excel sheets or whatever other data storing platform the company uses.
Every company wants to sort their data mess out and they’d rather someone else do it. It’s quite akin to hiring someone else to clean your apartment. If you’re looking to do some data entry work online that offers flexible hours, check out Clickworker. DioDataSolutions also periodically hires data entry workers.
As a student serious about school, you may have developed some organizational skills that help you keep up with school work. Think you can do the organization for someone else too? Many small businesses, entrepreneurs and organizations could do with some support in organizing their work schedule. This is where a virtual assistant steps in. From replying to emails to scheduling social media posts, organizing travel plans, booking flight tickets and managing a daily schedule, you could be responsible for a host of things as a virtual assistant. But what’s interesting is you can do all of this from the comfort of the campus or your dormitory, as long as you have a phone and a strong internet connection.
There are several platforms that can help you find virtual assistant jobs. Browse through sites like Zirtual, VA Networking and People Per Hour to get started. While these sites should, in all likelihood, help you land a gig, tap into your personal network to see if someone you know is in need of assistance.
A job as a transcriptionist is also more in demand with the increase in content, especially of the video and podcast variety, online. Many organizations and media houses want to convert their audio and video media into text so it can be packaged for marketing purposes. This could turn into an e-Book or an article or simply reference or archived material that can be consumed by a larger audience. As a transcriptionist, you will have to listen to long video and audio files and take down what is being said meticulously. It can be a laborious, but also a fun job.
If you’re a medical or law student, you can also do some more technical transcription work which usually pays more than general transcription work. General transcription work doesn’t require too many qualifications, just patience and attention to detail. But if you want to make a stronger case for yourself to your employer, you can take a short course on Transcribe Anywhere.
Transcription work is not difficult to find. There are several sites that can help you out – try TranscribeMe, Rev or Tigerfish. You can even use your presence on campus as a plus. Perhaps your professors would know of a research documentary being filmed that requires some transcription assistance. Put the word out and you never know which corner presents you with an opportunity.
You probably use a range of gadgets, from a laptop to a phone, pedometer or even an MP3 player. Even in gadgets like your smartphone, you have perhaps downloaded a range of applications. But how do these products or apps become so popular? Surely they must be doing something right for user experience. All products go through a range of tests before they’re launched in the market. Companies, quite literally, circulate surveys among common people to assess the audience reaction and take note of improvements they can make.
Since you are a frequent user of such technology, you may be the right judge of things.
App and product testing jobs are not so hard to find. This is less a job and more an opportunity for you to be honest about your user experience. But what’s better than getting paid for your honest opinion? Check out UserTesting and UserZoom for such opportunities.
While making some extra cash is always desirable, unfortunately, there are several elements out there trying to take gullible students for a ride. Here are some red flags you should look for before going ahead with an online job:
If the employer for an online job wants to conduct the interview over instant messaging and not Skype or any other video chat platform, there’s something fishy. Even if you go ahead with the interview, ask detailed questions about the job to ascertain if it’s authentic. Under no circumstances should you give away any personal details like account number, etc.
Any legitimate employer will draft proper, professional emails or hire someone else to do it. If you are receiving emails with typos and errors, that’s a red flag. Check the authenticity of the employer.
If the emails are not signed off with a contact number or an address, that too is a red flag. There’s a chance it is still an authentic person, but tread carefully nonetheless.
If the company is legitimate, you should be able to find some results online. Perhaps a website, a news article or even a Facebook page. While finding internet search results does not guarantee the company is not a scam, if there is no trace of it online, something is definitely wrong.
If you’re going out to earn some extra money, but are being asked to pay a fee as investment instead, that’s a big red flag! Do not part with your own money. No company should require money from college students to stay afloat. If you’re being asked to pay for a software or buy initial stock, it’s a scam!
So there you have it, some fun, lucrative and legitimate ways to make money online as a college student. Not only does it increase your propensity to spend, having a job alongside school enhances your resume. When you’re out in the world applying for a real job, potential employers will see your ability to juggle a job along with academics, as promising. But if the work you end up doing has no connection with what you want to pursue later in life, you can just as well not include it in your resume but still make some extra cash.
Living on a student budget can be frustrating. There are several experiences you may have to let go of, simply because you can’t afford it. With an online job, you can not only work comfortably from your room but also set your own hours and rules. So go get that job and stop worrying about petty expenses!