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Back when I was in college, I had to hustle if I wanted to augment my student budget for beer and other stuff outside of my undergrad educational requirements (e.g., books, tuition, meals, transportation, etc.). By “hustling,” I meant being a research or teacher’s assistant, mowing lawns or clearing sidewalks of snow, and other odd jobs that didn’t pay me much. We didn’t have the kind of online jobs available for college students now, which makes me envious and nostalgic at the same time.
I’m writing this post because my daughter will be off to college in a year. It’s still a ways away, but I believe there’s no time like the present to prepare her for potential financial pitfalls (AKA her makeup, gadgets, and clothing needs) which we might not be able to cover for her. She understands the need for a supplemental source of income (other than her allowance), and because we’ve trained her to be enterprising at a young age, I’m proud to say that my daughter is pretty much prepared to take on doable jobs for some extra money while studying.
Together, we came up with ten viable and relatively decent-paying online jobs for her to consider once she’s a college student. These are the kind of jobs that meet my parental requirements of safety, financial compensation (say around $15 or more an hour) and making sure they won’t take up too much of my daughter’s precious time from schoolwork.
1. Online tutorials
Because her mom has some extensive teaching experience, it’s only natural for our daughter to learn the ropes about tutoring. Even when she was on maternity leave with our youngest kid, my wife decided to do some online tutoring to augment our diaper and baby formula budget. At the time, my daughter witnessed the kind of work that goes into online tutorials, and she seems eager to take it on once she’s in college. Thank goodness there are many virtual tutoring sites available for her to try, as listed in forum posts like this.
2. Content writing
Though she isn’t a full-time writer (yet), my daughter nevertheless keeps an active blog and can be quite expressive with her posts. She’s already taking online courses on the use of keywords and SEO which can really help optimize (and monetize) her output. Beyond writing content, though, I think she can really do well on the other forms, such as video blogging and other social media platforms.
My daughter’s current school has a photography club which she joined using my old trusty Canon DSLR. In a short span of time, she’s gotten quite a keen eye for detail, and it shows in her school projects requiring original images. She specializes in portrait photography now, and if there is anything a campus life won’t be in shortage of - I’m thinking it would be the need for student or faculty portraits!
4. Data entry
My daughter actually wrinkled her nose at this particular task when I mentioned it to her. In her words, data entry “is totally unsexy!” But as mentioned in this ETB post on earning during one’s free time, it works well for many college students because it doesn’t require a degree (or even an impressive educational attainment) nor an extensive work history. I myself had done it for some faculty members needing to organize their schedules and student papers. All data entry requires is a focus and a sense of organization to get the work done, really (something college students should have an abundance of).
5. GPT and survey site tasks
Since a lot of the online rewards and survey sites I’m a member of requiring users to be 13 years or older, my daughter is already familiar with a lot of them. In fact, she’s a member of several teen-appropriate sites where she gets a bit of extra income. It only makes sense for her to continue what she’s started and reap the rewards.
6. Freelance writing
I had my own freelance writing gig as a university student. I did ghostwriting, copywriting, creating press releases, proofreading, and other jobs that require research, editing, and writing for someone else. I loved this particular task because it’s creative and flexible, so I could always adjust my freelance gigs around my semestral schedules. Since my daughter already has her blog, she can easily take on similar tasks without interrupting her studying.
7. Social media management
Now, this is one of the online jobs my daughter is already familiar with! She and her high school friends have become casual endorsers of a particular stationary supply store in our town because they spend so much time (and their allowance) in there that it’s practically their second home! Needless to say, the owners are so grateful for their loyalty and patronage that they’ve allowed the girls to manage the store’s social media accounts, including Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter - in exchange for awesome discounts at the shop.
8. Sharing economy jobs
There’s a whole forum here on ETB about sharing economy jobs, and I’m glad to see that they are considered legit by many. I’m still a bit wary about my daughter doing carpool driving, but it’s nice to know that there are other peer-to-peer jobs she can take on, such as with Postmates or TaskRabbit.
9. Graphic design/photo editing
There is a full-length review in this forum about Mendr, which I recommended because I’ve had such a great experience with this photo editing app so far. It’s great that it aligns with my daughter’s interest in portrait photography so it means earning from one of her passions.
Here’s another “un-sexy” job for college students, haha! But as I told my daughter - don’t knock it ‘till you’ve tried it! Transcription work is actually one of the most lucrative (if boring) online jobs I’ve taken on to augment my allowance. It usually doesn’t require any special skill except listening well and typing fast, but if it’s with a specialized field such as medicine or law, there might be a bit of training involved beforehand.
Another thing I like about this list of best online jobs for college students is that they can prepare my daughter for a full-time career after graduation. She’s already expressed the desire to become a digital nomad, and I believe these jobs fill the bill for some of the most in-demand careers for a remote worker these days.