By Alyssa Abel
Are you tired of wondering which flavour of ramen or two-minute noodles to make for dinner? Do you want to have extra income to pay for books and the occasional outing with friends? How can you make money as a student while still making time for classes? What if you lack the appropriate transportation?
What you need is gainful employment that doesn’t require considerable time or travel commitment. I’ve compiled the best online jobs for uni students, and side hustles you can do without punching a timeclock. These gigs give you the flexibility to focus on your studies and extra-curriculars while picking up the extra cash you need for incidentals — some could even lead to a lucrative career.
Offer your services as a tutor
Are you a card-carrying member of the dean’s list club? If so, why not use your academic talent to turn a profit? Many universities have on-site student tutoring centres, providing an ideal way to make money in college if you aren’t allowed to have a car on campus. If the thought of interacting with others in a COVID-19 world gives you pause, you can find online tutoring gigs that pay a competitive hourly rate to work with younger students.
One of the biggest challenges with traditional part-time work is that you rarely control your assigned hours. That could mean studying at night, and if you’re a morning person, you could find it challenging to focus later in the day. You want to schedule your study time for when you feel most alert, and a dog-walking gig gives you the flexibility to do that.
You don’t need any mental power to exercise a pooch, so hang up posters advertising your services on community bulletin boards, and maybe post in local Facebook groups. You can work when you’re groggy and save your alert hours for hitting the books.
Showcase your services on Fiverr
Do you know how to build SEO-friendly WordPress sites? Maybe you’re a budding graphic designer who dreams of illustrating book covers, or maybe you can draw artsy fonts by hand. You can offer up those skills and others on Fiverr, a website dedicated to freelance work that’s also one of the best jobs for college and university students.
The site operates similarly to an eBay for service workers. Individuals post gigs, and you bid on them. You then work directly with the buyer, making this route an excellent choice for those who need to earn cash quickly.
Offer phone and chat supportDo you love helping others? You can find WFH jobs as a support specialist that you can do without leaving your dorm room or even your comfy pants. If talking on the phone isn’t your thing, or you have a speech challenge, you can offer text support. Many companies today need live chat agents, and many roles offer flexible hours.
Run errandsEven before COVID-19, shopping service sites like Instacart existed, and the demand has grown ever since. You can become either a full-service shopper or an in-store employee, depending on your needs. You will need to pass a background check and be over the age of 18 to qualify.
Start a Youtube channelDo you have a talent to share or a topic you’re passionate about? If so, why not make a series of how-to videos by starting a YouTube channel? One creator recently made $50,000 from one video — of course, not every channel sees this much success right away, but it’s a side project you can contribute to on your own time.
Sell crafts on EtsyAre you the crafty sort? If you spend your weekend knitting hats or designing beaded jewellery, why not peddle your wares on Etsy? Once your shop establishes a positive reputation, you can reap a lucrative income stream from the hobby you’d practise anyway — might as well monetise it.
Work for Amazon
If you’re a Jack or Jill of all trades, or merely enjoy performing odd tasks, sign up to become an Amazon Mechanical Turk — a crowdsourcing section of Amazon for performing odd tasks online. Your jobs might include anything from taking surveys to compiling the results, and you can complete them on your time. Plus, many other large businesses now use this platform for crowdsourcing individual tasks — you could make a contact who could further your future career.
If you need to earn cash while taking classes, you must do so in a way that prioritises your study time. With these online and odd jobs for students, you can make money and the grade.
Alyssa Abel is a college and career writer with a special interest in student life and health. Read more of her advice on her blog, Syllabusy.