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    How to Find Online Jobs for College Students

    By Emily Wong

    Emily Wong is a writer at Scholarships360. She’s worked as a social media manager and a content writer at several different startups, where she covered various topics including business, tech, job recruitment, and education. Emily grew up and went to school in the Chicago suburbs, where she studied economics and journalism at Northwestern University.

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    Edited by Maria Geiger

    Maria Geiger is Director of Content at Scholarships360. She is a former online educational technology instructor and adjunct writing instructor. In addition to education reform, Maria’s interests include viewpoint diversity, blended/flipped learning, digital communication, and integrating media/web tools into the curriculum to better facilitate student engagement. Maria earned both a B.A. and an M.A. in English Literature from Monmouth University, an M. Ed. in Education from Monmouth University, and a Virtual Online Teaching Certificate (VOLT) from the University of Pennsylvania.

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    Updated: September 21st, 2023
    How to Find Online Jobs for College Students

    Whether you’re trying to pay off your student loans, or you just want some extra spending money, a part-time job can be a great way to spend your free time. What’s even better is being able to do it from the comfort of your dorm room. Let’s talk about online jobs for college students and how to get them.

    While there are plenty of jobs for college students online, they’re not always easy to find, especially if you don’t know what to look for. Before you spend time looking, you’ll want to figure out how to choose the best online job for you.

    Related: Top financial tips for college students

    What makes a good online job for college students?

    Although you might be eager to start making money, it’s important to think about what you want in an online job. That way, you can decide on what ideas to pursue and what to rule out.

    Manageable time commitment

    While it’s great to earn extra money in college, you don’t want your side-hustle to get in the way of your studies. After all, college is expensive. For that reason, you’ll want to look for a position where you can easily work part-time. Ideally, it’ll also allow you to set your own schedule or work flexible hours. In order to figure out how much time you’ll be able to work, take a look at your calendar for the term and block out all of the free time that you’d be willing to devote to your job. Make sure that you leave enough time in your week for homework and relaxation in order to avoid burnout.

    No upfront costs

    You’ll want to stay away from jobs that present significant costs before you even start. For example, some recommend making easy money by buying bulk products from a retailer and selling them on Amazon or eBay for a profit. While this may be effective, it can definitely be risky to buy a lot of materials with no guaranteed sales, especially if you can’t afford to lose the initial investment.

    Fits your skill set

    Unless you suddenly develop a passion for art, it’s probably not a good idea to learn to watercolor solely in order to sell paintings. Similarly, you’re not going to learn music production from ground zero just so you can start selling beats on the side. You’ll have a much easier time starting a side-hustle from something that you’re already good at. That way, you’ll already have the tricky part down, and you can just focus on marketing and sales.

    If you are looking for a “one-stop shopping” platform to find jobs and internships, check out WayUp. WayUp is designed especially for college students and recent graduates. 

    Related: How to create a budget as a college student

    Top 7 online jobs for college students

    Online tutor

    Tutoring is always a pretty decent gig, and being able to do it without leaving your home is even better. You can typically expect to charge about $20-30 per hour, but the going rate can vary widely depending on your region, subject area and level of expertise. Your college or university may also offer tutoring services online for students who aren’t able to meet in person, so it is worth a shot to reach out to that department, as well, to see if there are any openings to help out your peers.

    How to get a tutoring job

    You’ll want to start your job search by asking around in your immediate circle. If your parents have any friends with kids, they can see if anyone needs a tutor. You can also put up flyers in the neighborhoods around your campus. Getting clients on your own will give you the most control over your schedule and your rates. However, if you need some help getting started, you can also apply to work for a company like Brainfuse, Tutor.com and TutorMe.

    Freelance writer

    You don’t have to be an English or Journalism major to get paid for your writing. If you’ve ever written a blog post, you’re probably qualified to be a freelance writer. Rates can vary depending on the company, but you can expect to make between $0.02-0.10 per word. You can even start working at a lower rate and apply for jobs at a higher rate after you’ve gained some experience.

    How to get a freelance writing job

    In order to secure a freelance writing job in the first place, you’ll need to have a portfolio. That doesn’t mean you need to have hundreds of finished articles to show, but having three solid examples is a good start. When putting together your portfolio, you can pull from old blog posts, class projects or content you’ve written for student organizations. Once you have a portfolio put together, you can check out job boards like Craigslist, ProBlogger, BloggingPro and Content Writing Jobs.

    Freelance graphic designer

    If you have a passion for graphic design, you might as well make money from it. If you have any experience making logos, product mockups or illustrations, you can probably find a client who will pay for your skills. As a beginner graphic designer, you can expect to charge around $15-25 per hour. However, clients will typically pay per project, not by the hour. In other words, it’s up to you to figure out how long it’ll take you and give them a price based on that estimation.

    How to get a freelance graphic design job

    Similar to writers, it’s important that freelance graphic designers make a portfolio to show off their work. You can use examples from personal projects, student organizations or class assignments. If you don’t have anything yet, you can offer to do some pro bono work for friends and family until you build up your portfolio. Once you’re proud of the work you have to show, you can make a profile on a freelance website like Upwork or Fiverr.

    Freelance photographer

    Photography can be a relaxing hobby to fuel your creativity, and you can even get paid for it. Since you do have to go out to take the photos, it’s not technically an online job. However, most of your editing and selling will be done on your laptop.

    It may not be worth it to invest in an expensive camera if you’ve never taken photos before. However, if you already have the equipment on hand, you can brush up on your skills with some online courses. As a beginner, you can expect to charge about $25 per hour of photography. You can also take pictures to list on stock photo websites, which will earn about $0.25-0.45 per image.

    Learn more: Top scholarships for photographers

    How to get a freelance photography job

    Advertising your services to your friends and family is a great first step. Many of them likely need photographers for Christmas cards, photoshoots and events. You may even save them money they would’ve spent on a professional. Alternatively, you can upload your photos for purchase on a stock photo website like Dreamstime, Stocksy, Shutterstock or Adobe Stock.

    Remote intern

    Internships are a great way to make money and gain experience working in your field. Fortunately, just like many jobs, many internships can be work-from-home. However, the availability of remote internships can depend on your field. While you can often score a remote internship in software development or communications, you might not have the same luck with hands-on jobs like lab research.

    How to get a remote internship

    You can find a remote internship pretty much anywhere you can find an in-person internship. In addition to checking out your university job boards and asking career advisers, you can also look at online listings on internships.com, LinkedIn or Handshake. During your search, you’ll want to make sure to filter for “remote.”

    Virtual assistant

    If you’re great at staying organized, you could make for a fantastic virtual assistant. Many working professionals need someone to help them stay on track and are willing to pay for it. As a virtual assistant, you’ll have responsibilities including scheduling, email and calendar management, event planning, file organization and travel booking. Rates vary depending on your employer, but you can expect to make between $15-30 per hour.

    How to get a virtual assistant job

    In order to get started as a virtual assistant, you can apply directly with a website like Zirtual. However, if you want to take it into your own hands, you can also list your services on a freelance website like PeoplePerHour or Guru.

    English tutor

    If you’re fluent in English, you can put your language skills to work for you by helping others. Many websites prefer degree-holders, so you’ll want to do your research before sending out your application. However, it can be a great way to make money without having to learn a new skill. Although your rate will depend on your employer, you can usually make about $10-25 an hour at first. Later on, you might be able to use your experience to command more pay.

    How to get an English tutoring job

    If you’ve never worked as an English tutor, your best bet is to go through a website. They’ll have their own curriculum and set of protocols, so you won’t have to worry about figuring out how to teach. You’ll probably want to apply to a website that doesn’t require a degree or teaching experience, like Cambly, PalFish, or Magic Ears.

    Working while taking classes can be overwhelming. Fortunately, finding online jobs for college students is not so difficult. Online jobs can save you time that you would’ve spent commuting and allow you to make money from a comfortable space. Good luck on your search!

    Things to keep in mind

    An online job is not for everyone, and that is okay. Everyone works differently and at different paces. So online work does not always work out for everyone. You have to have enough personal time management to be able to work on your own and stay on pace. This is important to keep in mind as you look for jobs that best suit you. 

    Keep reading 

    Learn about how to save money in college and while you are at it, how to make money through a side hustle. Don’t forget, one of the best ways to earn free money is by applying for all the scholarships you qualify for!

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    Frequently Asked Questions about finding online jobs as a college student

    Should I have a job in college?

    Whether or not you have a job in college is completely up to your personal preference. For some students, having a job can be overwhelming to them on top of their classes and other organizations that they are a part of. Ultimately, having a job can be very beneficial for students to help them either pay off their student loans or tuition, or even just as extra spending money to use on the weekends. Having a job is also a great way to build connections with other students.

    Why is an online job beneficial?

    An online job can be easier than an on-site job while in college because it is easier to be flexible with your schedule. If you want to go home for the weekend or you are traveling, you don’t have to call off work if you don’t want to. When it comes to most online jobs, you can do them from anywhere. However, if you are someone who is not the best at time management, an online job may be a bit more difficult for you to handle.

    How do I know that an online job is right for me?

    The best way to know if a job is right for you– whether it is online or not– is to try it out and see how you like it. You will never know unless you try, and having different jobs throughout high school and college is also helpful in determining which industries you may or may not want to work in after you graduate.

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