College students are the first to admit that they are always in need of extra cash. Many universities offer on-campus jobs, but with high demand, they may not be easy to get. Meanwhile, college students are left to wrestle with scheduling work around their class schedule and other commitments.
But the need to make extra money while in college is not insignificant. Students who live off of university property need to pay rent like anyone else. Even those who live in student housing still need to find the funds for food, clothes, and increasingly expensive textbooks.
The age of the internet has brought the possibility of online jobs. Working online means that students can make money by offering their skills without ever leaving their room. All they need is an internet connection — and thankfully, universities supply that everywhere.
The simple fact is that there are a lot of ways to earn money online if you have certain skills. These include writing, editing, design, blogging, and more. But there are also ways to make money simply by “showing up” online. Some companies offer cash or discounts in return for taking surveys or signing up for subscriptions. The internet is an infinite resource. Simply put, there are always new jobs available.
Online jobs also make it possible to choose your own hours, or even work in increments between classes and other commitments. Working online means, more or less, that you make your own schedule. Many online jobs are about producing projects rather than working on the clock, so it is easy to set your schedule around your own needs.
All you need to know to find an online job is where to start looking. Thankfully, there are hundreds of online resources that can help you figure that out.
Let’s take a look at some of the best options for students looking for online jobs…
- 1 Freelance Writing
- 2 Online Captioning or Transcription
- 3 Teaching English Online
- 4 Online Tutoring
- 5 Product and App Testing
- 6 Writing Amazon Reviews
- 7 Data Entry
- 8 Amazon Mechanical Turk
- 9 Useful Links
- 10 Social Media Manager
- 11 Resume Writer
- 12 Search Engine Evaluator
- 13 Virtual Assistant
- 14 Mystery Shopper
- 15 Online Survey Taker
- 16 Graphic Designer
- 17 Editor & Proof-Reader
- 18 Photographer
- 19 Conclusion
If you are a good writer, you may assume that everyone else also knows how to write. But this actually is not the case. Freelance writing jobs are always in demand on the internet because businesses have an endless amount of web copy that they need to publish.
Freelance writing can be about any topic imaginable. As a freelance writer, you could be writing a site description for a construction company, helping a local bookstore put together social media posts, or writing informational articles about speciality medical services.
Freelance writers need to be good researchers since the job that they will be doing is all about writing knowledgeably on many topics with tight deadlines. It is also a good idea to have some knowledge of how to optimise articles for search engines since SEO is a skill that is often required for web copy.
If you can write well, do thorough research, and sometimes work under tight deadlines, freelance writing is a great option. Sites like Upwork, BloggingPro, and Freelancer are good places to start. You may even be able to find freelance writing gigs on sites like Craigslist. Freelance writers can usually choose their own work hours and their own rates, so they decide how much they get paid per project.
Another approach for gaining freelance writing gigs is to directly contact blogs and websites in the areas you have expertise in and directly offer your services. This is often a way to get better rates as you will be paid directly, cutting out the middle-man fees that the freelancing sites will take. As a website owner, this is how I hired some of our best writers – people who have contacted me directly. For this approach to work, you will need a good body of work online so make sure you have an online portfolio of your work for the potential employer to view.
Online Captioning or Transcription
Online captioning and transcription jobs are similar to freelance writing. Transcription jobs usually consist of watching professional videos or listening to audio files and then transcribing them for use by a business or public service. The rate of pay may be different depending on the project or your level of expertise.
Captioning, meanwhile, is about creating subtitles for videos. These could be anything from advertisements to instructional videos for companies. Captionists need to be able to synchronise subtitles with audio, so that text appears at the same time it is spoken on-screen. Companies like Rev offer lots of captioning jobs, usually paying by the audio minute.
Transcription is detailed, focused work, so it is not something everyone can do. The good news is, that means that there is almost always transcription work to be had. As with freelance writing, all you need is a computer and access to the internet. If you can listen carefully and make notes accurately, then transcribing or captioning may be a great job for you.
Teaching English Online
There are lots of opportunities to work as a remote teacher. Teachers and students meet in an online “classroom” where they can interact via video chat just as though they were in a physical classroom. Many of these jobs are teaching English online. These jobs connect teachers and students from places all over the world for either classroom or one-on-one sessions.
There are many websites that offer ESL teaching certification. Depending on the website, you may or may not need previous teaching experience. Most teachers are required to undergo a short certification before they can start teaching. After they pass, however, they tend to make very good money.
Online English teachers can make as much as $18 an hour or even more. They also choose their own time slots, making it a great job for college students. Many websites that host online ESL classes also supply their own curriculum to help teachers in the classroom.
Teaching English as a second language can be a great way for college students to earn good money on their own time while helping people who are trying to further their education. It is also a perfect thing to be able to put on a resume after graduation. Sites like HAWO, TeachAway, and VIPKid are great places to get started.
If you are not interested in a job as ambitious as teaching English to someone halfway across the globe, tutoring might be a better option for you. There are dozens of tutoring websites that aim to connect students and tutors in a one-on-one environment.
You can apply to be a tutor in almost any subject. If there is a student looking for tutoring in a particular course that you are familiar with, you can apply for that, too. Most online tutoring websites will have you make a tutor profile detailing your skills, experience, and the areas where you are most knowledgeable. That makes it easy for students to connect with you.
Tutoring jobs can be either long-term or short-term, depending on the student’s needs. You may be working with a student for an entire semester on a particular course, or you may just be helping them prepare for a test for a few hours. There are a lot of options, and online tutors have total freedom to decide what kind of work they take on.
Tutoring is a classic way for college students to make extra money. Now, they can take advantage of an entire internet full of students who need help with their coursework. As with most other online jobs, you can choose your own hours and charge the rates you want to.
Product and App Testing
Believe it or not, there are companies that are looking to pay people to use their products. These are often businesses that are coming out with new items and want to hear what a test group of people think of it before they release it to the general public. There are hundreds of product testing jobs open at any one time.
Usually, product testers apply for the job and supply their address. The company then sends them a product for free. This could be anything from makeup products to electronic gadgets to household items. All product testers have to do is use the product and write a review for the company. Much of the time, they are even permitted to keep the product.
This entire process also goes for phone apps. App developers are always in production, and they want to make sure that their apps work well and are comfortable, functional, and user-friendly. App testers just have to download the app on their phone and use it for a certain amount of time. Often, developers will ask for an online review and for you to let them know about any glitches you encountered. Product and app testing is a simple way to make extra cash without a ton of effort.
Writing Amazon Reviews
Similar to product testing, Amazon actually employs people to write reviews on their website. This job is simple and straightforward if you have basic writing skills and the ability to construct a few cohesive paragraphs. As an Amazon product reviewer, you will receive a product, use it, give it a rating, and write a few sentences on why the product works or does not work, and how it could be improved. You will be paid per review.
Online reviews help other customers know what products they need and which ones are the best for their money. You will need to be able to write clearly and descriptively in an informative way.
It is not a huge amount of work — it only takes a short while to write a good review of 50-100 words or so. Many people make good money writing Amazon reviews, so it pays well for a small amount of work.
Data entry is another good online job for college students. It sometimes does not pay as well as some other options, but it can fall in the range of $9-$16 an hour. Data entry is essentially working as an at-home clerk for a company. You will be given information on projects, payroll, scheduling, or other company details that need to be manually uploaded into software systems.
The subject and the software requirements will vary depending on the company, and there may be some minor specialised tasks you will need to become familiar with. But for the most part, data entry does not require any specialised skills or previous experience.
Data entry can sometimes be a somewhat tedious task, but the good news is that it’s pretty straightforward. If you can type and work quickly, you are the perfect candidate for a data entry job.
- AccuTran Global
- BirchCreek Communications
- Click Worker
- Dion Data Solutions
- Smart Crowd
- Micro Workers
- Working Solutions
- Amazon Mechanical Turk ( More on that next )
Amazon Mechanical Turk
Amazon actually has a lot of different jobs for freelancers and people working from home, from writing reviews to customer service to mechanical turks. There is a lot required of such a large company. Since it works online, that is where most of its jobs are. And that is good news for college students looking for work on the web.
As an Amazon mechanical turk, you will work as a sort of online courier. You’re there to do various tasks as they are needed. This could mean taking surveys, reviewing content for clarity and appropriateness, or collecting data. These jobs are known as microtasks and are quick ones designed to increase the efficiency and productivity of the Amazon marketplace.
As with many other online jobs, you will be able to set your own schedule. But, of course, you will also need to be able to meet deadlines. Working quickly is a must for jobs like these, but you can also set your schedule on your own time. If you only have two evening hours free every day, that is perfectly acceptable.
Social Media Manager
Social media manager is a perfect at-home job for college students. Most college students are probably already fairly familiar with most social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and others. Almost every business has a social media presence these days, and managing those platforms is a lot of work. What is more, business owners may not necessarily know how to run social media pages, including what content they need to be posting or how they need to engage their customers. Social media managers handle all of that. It is a job that can easily be done remotely. As a social media manager, you will help promote company deals and events, engage customers, and help advertise.
Each business will have different ideas of how to run its social media campaigns, so good communication skills are important. You might be tweeting a few times a day from a company account, or maybe the business wants daily Instagram posts of its newest products. Social media managers need to be personable and communicative since they are the middleman between business owners and their customers.
There are hundreds of people on the internet looking for help writing a resume. Whether they are not sure how to best show off their skills and experience or need help tailoring their information for a specialised job, they are looking to pay for help. If you are organised and know how to put together a stellar resume, this is a great opportunity for working from home.
As a resume writer, you will need to pay attention to your client’s requests and special conditions. You also must be able to tailor those to help them catch the eye of potential employers.
Many resume writers can find job postings on public freelance sites like Upwork, but there are also jobs to be had on sites like Craigslist. A simple Google search can lead you right to hundreds of opportunities to make easy money while helping someone else.
- The National Resume Writer’s Association (NRWA)
- Career Directors International (CDI)
- Certified Professional Resume Writers (CPRW)
- Rise Smart
- Talent Inc.
- Impact Group
Search Engine Evaluator
Search engine evaluators are responsible for helping public search engines like Google and Bing fix any errors and run smoothly and efficiently. Computer algorithms can do a lot to catch these errors. However, it is still important to have humans review them as well. Search engine evaluators look at search engines and submit online reports about their functionality and how they can be improved. All you need is a computer and internet connection.
These search engines are where a huge amount of internet traffic starts, so it is vital that they work efficiently. If you start a job as a search engine evaluator, your employer will give you certain tasks that help you test search engines and then ask for your feedback. There are no special skills needed, and you can work on your own time.
There are several sites that can help you get started as a search engine evaluator. These include Leapforce, Lionbridge, and Appen Butler Hill, among others.
Virtual assistant jobs are essentially about offering organisational skills to a variety of clients. People go to virtual assistants when they need someone to do jobs that a receptionist might do at a traditional company, such as manage social media pages, collect data, send out emails, do research for projects, or reach out to customers.
There is no experience needed to be a virtual assistant. You just need to have the skills to be focused and able to work quickly in an organised way. Of course, you also need to have prime communication skills since you will be working remotely. Virtual assistants make good money, and they have the opportunity to work in a large variety of different industries and do different jobs. It is a job with frequent changes that keep it interesting.
If you have ever dreamed about being a spy, mystery shopping may be a good job for you. Companies hire mystery shoppers for the purpose of either conducting marketing research or to monitor their organisation’s customer interactions. Mystery shoppers pose as regular customers and take note of all their experiences with the company, from customer service to shipping times and more. Companies use that information to decide how they can improve their services. They may also use mystery shoppers to make sure that everyone in the company is working in accordance with company policy.
The good news about jobs like this is that they really do not require any special skills or even any extra effort; all you need to do is shop and then submit your report. Each company will have specific requirements, but they really just want to hear about your experience with their business.
- Click Worker
- Mystery Dining
- Serve Legal
- Grass Roots
- International Service Check
- ESA Retail
Online Survey Taker
Taking surveys is one way to make money that you can even do from your phone. Companies are constantly conducting surveys to get a better idea of their customer demographics and find out what products and services people are looking for. These surveys may be only a few short questions, or they may take up to half an hour or more. Survey takers answer questions about their consumption habits and preferences and earn cash or rewards for their time. Depending on the survey site you use, you may be enrolled in a point system toward prizes like Amazon gift cards, or you may receive actual cash.
- Swag Bucks
- My Survey
- One Poll
- Inbox Pounds
- Panel Base
- Global Test Market
- Opinion Outpost
- Survey Bods
- Opinion Panel
- Mind Mover
- Populus Live
- Branded Surveys
If you have graphic design skills in Photoshop or other software, you can put them to use as a freelance graphic designer. Plenty of people turn to the internet to find graphic designers for one-time projects, such as logos for their small business, company presentations, and more.
As a freelance graphic designer, you have the power to set your own rates. You can decide how to charge customers based on an hourly rate or the skill level required for a certain project. It is a good idea to conduct freelance business like this on a supported platform like Upwork to make sure you get paid appropriately for your work.
This is another area where building up your own portfolio will help immensely. Having a website where you can point potential clients to with examples of your best work will help you win more jobs. You can host a website yourself using a system such as WordPress or you can create a portfolio on third-party sites such as Dribbble or Dunked. If you choose Dribbble, you can also mark yourself as accepting freelance work and could win some clients that way.
If you don’t have any paying clients to start off your portfolio, you can offer your services for free to local companies or charities. You can also carry out some mockups of existing companies or create fictional brands so you can demonstrate what you are capable of.
Be wary of spec work though, companies that require work upfront without payment are not worth the hassle and won’t respect you as a designer – everyone deserves to be paid a fair wage for their work.
Editor & Proof-Reader
People on the internet are not just looking for writers. They also need editors and proof-readers. This might be for a school project, a company proposal, a resume, or any number of other documents. All you need to have as a good proof-reader is an eye for detail and a grasp on grammar. Your job is to make sure everything makes sense, flows cohesively, is punctuated properly, and has good grammar. Some proof-reading jobs might also ask you to double-check for stylistic elements of Chicago, AP, or MLA style, so being familiar with these can help you.
The internet is full of options for students looking for part-time online work. Some take special skills, while others only require an internet connection. Even if you only have time to work a few hours a day or a few days a week, there are plenty of options for how to make extra cash while you are still in school, all without leaving home.
- Proofreading Services
- Scribe Writing
- Editor World
- English Trackers
- Polished Paper
- Proofreading Pal
If you have a passion for photography and an eye for what makes a good shot then there are possibilities for earning income as a photographer. There are numerous stock photo websites which allow you to upload your images and earn money each time they are downloaded. The payment per download is typically small so you will need to build up a large body of work.
This will probably be a slow process, but if your hobby is photography anyway then it could make sense.
You should take a look at the stock photo sites and see what kinds of images are selling well, typically images that are more generic and with a business setting are some of the most popular. Think people in offices, using laptops and smartphones etc.
Right now, there has never been more opportunities for earning extra income using the power of the internet. Millions of people around the world are part of the remote-working community and are earning part-time or full-time income online. As the “Gig Economy” grows, so do the possibilities to earn your income from the comfort of your own home.
Before deciding which option is best for you, consider your skills and abilities but also your interests – it’s perfectly possible to earn a wage doing something which you enjoy. Whether that is freelance writing about subjects you like, testing out products and writing reviews or spending your days interacting in social media. There is a job for most people and plenty of employers willing to pay for quality work.
Take your time and build connections, test out different websites and apps and find one that works for you and your schedule.
Good luck online job hunting!