From books to tuition, school is expensive.
You may have a part-time job, but you could stand to make more. In theory, taking up a side hustle sounds like a good idea. But between attending classes, studying and staying involved on campus, adding another commitment to your schedule may not seem feasible.
Adding a side hustle to your plate not only adds money in your pocket, but also could add to your résumé, if you work the right job. With your busy schedule, you can only afford to take on student jobs that will benefit you both now and in the future.
These student jobs won’t take much of your time, and will make you a more employable professional when you graduate.
1. Freelance Writing
You spend enough of your time writing papers. Why would you want to do it in your spare time?
Because freelance writing for blogs and websites is not only a good way to earn extra money, but it’s also a way to work on a desirable skill that employers are looking for.
In fact, a 2013 IDC study commissioned by Microsoft found that among the top paying professions, oral and written communication are the most important skills needed.
In addition, in a 2014 survey from The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), employers ranked written communication skills among the top 10 skills they are looking for in 2015 graduates.
Creating your own blog from the ground up takes a long time in terms of building enough followers to make money, so freelance instead. You can sign up on websites like UpWork, and start applying for writing jobs right away.
If you feel like your craft could use some more practice before you can cash in, join a writing community and start practicing every day. These communities can also help you network and find freelance opportunities for your writing.
Some offer contests and special recognition for the best writers. HonorSociety.org, for example, offers monthly “writing challenges,” where the writer with the most Facebook shares receives a $250 reward.
You spent your first few college semesters taking classes that didn’t have much to with your major or career goals. Sure, philosophy was interesting, but are you going to use your knowledge of Plato’s teachings in the real world? Probably not.
But you don’t need to let that knowledge go to waste.
If you did well in these courses, you can tutor other students. Many colleges have peer-to-peer tutoring centers where you can work a few hours a week, helping students ace the classes you've already mastered.
You can also work as a private tutor and help your peers or high school students without leaving your bed. Use Skype or Google Hangouts to tutor online, or meet face-to-face (if you prefer).
Tutoring keeps your knowledge and skills sharp while putting extra money in your pocket, but it also looks good to future employers. In the NACE study, employers listed verbal communication as the top skill they’re looking for in new graduates.
And effective tutoring requires a high level of verbal communication skills.
3. Virtual Assistant
You know how to send emails, use Microsoft Office and do any and all things Internet. Now, put those skills to work!
Busy startup founders, entrepreneurs and overworked executives need part-time help to complete the little tasks they don’t have time for. These tasks include replying to, proofreading and sending emails, posting on social and putting together documents.
Look for virtual listings on freelance sites and work between classes, in the library or when you need a study break. Getting your side hustle on as a virtual assistant is easy, convenient and shows employers you have the serious skills they need.
The NACE study found that employers want grads who can plan, organize and prioritize work, and solve problems. As a virtual assistant, you’re demonstrating all of these qualities.
You work on your own time, showing that you can prioritize your work; and you help organize and plan your virtual boss’s life, while solving any problems that crop up.
You’re getting office experience without stepping foot in a physical office.
4. Substitute Teaching
Remember the days when you had a substitute teacher in school? You could be that guy.
Depending on the state, the qualifications for subbing vary, but some only require an associate’s degree or a comparable number of college credits.
Dealing with a bunch of kids might not sound like fun, but it’s a pretty sweet gig if you think about it. You get paid a decent amount to sit in a room and keep students under control, and you only work when you want to.
At the same time, subbing shows employers that you’re responsible and capable of problem solving and verbal communication.
Have you taken on extra student jobs on the side? Which ones have been worth your time?