Best Online Jobs for College Students
Some of the best jobs for college students are ones you can do from anywhere. Whether it’s a part-time job with a flexible schedule or a series of gigs, there are online paid positions where you can work from your dorm room or wherever you happen to be.
There are employers who recruit college students specifically for remote jobs. For example, Apple’s website that provides information on jobs and internships for students notes, “We’ll train you to troubleshoot, give you an iMac, and let you work a schedule designed around your classes.” Amazon’s job posting for seasonal work-from-home jobs says, “If you’re a student, we’ll do our best to work around your school schedule!”
Jobs vs. Gigs
When you’re researching opportunities, you’ll find different types of positions available. The job responsibilities may seem similar, but how you’re paid may be different. If you’re hired for a traditional job, regardless of whether you work at home or onsite, you’re considered an employee. Your employer will contribute to payroll taxes paid on your behalf. If you’re an employee, you’ll typically be paid an hourly rate for part-time work.
If you’re considered a contractor (as you will be for freelance work and gig jobs), you are self-employed and responsible for tax payments. Contractors may be paid hourly or at a flat rate per project.
Make sure you know the differences between employees and independent contractors, so you’re aware of the important distinctions and how they impact your earnings.
What You Need to Get Hired
When you want to work online, you’ll need access to high-speed internet, a dependable computer, and, for some positions, a quiet place to work. For jobs that include telephone work, you may need a noise-canceling headset and dial pad. If the person who hires you is setting the schedule, you’ll need the flexibility to commit to that schedule. For freelance gigs, you’ll set your schedule, but must be able to meet client deadlines.
Types of Online Positions for Students
Many jobs that used to be done in an office setting can now be done from anywhere because technology makes it easy to work online with remote managers and co-workers. Workers who telecommute work from home, libraries, coffee shops, co-working spaces, and parks. There should be plenty of places on campus to use, and you can also utilize Workfrom to find local co-working spaces, job information, and community members who are working near you.
Best Virtual Jobs for College Students
Virtual Assistants provide remote administrative services. Think of the role as being an administrative assistant who is not in the office. Responsibilities could include handling phone calls and email, creating spreadsheets and documents, writing and editing, invoicing, and paying bills. What you will be doing depends on who you’re working for and the services they need, but you will need top-notch communication skills, attention to detail, and the ability to multitask.
Virtual Data Entry is another job that can be done remotely. Data entry clerks need strong typing and written communication skills. Online data entry is a job that’s known for online scams, so it’s important to be careful when reviewing options. Before you sign up for a data entry job, take the time to make sure that the company is legitimate.
Part-Time Project Managers keep all the components of a project, including implementation and execution, on track for completion on or ahead of deadline. You will need strong communication, time management, organizational, and interpersonal skills, as well as the ability to coordinate the workflow of different departments or contractors.
Virtual Internships are an excellent way to gain skills in your career field of interest. The internships you do will give you work experience to bolster your resume and will help your candidacy for employment when you’re seeking full-time work. A growing number of employers are hiring virtual interns to work outside of a traditional office setting.
Microjobs are small jobs or tasks that pay small amounts like $5 or $10. These small jobs won’t give you a huge paycheck, but they will put extra money in your pocket without you having to commit to a long-term job or project. Do enough of them, and your earnings will add up.
Virtual Job Titles and Descriptions
Social Media Manager: Companies often look for younger people who innately understand social media and know what's cool to help them manage their social media platforms. If you’re constantly connected anyway, you may be able to turn some of that time into a paycheck.
Online Tutor: If you’re a good student with a high GPA, consider tutoring students in the subject areas in which you excel. You may be able to find a job on campus, in addition to working online. Here are some online tutoring jobs to explore.
Freelance Writer: This can lead to a variety of online opportunities. It could be for a website related to your major, a blog, or a site about college life. Like data entry, this is another job where there are plenty of scams you will need to avoid.
College Online Resource Manager: Professors and college academic and administrative departments sometimes need help managing online resources and learning sites for students. If you’ve got web skills, there are opportunities for content creation and content management. Check out campus job listings to see what’s available.
ESL Instructor: There are many opportunities available to teach English online to international students and professionals seeking to acquire English language skills. Your responsibilities may include teaching based on the organization’s lesson plans or informal online discussions. Depending on the job, you may need to commit to a weekly schedule.
Virtual Call Center Agent: For students with excellent communication skills, and the ability to multitask and problem-solve, a virtual call center job is a good one to consider. Some of the positions available include customer service, telemarketing, reservations, appointment scheduling, and sales.
Website or App Tester: Designers and developers hire user testers to check out website, app, and game functionality. You’ll look for bugs and issues, and report on what you find. For example, the site Usertesting pays $10 for every site you check.
Technical Support Representative: Many companies that provide technical support hire telecommuting staff to handle calls. You’ll need expertise in the software or product, the ability to problem solve, and the communication skills required to resolve issues and ensure customer satisfaction.
Beware of Scams
As is the case with many online job listings, it’s important to be careful when applying for online jobs. Beware of positions that charge you a fee for training, certification, or supplies. If the pay sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Where to Find Job Listings
What’s the best way to find a virtual position? Google for Jobs makes it easy to get started. Simply search Google for the type of job you’re interested in, and add terms like “virtual,” “remote,” and “online” to your search. There are also numerous reputable sites you can visit directly to find job listings.