Working as a college student often seems daunting – but you’ll reap the rewards of increased spending money, tangible work experience, and networking that can yield great benefits later.
As a college student, academic schedules usually offer no flexibility. Professors and teaching assistants expect students to show up on time and leave on time. For students trying to make money to subsidize their expenses at college, these types of schedules can restrict those plans.
That’s where working from home can help. While college students historically paid little attention to work from home jobs, you may want to take a closer look. Check out some of the biggest benefits of working from home as a college student:
- Control Over Your Hectic Schedule: Academics already throw a wrench in your work-life balance, but a work from home job can help you to schedule work during hours when academic tasks don’t interfere, including early morning and later in the evening.
- Scalable Income: One of the most exciting benefits college students love to hear about: the ability to scale your income based on the time you have available and the funds you need to sustain your lifestyle. In other words, most work from home jobs function in an hourly or project-based compensation structure rather than salary. The more you work, the more you earn!
- Learn Real-World Career Skills: Most college jobs don’t offer real-world skills training. For example, if you’re planning to work as a software engineer or physician assistant after you graduate, you typically won’t have many opportunities to learn the types of skills required for those roles at your school’s bookstore or gift shop. Legitimate work from home jobs, on the other hand, can help you get a head start on those important skills.
- Retire Earlier: By building up your savings as a college student, you’ll give the power of compound interest more time to do its magic. Investing just $100 per month as a young student can pay off. By starting the process sooner, you can potentially have $200,000 in your retirement accounts after 40 years. Starting 10 years later gives you only half that number. You may want to consider opening a Roth IRA or regular IRA depending on your tax situation.
These benefits form only a fraction of the opportunities available to work from home college students. Read on to learn more about the types of work from jobs out there for workers who attend college and how you can make working from home work for you as a busy college student!
10 Work from Home Jobs Available to College Students
While many jobs offer remote work opportunities to prospective employees and contractors, only a handful offer the type of flexibility and skill level that college students would find suitable. Here are 10 possibilities for students looking for a work from home job:
- Freelance Writing: Freelance writers have a lot of freedom to find clients. The demand for writing only continues to grow as the Internet becomes more and more crowded. Exceptional writers can even support their adult lives with great work and pay.
- Translation Services: While services like Google Translate continue to improve, the need for human translators has never been greater. We live in a globalized, connected world that needs competent translators to bridge cultural gaps and ensure that goods, services, and information flow seamlessly from country to country.
- Customer Service: Customer service agents often work from home and provide front-line support for some of the world’s biggest brands, including Amazon.
- Transcription: A transcriptionist listens to an audio recording and transcribes the spoken word into a written format. They’re invaluable in a variety of contexts, including medical translation.
- Website Testing: Website testers make money by finding problems in websites. These problems can include interface issues and unclear directions. Additionally, website tester may narrate their journey through a website to provide valuable feedback to user experience researchers.
- Product Advisors: A product advisor can help advise customers on the right products for their needs. Apple hires for this type of role and considers remote work applicants.
- Data Entry: Data entry will continue to exist long into the future since not all systems can be – or will not be – automated. However, there is significant competition for this type of work, so it’s important to jump on any opportunities you find.
- Editing and Proofreading: In addition to writing, content producers also have a strong need for editors and proofreaders. English, writing, and communication majors will find this type of work invaluable for future career opportunities.
- Resume Writing: A less well-known career area is resume writing. Applicants who are hunting for a new job will often have their resumes written by a professional in order stand out and get more interviews. Most of these jobs are compensated on a per-project basis and often have flexible scheduling (your job is to get it done, regardless of the hours you choose to work).
- Telemarketing: Companies need outbound sales reps to conduct prospecting and source new deals to drive revenue. Many of these jobs can be worked from home, although they may require prior experience.
Tips for Finding Work from Home Jobs Online
Of course, the 10 jobs listed previously only account for a small number of the types of opportunities you might find online. When you’re shopping for a work from job as a busy college student, here are a few resources you should consider:
- Freelancing platforms such as Upwork can help you to find contract work in fields like content writing and graphic design.
- Aggregator sites like FlexJobs focus exclusively on finding remote work opportunities – often on a flexible schedule (hence the Flex in the name).
- The more conventional job sites like Indeed have started to upload remote listings to make it easier to find these types of opportunities.
- LinkedIn may also be a good choice for college students who want to work from home. Most business professionals have a LinkedIn profile. This service makes it easier to connect with possible employers.
- YouTube work from home – many video editors have created great content around finding the right job for you.
Balancing Work and Academics as a Work from Home College Student
A potential pitfall for college students stems from the stresses incurred as a result of academic pressures and work pressures comingling. This cocktail of stress can wreck your quality of life. To counter the stresses associated with these types of time pressures, you should take advantage of the following resources that your school likely offers to all active students as well as some internal habits you should develop:
- On-Campus Counseling Sessions: Many colleges offer counseling services to students. Definitely take advantage of this service if it’s available to you and you need to learn how to cope with stress.
- Eating and Exercising Well: Eating and exercising well are the two keys to maintaining a healthy balance in your life. Don’t forget to sleep!
- Entertainment and Fun: All work and no play never makes anyone happy. Make sure to balance your hectic schedule with having fun.
Warning Signs of a Bad Work from Home Job
Sadly, not all work from home jobs offer the same benefits and opportunities. Some jobs may take advantage of the desperate and the working class in order to exploit them for cheap labor. For instance, so-called “micro task” services like Amazon Mechanical Turk (MTurk) take advantage of cheap labor and pay mere cents in most cases for menial work.
As an example, some of the tasks offered on MTurk include:
- Removing duplicate content from business listings.
- Pointing out problems with product listings in an e-commerce catalogue.
- Verifying information about businesses – such as open hours for a local restaurant.
Other services will often target citizens of countries such as India and China to exploit the lower cost of living in those countries to pay pennies on the dollar for equivalent labor. Stay far away from these types of services to retain your sanity. Additionally, you won’t gain any marketable skills from these types of services, so it’s best to only make use of them as a hobby or pastime rather than as your source of income.
Another problem to look out for is the trap of “too good to be true” job offers. Typically, you’ll receive these types of offers unsolicited. Usually they end up in your spam folder on your preferred email provider, but in the off chance that they do appear in your inbox, it’s best to mark them as spam and move on. You should never buy into the bold claims that these unsolicited emails invariably make.
Other Work from Home Options for Busy Students
If you’re unable to find a work from home job online, you may also want to consider talking to an employer on campus. You may have some luck in finding a remote work opportunity, especially since college employers often understand the time constraints that students enrolled in courses face. Best of luck in finding the right opportunity for you!