8 Great Jobs For College Students
When you are a college student, you need a job. Whether you are among the wealthiest of people or the poorest, having a job not only helps you earn money, but teaches you responsibility, accountability, and respect for authority, among other things. While some would argue that college is about classes and furthering education, others would add that it is also the time in life where you learn about being an adult.
If you are a college student searching for the perfect job or the parent of a college student looking for ideas, the opportunities might be more plentiful than you think. There are lots of part-time jobs that you can work around a college schedule, particularly when the employers are in the neighborhood of the school. They know who will be applying for jobs, so be sure to be transparent about the schedule! Here are some ideas to get started with:
Being a server is one of the top jobs that people look for while attending college. It allows for students to schedule their work hours around classes and you don’t have to have a degree in order to qualify.
In many cases, servers are required to work weekends, particularly when asking for a schedule that doesn’t conflict with worktime. That said, there is the potential to earn a good wage (including tips) and learn a lot about human nature.
Work in the service industry during one’s youth is vital, if only to build appreciation for everyone else who is employed. As a service professional, you learn how to work with people in a way that you really can’t at any other job. Once you have worked in service, you see everyone – from bartenders to busboys to cashiers – in a new light.
Speaking of service, being a cashier is another great way to make money during college. It has some of the same perks as you get with being a server, but your hours may be a bit more regular (as a server, you likely have to wait until your last table leaves in order to be done, whereas cashiers finish at the time stated on the hours-sheet).
If you have a favorite store, consider applying for a job there. Not only will you receive a paycheck and work experience for your resume, you’ll likely get a discount to boot. Even better, if you choose a store that is a chain (such as a Walgreens, CVS or Costco), you may be able to transfer easily from one store to another should you change colleges or move back home for the summer.
There are different perks to consider when choosing a store. A general rule of thumb is that a larger chain store will have set rules, regulations, hours, and expectations that are non-negotiable. A smaller mom & pop type store may work with you a bit more easily, so if you need flexibility, that may be the way to go. There is also security in knowing that a larger store will have the money to pay you at all times vs. a smaller store that may be a bit riskier. Try to have an idea of what you are getting into before you apply. There’s a strong case to be made for working at either kind of store.
Are you well-versed in a particular subject or are you in school to become a teacher? Why not put your skills to good use and do some tutoring?
There will always be a need for this service, and there are many places to look. If you have transportation, look for listings at the tutoring centers in the area or on-campus. There are many places that may be hiring since college students do cycle in and out of school each year.
If you want to work for yourself, the internet is your friend. Local groups on Facebook are a great way to spread your information. Read the rules of the group before posting, but really scour social media for groups of people in certain areas. Look for parent groups, school groups, and neighborhood groups to post in, and be sure to have some references ready. If you have friends and family in those groups, see if they will vouch for your character with a comment on your post.
Parents are always in need of a reliable and friendly babysitter. While it can be a challenge to make this consistent employment, it is an excellent option if you are so busy on campus that you can’t hold down regular hours.
If you are looking to spread the word, hang up notices on campus, in local shops, churches and temples, and/or libraries with your phone number. Utilize Facebook groups to share your information and let all of your friends know that you are looking. You can also apply to online babysitting service sites by Googling in your area.
One of the best ways to find a babysitting job is word of mouth and you never know who your friends and family will be talking to. Again, have references ready should you get a call!
Is there an event facility near your college? If so, many college students will tell you that they are great places to work. Not only will you get paid to do your job, but you’ll likely get to see all of the shows and potentially head backstage to see the performers. This would typically be a very part-time job, but it may be a lot of fun and come with some unexpected perks.
Many schools offer work-study programs that will allow you to earn money toward your education, but there are typically other jobs on-campus that need to be filled. Take a look in the college offices, bookstore, online or wherever your school may list openings and see what might work for you. If you aren’t sure where to look for these listings, the main office should be able to send you in the right direction.
Be sure to ask around in the buildings that host your major. The theater department may have jobs to offer in the scene shop, the psychology department may have studies going on that they need help running – you really never know. Professors that you have befriended are also a great way to get some extra information about potential openings.
Freelance Writer/Virtual Assistant
In this day and age, you don’t actually have to leave your home in order to work. If you enjoy writing and are incredibly organized, finding an online job may be perfect for you.
Many online businesses are looking for freelance writers as well as people to manage things behind the scenes. Blog owner, online magazines, small businesses, and other websites frequently hire people whom they’ve never met in person. Payment is done online (typically through Paypal), and as long as everything is delivered and completed in a timely manner, it can be the perfect working relationship to develop around your class time.
Working online is something that you can get into with little to no financial investment. You aren’t required to wear a uniform or purchase anything in order to get down to work. Draft a few (stellar) examples of what you can produce in terms of writing and organization so that you can present them to a potential employer. You can even create a very basic blog on which to publish your examples so that it is easy to show off your work. Look for free blog sites such as Weebly to get started there.
Create Your Own
One of the best things about looking for employment these days is that if you put your mind to it and you are familiar with the internet, your options are potentially endless.
Do you know and love a small business that doesn’t know anything about social media? See if they might be interested in hiring you to start and manage their social media accounts. Larger companies will already have people to do this, but many little shops (particularly in smaller towns) have never even thought about it.
Do you love to hunt through resale shops? Turn your hunting into an eBay business. As long as you can take good photos (which many phones are now capable of doing), package items, and get them to a shipping location, this can really be something. You get to create your own hours and earn money.
These are just some ideas for what kind of employment opportunities there are for college students, but certainly there are many more. You do not have to keep the same job through four years of college, but you will want a job if you can get one. Future employers will appreciate that you put in the effort and see that you are not only educated, but dependable. Always a great step up when moving out into the next stage of life.