Today, we’re going to scale back a bit on the digital nomad blog posts and talk about being an earning college student instead. That’s right – if you’re anything like me, you would have also attempted to earn some money even while you were studying for a degree. But as a disclaimer, there weren’t a lot of online jobs for college students back in my day. I was pretty much stuck with research-related work and even the occasional odd jobs like clearing elderly neighbors’ sidewalks of snow and working at a restaurant. I didn’t mind though – it was nice to help out and earn a bit of pocket money in the process.
There is another good reason why I want to bring this topic up today. It’s because having a job while you’re away from home and earning your keep is a great first step to the path of becoming a digital nomad. In these days of controversial collegiate displays of wealthy privilege, it’s only practical to seek jobs to become self-supporting and to prepare yourself for after you graduate.
Now that there are tools and resources everywhere, these supplemental sources of income are easier than ever to find. You might also be pleasantly surprised to see how similar some of them are to popular real-life digital nomad careers! So let’s take a closer look at five of the best online jobs for college students today.
Social media accounts manager
Perhaps one of the most common jobs for college students online would be to manage someone’s social media account. It doesn’t have to be for a big “influencer” or brand name right away, either. You can start with your immediate surroundings – your school, for instance.
I have a niece who was part of a rotating staff who handled the Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and Facebook accounts of her university organization when she was still studying there. She was pretty savvy at it (which I kind of envy). She told me that the team had to attend an orientation so they can pick up the “voice” of their alma mater and be able to use it to translate announcements and other content for her org’s social media. She got a small stipend for her role, but it’s the experience that landed her a corporate managerial position after school.
If you are on the lookout for easy online jobs for college students, try data entry. I did this once for a Math professor who was too busy attending Magic the Gathering tournaments to be bothered with end-of-term examination papers.
I wasn’t a Math major but I was pretty organized and could type accurately and fast, so I got this part-time job based on faculty recommendation (from other professors whom I helped to organize papers and materials). It’s the perfect task for those who could only work in-between or after classes, because it’s quite laid back, uncomplicated, and won’t take too much of your time and brain power.
Survey and GPT site user
I’m placing this one in the list of good part time online jobs for college students, seeing as I’m still doing surveys and actually making money from it today. Anyone who is thirteen (mostly – the minimum age varies) years old or older can sign up for a lot of online rewards sites – or what’s commonly referred to as GPT (get paid to) websites. These sites offer tasks to be completed in exchange for money or gift cards. Any college student can do this in their spare time and get compensated for it – quite handsomely too, if you’re in luck.
I personally use GPT sites that are worth my time and effort, like GrabPoints. I did a quick comparison with other survey sites available, and this blog post enlightened me on how much I can actually make on it per hour and per month. Let’s just say that on top of my writing projects, I get a little extra buffer income for shopping and dining out – thanks to GPT and survey sites that pay well.
Content and copywriting jobs made it to my previous list of most common digital nomad jobs today. I see no reason why it shouldn’t be mentioned in this list for college students, as well. Back in college, I encountered so many articulate budding writers who were just waiting for the right platform to share their thoughts. Blogging was a very new thing back then, and not a lot of students had access to it yet. Also, getting on board with the school publication was akin to auditioning for West End theatre. There were not a lot of outlets for free expression back then (much less something that can get you paid).
Today, social media, blogging, “vlogging,” and other digital platforms make it possible to express just about anything while racking up profit. To my chagrin, the requirements for “useful” content seems to have gotten looser if we were to look at the type of stuff so-called influencers churn out on a daily basis. But there are still reputable businesses and institutions looking for academic-based content writers in this day and age, so that’s a right place to start.
Plenty of creative online jobs for college students have to do with photography and graphic design. In fact, there are so many school organizations and clubs built around these pursuits. If you have a passion for capturing images and translating copy into visuals, consider taking on part-time photography and graphic design work. Stock photography is in good demand, so try looking into submitting some of your work to popular sites. Indeed.com is an excellent resource for those kinds of jobs, along with Monster.com and other similar job platforms.
But here’s where I will let you in on a little secret. Some of my clients actually have head hunters who specifically go to school organizations and attend their little workshops and exhibitions. It’s a great way to look for potential fresh recruits and spot talent at the get-go. So think about putting together a portfolio of your best works as a college student – whether it’s literary, photographic, marketing, or whatever kind. The bottom line is, it’s never too early to start pursuing a potential career in becoming a digital nomad!