10 Great Jobs for College Students

by Camilla Cheung on 25 September 2012 7 comments

September is coming to a close, you’ve moved in to your dorm room or apartment, and you’ve probably settled into the routine of your classes. Now perhaps you’re wondering how to score a little extra cash so you can go on a dinner date instead of eating cereal for dinner as usual. Better yet, how can you make a little money but learn some valuable skills at the same time? The following jobs offer a flexible schedule as well as the potential to add some meat to your resume. (See also: The 5 Best Credit Cards for College Students)

1. Tutor

Tutoring is an excellent job for a college student. The hours are usually flexible, and the pay is often excellent. In addition, you can learn some valuable presentation and communication skills by teaching a child or teenager — if you can explain algebra to a 16-year-old, what can’t you do? You may tutor a pupil one-on-one in their home or teach larger classes at a learning center.

2. ESL Teacher

If you can speak English, you can likely teach it. Consider getting certified in Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL classes are usually available on a part-time basis or through intensive summer courses), which will allow you to work for a language school either at home or abroad. This part-time work can be parlayed into a summer job or full-time job after you graduate, and even if you don’t pursue it further, you’ve gained important presentation, public speaking, and communication skills.

3. Yoga/Fitness Instructor

Passionate about yoga, Pilates, or some other fitness program? Instead of paying to go to fitness classes, why not get paid? If you have enough experience under your belt, consider going through a part-time instructor certification program that will allow you to teach classes at your local gym or studio for a few hours a week. You may even be able to turn it into a career later on, or at least supplement your income if you find yourself in a pinch.

4. Social Media Guru 

Who knew that those hours spent on Facebook and Twitter would pay off? As a tech-savvy young person, your social media networking skills are in high demand. Many types of businesses, from real estate to event planning to club promotion, hire young people to tweet and post about the latest happenings in the field. Get a job tweeting in your area of studies, and you may gain valuable connections for after you graduate as well.

5. Small Business Owner

It’s never too early to start honing your entrepreneurial skills, especially when a large body of relatively cheap labor (read — other college students) is at hand. Start a painting or moving company or an after-school tutoring program, or start using your artistic skills in a photography or web-design business. Even if your business doesn’t end up enormously lucrative, you’ll have an amazing learning experience to add to your resume.

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6. Nanny 

You might have thought that your days as a teenage babysitter were behind you, but college is actually a great time to take babysitting to the next level. You are older and more responsible, and if you have a car, you are perfectly equipped to pick kids up after school and hang out with them till their parents get home. You can also command a higher hourly rate and show future employers how responsible and trustworthy you are. Becoming an au pair is also one of the best ways to travel around the world after you graduate while having your room and board paid.

7. Administrative Assistant

A part-time job spent answering phones, filing documents, and doing general office work can turn into a more lucrative job as you move up the corporate ladder. Although you may primarily be doing secretarial work, you’re also in contact with professionals at your company who may be able to help you get a head start in your chosen career, be it in publishing, advertising, law, or finance. In addition, you’ll learn how to behave professionally, get organized, and provide stellar customer service — and you’ll earn a pretty good paycheck in the meantime.

8. Brand Ambassador

Being a brand ambassador is a great way to get a “marketing” entry on your resume. Nowadays companies are hiring more college students than ever to promote brands to their peers. You’ll give away free samples and organize events and promotions while being paid in cash, perks, and swag. If the commercialization of campus life doesn’t bother you, you might be able to make a nice little supplemental income.

9. Bank Teller

Working at a bank is a great way for college students to get experience in the field of finance, albeit at a low level. Hours are often flexible, many bank tellers work on a part-time basis, and a degree is not required. Later on, you may also be able to advance your career within the bank.

10. Paid Intern

Never underestimate the power of an internship. I know of many college students who interned at a company in their field of study and went on to be hired full-time at that company. In competitive fields, this may be one of the best ways to gain connections and get your foot in the door in your profession. Unfortunately, many internships today are unpaid, but often, the learning experience is worth it.

What job did you have in college, and how did it help you?

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Guest's picture

I worked as at my university's gym. It was a great way to network with the faculty that came in every day while getting a decent wage. Another opportunity you may want to consider is becoming a research or teaching assistant. While you might not get paid, you can do them for credit and they're a great experience that will stand out on your resume.

Camilla Cheung's picture

Thanks, John! Being a TA is definitely a great way to offset your expenses (especially if you're in grad school)!

Guest's picture
Ocell

I seriously think that internships should be #1 on this list. They support you financially while helping you in your field of study. Work teachings you FAR more than the classroom ever will. I worked several internships throughout school, and as a result my resume was loaded with experience before I graduated.

As far as unpaid internships, I've never felt that anyone should accept one unless it is a foot in the door at a dream job. And, there's debate about the legality of unpaid internships:

http://moneyland.time.com/2012/05/02/the-beginning-of-the-end-of-the-unp...

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/03/business/03intern.html?pagewanted=all&...

Camilla Cheung's picture

Hi Ocell,
This list of jobs is numbered for ease of reading -- I never meant to imply that one job is better than another. You make some great points though!
Camilla

Guest's picture

This article was very informative. It gives college students that read this article hope that they can still earn extra cash while attending their university.

Guest's picture

Nannying is the perfect part-time job for anyone who likes (or can at least stand) kids. Not only do a lot of families pay quite well, but you can make money just playing games, helping with a little homework and cooking some food. I did this throughout college to make some money, and it was the perfect way to put some extra cash in my pocket!

Guest's picture
Amin Ali

Getting an on-campus job at my university's career center worked out well for me. Not only was I given a raise and a promotion within six months, I was able to get access to MBA/Graduate career counselors and given the opportunity of assisting and interacting with employers.

Getting advice from the graduate-level career counselors and face time with employers and their recruiters, I found out information that was not advertised or available online and this allowed me to get a full-time offer without prior industry experience or industry-related internships.

Glad I found this website and a really useful and informative article!