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Short on Cash? Here are 10 of the Best Jobs for College Students

Feb 10, 2021

Staying financially healthy while in school full time can be challenging. Thankfully, if you’re willing to work, there are jobs for college students out there. These flexible gigs work around your busy academic schedule and can even help you reach your long-term career goals.

Financial challenges look different for every student.

  • Some have a hard time making ends meet and need to work to stay afloat.
  • Others are looking ahead to their financial futures, working to start paying off debt early.
  • Many just want some spending money to go out with friends or do a little shopping.

Whatever the reason you want to find work as a full-time college student, the problem is the same. You want to prioritize academics. That’s why you’re here. But how do you balance that against your financial needs?

Types of Jobs for College Students

The answer is to find jobs that work for you, not the other way around.

Some of them might be on campus. In this environment, your employer is usually someone who understands the job is not your priority. They will demand professionalism, of course. They just won’t put too many demands on your time.

There are also many off-campus jobs offered by employers who prefer college students. Nights and weekends are often less of a problem for traditional-aged students. They are willing to train you if you’re willing to work for an entry-level wage.

If you qualify, you may prefer a job offered through the Federal Work-Study Program. This is basically money the federal government gives your school for the purpose of employing you. Jobs may be on- or off-campus and often involve some degree of community service.

The best jobs for college students are the ones that relate in some way to your field of study. If you can find something both flexible and relevant to your career goals, you’ve struck gold.

Below are 10 jobs for college students organized by areas of interest. Some of them are great resume builders in ways you might not have thought about before.

Arts & Communications

1. Social Media Assistant

Different types of companies, many of them small businesses, understand the value of having a social media presence but don’t have anyone to tend to their accounts. Your creative mind, availability and comfort with digital media make you an attractive choice to do it.

Social media is a part of the big picture of almost every company’s communications strategy today. Hands-on experience running it now will help you understand how social media relates to whatever you aspire to do in the future: graphic design, public relations, marketing, you name it.

2. Tour Guide

Your city’s visitor’s bureau, local museums and other cultural organizations – possibly your school – frequently need talented presenters and storytellers to host visitors. 

Presentation skills are key in any career in communication arts. The ability to create art or write a story is usually only half the battle. As a tour guide, you’ll get lots of practice bringing out the value of what others have created and communicating it effectively to others. 

Business & Management

3. Call Center Representative

Companies that make outgoing calls to customers, borrowers, patients, subscribers, etc., and/or provide a lot of customer service to inbound callers need people just about around the clock.

You can learn a lot about business by working in a call center. Selling products, solving problems, collecting payments – almost every piece of what makes a business work happens here. The skills you develop in an environment like this are almost universally applicable.

4. Rideshare Driver

Companies like Uber and Lyft depend on people who need to make a little money and want maximum flexibility. All you need is a vehicle and a smartphone to run the app to get started. Soon you’ll be transporting riders for quick cash. (You also have to be at least 21 in most cities.)

Uber and Lyft aren’t employers. They’re more like app service providers. When you become a rideshare driver, you really become an owner of your own business. It can be an invaluable experience to set your own goals, track earnings and file taxes as an independent contractor.

Technology

5. Campus IT Support Representative

Universities are full of faculty and staff who know how to use technology, but don’t necessarily know what to do when it doesn’t work properly. A few troubleshooting skills with commonly used devices is a valuable commodity on campus. You can often provide this service remotely.

Your future career in technology will involve more complex tasks than figuring out what’s wrong with screen resolution or helping people install software. But the logical process you develop – asking relevant questions, ruling out options and isolating solutions – will always be applicable.

6. Online User Tester

Software developers are always in need of users to try out websites and apps to make sure they work properly. Through platforms like TryMyUI and UserTesting, you can step up to perform tasks and provide feedback.

A quality end-user experience is essential to the success of any software. This experience doesn’t directly translate into development, but it’s useful to have an understanding of how testing works from the perspective of the people you’ll ultimately serve: users.

Education

7. Tutor

If you’re proficient in a certain academic area, especially math or writing, there are scores of students who could use your help. Your school might employ you to tutor classmates. There might also be opportunities off-campus or online to tutor grade school students.

One-on-one instruction is part of the job of a professional educator. So is coaching students to tutor others. These are highly relevant skills for anyone pursuing a career in education.

8. Nanny

Parents (many of whom are faculty and staff at your school!) are often desperate to find trustworthy people to help with childcare. College students are ideal. Whatever your availability, chances are local parents can use your help.

Discipline, homework help, making crafts, facilitating games, creating schedules and organizing your time are important skills you’ll hone as a nanny or regular babysitter. This is an important part of the skillset of an educator, especially a primary school teacher.

Medical Science & Healthcare

9. Home Health Aide

People with disabilities who live at home sometimes need professional care. More often, they simply need helpers. If you can prepare a light meal, transport them to appointments, lend a hand for physical support and do other simple tasks with grace and patience, you’re ideal.

Of course, these are tasks that healthcare professionals often do as well. You’ll be well ahead of your classmates as you move into clinical internships with experience as a home health aide. (Just ask ENC’s local hospital partner, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston.)

10. Clinical Trial Participant

Researchers are frequently in need of human test subjects for psychological studies, medicine trials, and a variety of other purposes. You can check a few websites to see what’s available in your area:

If you plan to become a medical researcher yourself, it helps to have experienced research from the perspective of a participant. You’ll have more empathy and a better sense of how to successfully administer the trial.

Get Help Finding Jobs for College Students (and Much More) at ENC

Financial stress is a major challenge for full-time college students. Here at Eastern Nazarene College, many students find the help they need to stay financially, physically and emotionally healthy through the Brickley Center.

As part of the ENC family, this is where you’ll get help that goes beyond finding you a job.

  • Career Services will help you connect your immediate financial needs to your long-term goals. This may mean a job to help pay the bills in the short term, or an internship opportunity that translates more directly into an exciting career path.
  • Counseling Services and Health Services are also offered through the Brickley Center, because we understand that we’re not serving “student workers.” We serve whole people. We’re here to help you live the most fulfilling life possible.

Come ENCounter people who care about you and work toward every aspect of your wellbeing. Check out Eastern Nazarene College today.