Your goal of graduating with a degree means taking a full load of classes, being committed to writing term papers and studying for exams but does it also mean being broke too?
There are so many side hustles for college students to earn extra income and provide you with the flexibility you need as a full-time student.
But first, let’s double down on how to pick the right side hustle for you.
Why not pick a side hustle that will also earn you some real-life work experience towards the field or industry you may want to break into after graduation? A side hustle that could also jumpstart your career while adding valuable work experience to your resumé. That will really make it a win-win!
I share 21 side hustles for college students interested in exploring careers in marketing, writing, tech, business, education, and finance.
Ready to find out which side hustles could work for you and your future career?
Let’s get started!
Side Hustles for a Future Marketer
Side hustles to help you build your resume as a digital or content marketer.
Social Media Virtual Assistant
This role is in high demand with businesses and companies looking to grow their audience and presence online. Assistance with social media can cover a wide range of services, from developing a content strategy to writing and engaging with posts online. Do some job description research on LinkedIn for social media assistant roles. Find out which parts of these roles play to your strengths, skillset and work with your schedule. Then offer those specific services on Freelancer, a marketplace platform designed to connect businesses with talented individuals for part-time gigs.
Sell Social Media Templates Online
Do you have a knack for design and can you come up with creative ideas for social media posts? Then you can sell social media templates on Creative Market and use free platforms like Canva as your design tool.Creative Market is the go-to platform for creators to set up an online shop to sell their artwork and templates for commercial or personal use.
Sales Funnel Specialist
Creating a sales funnel through automation can be overwhelming for any business owner. The complexities and nuances of developing an effective sales funnel are the types of skills and information they would be willing to pay to get. Suppose you are the expert who can create an email marketing strategy or implement a seamless automation flow on a platform like Mailchimp or Convertkit. In that case, you can market yourself as a specialist on Fiverr. There are so many small businesses in need of your help.
Create a Social Media E-Book
You know the ins and outs of navigating a social media platform like Instagram, Tik Tok, or LinkedIn so much so that you could teach anyone how to set up and start growing their account. And the stats of your own social media accounts can demonstrate your success. Leverage that expertise by creating an e-book on how to replicate your process. E-books are a great way to monetize your knowledge, build your authority on a subject, and make a great case study on digital marketing—a triple bonus!
As a participant in market research studies, you will be paid for your opinion and feedback on products, services, and websites. This side hustle will help you develop your skills as an empathic marketer and is a fantastic work experience to add to your resumé. Check out User Interview; they conduct in-person or online interviews, and the average payout is around $50. Sign-up is free.
Bonus tip! Your college or university may have opportunities for paid research or focus group participation. Type your school’s name + paid research or focus group into a Google search to find results.
Gain Experience as a Writer
Side gigs that fit into your schedule and work samples to add to your writing portfolio.
Here are some examples of the different types of writing gigs that are looking to be filled.
- Resumé writing
- White papers
- Blog articles
- Technical writing
- Brochure writing
Upwork is an online platform designed to connect freelancers to potential clients. You can set up a profile and wait for potential clients to connect with you or be proactive and bid on projects that clients post on the site. It can take some time to build up your profile with some 5-star reviews (your best bet to get clients to notice your profile).
A big part of being a writer is researching. If you have excellent “Google” skills (searching for answers online), then Ask Wonder has a role waiting for you. Ask Wonder is a research company that works with top corporations that need help answering questions from their customers. They hire research analysts per project, so you are never tied down to a set schedule.
Being able to edit is a skill every professional writer should learn how to master. And the only way to master anything is by practicing over and over again. Proofreading involves being objective and analyzing someone else’s writing for spelling, grammar, and formatting errors. You can start training your eyes to edit documents in a flash by working with Proofreading Pal or Proofreading Services; both companies are looking for enrolled college students to apply to their programs.
Side Hustles Running Your Own Business
Side hustles that jumpstart your business development skills as an entrepreneur.
Sell on Etsy
Do you have a passion for crafting or get compliments on your DIY skills? Try selling your crafts online by setting up a shop on Etsy. This e-commerce platform supports homemade creators by allowing them to focus on their crafts without the hassle of maintaining a website or building an organic audience.
Sell on Instagram
You can get paid for being on Instagram. If you have a product that can be sold online, your IG account could be the hub where your customers can make a purchase. The first step to opening an Instagram shop is by changing your account from personal to business. Learn the six other steps to start selling on Instagram.
Consignment Selling on Depop
There could be cash waiting in your closet or even in your parent’s attic or garage. Reselling your clothes or vintage clothing has never been easier. Create fun and engaging posts on Depop to sell your apparel or accessories online. Listing is free, and there is only a 10% listing fee once an item is sold.
Side Gigs that Build Experience as a Tech Developer
Side hustles to earn extra cash and gain real-life work experience in the tech field.
Be an App Tester
The user experience can play a massive role in the success or failure of an app or website. This is why so many companies across different industries have teamed up with User Testing, a platform that gathers valuable feedback about a website or app. Get paid to share your opinion and experience as a user.
Code On the Side
Rent-a-coder is now on Freelancer. This platform was mentioned earlier as a way for talented freelancers to get matched with short-term projects. . You can actually get paid while you practice building your coding skills.
Toptal is another online platform that claims to represent the top 3% of freelance tech developers for clients. Don’t let that claim intimidate you and instead let it motivate you to work towards making it into the top 3%. Winning a gig from this platform could also provide a credible project for your resumé from a top-tier company.
A business doesn’t exist without a website (or at least without a landing page). But not all business owners know how to create a website or want to use a generic template. Your services designing customized websites and/or landing pages can be a great way to earn some decent cash, plus these sites become published examples of your work. Start offering your freelancing services on UpWork and work your way toward becoming a certified partner on sites like Wix, WordPress, or Squarespace.
Teach on the Side
Online side hustles to earn some extra income and an opportunity to develop your teaching skills.
Become a Tutor
Tutor.com is the perfect side hustle platform for college students who want to enter the education field. They accept applicants starting as sophomores (must be currently enrolled with a four-year degree program or higher) and only require a minimum five-hour participation a week. What a great way to gain experience teaching students one-to-one while getting paid.
Teach a Class
OutSchool is a learning platform that caters to students between ages 3-18 years old. The platform allows people to create their own lessons and offer admission to their classes online. Classroom topics could be traditional topics like math or English or how to play the guitar. This side hustle gives you hands-on experience while allowing you the freedom to teach on your schedule and create lessons based on your knowledge and expertise.
Cambly is an online tutoring platform that teaches students English and doesn’t require their tutors to have a degree. A perfect opportunity for college students to earn some money while gaining some experience teaching students from around the globe.
Get Paid Taking Notes
How would you approach taking notes if you knew what s you were writing down could turn into cash? Talk about inspiration to give it more focus and intent! This side gig is an excellent way to monetize your note-taking skills while teaching you valuable insights into how to translate college lectures into professionally-taken notes. OneClass pays students to attend a class for a semester and teaches them how to take notes that will be sold on their platform. They offer $470 per class.
Crunch Numbers on the Side
Earn money on the side while you work on financial projects.
Most business owners love what they do along with the services they offer, but rarely do they ever get excited about bookkeeping. If you love keeping the numbers straight, then offering your bookkeeping services on People Per Hour. The perfect website to find your next client and start building your professional portfolio. It’s a platform that creates opportunities for side hustlers like you to connect with professionals in need of some project-based work like bookkeeping.
Gain Credibility with Bookkeeping
Just because you don’t have a degree yet doesn’t mean you can’t get certified in bookkeeping. You can earn certifications on QuickBooks Essentials on platforms like LinkedIn Learning. And while there is a small investment ($29.99 per month) when signing up with LinkedIn Learning, the first month is free. Take the essential courses and post your certificates on your LinkedIn profile. That’s an excellent way to add value to your profile and potentially gain long-term clients in need of bookkeeping help. And remember these clients can also offer testimonials to your future employer!
So there you have it! The best side hustles for college students who want to break into careers in marketing, writing, business, tech, education, and accounting. Make your side hustle work harder and smarter for you by earning some extra cash and gaining work experience in your future career.21 Side Hustles for College Students to Earn Money and Real-life Work Experience