Just a few short decades ago, delivering pizzas was a prime job for college students. Well, it still is, but so are many of the other jobs in the gig economy. College kids are perfect for gig jobs, and gig jobs for college students are a perfect fit. Here’s why it works so well and how you can figure out your best college gig.
Why are gig jobs such a perfect fit for college students?
Most of us are pretty familiar with what gig jobs are, but in a nutshell, they’re those flexible jobs where people can set their own hours and availability. Gig workers can work for employers on a part-time, freelance, or flexible basis. So maybe the traditional pizza delivery job isn’t really a gig job, since that college kid is working for the pizza company directly, but for the kid working for Door Dash delivering pizzas, it’s a gig job. The difference is that the Door Dash deliverer works their own hours, but the pizza shop delivery person works the hours that the pizza shop sets. Another difference is that the gig worker won’t get benefits or paid time off, but they don’t have to ask for time off, either. They just work it into their schedules.
So why does gig work fit college kids so well? For one, college kids have kind of herky-jerky schedules. They may leave for a weekend or need to study for finals. They may come and go during summer or breaks, so it’s hard to maintain the consistency of traditional jobs. Sure, many employers who hire college kids understand this, but it’s sometimes difficult to actually execute the flexibility.
Speaking of college breaks, another benefit to gig jobs is that college students can have more than one gig job or work the same gig job in more than one location. You see, they can drive for Door Dash or Uber Eats in their college town and their hometown. They can pet sit for their profession in their college town and then for their next-door neighbor in their home town. One of the perfect gig jobs for college students is tutoring when they’re at home. Whether they have a traditional job at school or not, it’s easy to work a gig job for a few weeks at a time.
Gig jobs make perfect resume builders. Whether it’s hauling junk, driving Uber, pet sitting, or creating and selling stickers, these are great to add to a resume. Gig jobs for college students show initiative, accountability, drive, and creativity. You’ve got to get out there and find your business and be organized enough to make it work with your class schedule. So when otherwise holding a job may be difficult between classes, a gig job is perfect for not only the income it provides but the resume information it offers as well.
Benefits and longevity
Another reason gig jobs fit so well is that college kids don’t really need benefits. They are often on their parent’s health plans or they can be on one through their college. So they don’t need the benefits that traditional jobs offer. One last thing to mention is the longevity of traditional jobs. Gig jobs are often more transitional, but, well, so are college kids. All this being said, gig jobs are great for college students, so let’s take a look at some in particular.
Best jobs for college students
Remember, we are talking about gig jobs for college students here, so while there may be some other great jobs college kids can get, we’re all about the gig economy today. Arizona State University shares what we think are some of the best jobs for college students. They’re all part of the gig economy, and they’re all something that would fit well with a college student’s schedule.
This includes pet sitting, too. So many college kids have pets these days, and they sometimes need a dog walker or pet sitter. And there are professors and staff who kids can make connections with, too. People pay high dollar to keep their pets safe and happy. You might get a nice place to stay, too, if you delve into the pet sitting side.
Blog, vlog, influence, be an ambassador
These are all great side hustles for the student who loves social media. Start a blog or vlog and soon you may see that you’re making money from it. As an influencer or ambassador, you can get free stuff and discounts to the things you love. So even if you’re not making a lot of money, you’re not spending as much either.
Virtual assistant, task helper, driver
People are busy. Not everyone has time to run errands, clean house, grocery shop, or do laundry. If you like this sort of thing, there’s a whole gig sector related to it. From making appointments to picking kids up from school, you can help people out and get paid while doing it. Often parents want a driver on call if they have multiple kids who need carting around. Plus you’re accruing references for your resume.
Tutor (virtual or in-person)
Remember, you’re a college student. You must know something about something, right? And you are surrounded by college kids who may not understand things as well as you. You’re also probably in a community full of high school and younger kids who may need tutoring as well. So whether it’s basic science or organic chemistry, you probably have something to offer. People also pay quite well for tutors for their children.
It’s not just the grown-ups making the freelance world go round. If you have a specific skill, you can put it to work in the gig economy. Here are a few things great for college kids who have the skills:
- Translation work. If you are fluent in more than one language, look into translation freelancing.
- Audio and voice work. Do you have an amazing voice? Maybe some acting experience? Think about doing voice work as in audiobooks, commercial recordings, and voiceovers.
- Writing and editing. Are you the one everyone comes to for help on their essays? Do your roommates ask you to proofread their emails before hitting send? And you always get your commas right, don’t you? Then maybe some freelance work in the writing or editing world would be the perfect gig job for you. You may be surprised how much work is out there for you, from writing blogs to editing newsletters to scriptwriting.
- Video and photography work. You know those people who always have a camera on them (besides their phone camera)? They love recording events and play them back over and over. They are the ones to turn that into a lucrative gig job. Whether they work taking senior class photos or wedding videography, there is tons of work out there for a good photographer/videographer, especially on a college campus where there is always something going on. Think sports, clubs, classes, research, fraternity and sorority socials, the newspaper service orgs…the list goes on and on.
Part-time jobs for college students
The lovely thing about the gig economy is that college students can layer part-time jobs on top of gig jobs. For instance, maybe they can work in their department as a TA or in the library or dining hall, but they can also have a gig job like photography, on or off-campus. That gives them the stability and the connections of the traditional campus job, plus the autonomy of the gig job.
Often college students find that they can make much more money from a gig job, but the security of a part-time job is nice, too. But, when you think about it, the part-time job simply could be another gig job. Often students will have multiple gig jobs and use one as a money maker and one as a forward move in their career. For instance, the student who wants to be a professional sports videographer can make their money from the family portraits they shoot on the weekends but gain experience by working through their college as a freelance sports photographer. They may not make as much with that job, but they’ll get loads of experience.
How should college students find gig jobs?
The beauty of gig jobs for college students is that they are everywhere. Students can find delivery or driving jobs through their group chats. They can resell clothes and items on social media. They can sign up on local platforms to walk dogs or contact local elementary schools about tutoring. Keeping ears and eyes open is also key to finding and getting gig jobs. If you’re creative, start a business from your dorm room. Maybe you can sew – think of all the people who may need clothing altered, or maybe you love to bake – sell special occasion cookies from your college apartment kitchen. If you have the skill, you can have the gig.
Another great way to find gig jobs is on online platforms, like Bunny Studio. As we mentioned, content creation is a great gig, and we love our creative pros. Whether it’s with us as a creative pro (think voice, writing, translation, design) or another platform like tutoring or beta reading, there are tons of opportunities out there on the great big Internet.
Gig jobs for college students – the big takeaway
If you’re a college kid and looking to make some money, look to yourself first. There’s probably some skill, hobby, or passion you have that you can put to use. Even if it’s driving and listening to podcasts, hook up with Uber or a delivery service. Do you always stop and pet the dogs you see? If so, advertise as a dog sitter – maybe you’re professor needs one for his next weekend trip. And if you have creative juices running through you, check us out. We’d love to see what you’ve got. Who knows, your gig job could just become your full-time, post-grad career.