In the throes of the midterm election for 2018, Sean Flynn, as the Republican candidate running for the 31st district in the house of Congress, elaborated a disapproval of the current educational system. He suggested students should have the opportunities to weigh more in working experiences rather than academic pursuing since high school. The assertion raises the following question: How do you make money as a college student?
Recent research indicated that in a gig economy with an increasing trend for companies to hire independent contractors, more than 44 million Americans have side jobs.
Moreover, according to the census data in 2017, 52% of the college student pay their tuition on their own by working on average a minimum of 27 weeks a year.
The reason is that college students have the skills of using technology and knowledge to improve their working performance. Based on such facts, several job categories are recommended for college students to get a well-paying work.
1. Online Freelance
It is said that the demand for freelance workers has risen as online technology sharply developed in recent years. With the advantage of flexibility, college students could set up their own schedule for working without escaping classes.
A recent report unveils the fastest growing online job categories in the third quarter of 2018. According to the report, among those 50 categories, copy typing is ranked as the fastest-growing online freelance job in Q3 2018.
Besides, Social networking (page creator, general help with social networkers, etc.), Illustrator (graphic design, graphics editor, video production, etc.), and data processing are also popular choices. It conveys that while 27,948 illustrator jobs were posted in the last three months, there is a 7.29% rise in Photoshop Design, compared to the prior quarter. However, it is worth noting that the demand for statistical analysis experienced a decline of 26.30%.
The demand for jobs related to mathematics software such as Matlab even decreased sharper by 34.16%. Therefore, when considering which job category could be a better choice, the report suggested that it’s important for them to closely monitor the freelance job market then master related skillset.
Joshua Hammock, a college student of California State Polytechnic University, is a graphic designer working at ASI (Associated Student Inc.). He shows a firm endorsement when discussing work online as a freelancer because he is also a freelancer working as an online graphic designer as well.
“Without a doubt, if you want to make more money, you could work out of campus. From my personal experience, I do graphic design online, and I am allowed to take my own hours rather than just working on campus with limited hours a week,” he says.
“It’s a lot of freelance work so I am learning to offer a service like visual communication motion graphics photography and they would pay for it.”
He explains various networking should be managed in order to get more clients and let more people know his work.
“It is very important for me to have a business card. And it really depends on how often you put yourself out there and meet people. That’s kind of how people get to know who you are and what you do.
You just display your work on social media and attend some related conferences. It definitely helps because you could get insight from industry professionals and have a chance to freelance on them,” he mentions.
2. On-campus Job
It definitely won’t cover all the education fees for students who work on campus. But it will lighten the burden for families.
An analysis from Georgetown University reveals more than 70 million college students work while attending school over the past 25 years.
It is indicated that working less than 15 hours is beneficial for college students. Those who work more than 30 hours are more likely to get a C or lower grade on average, or even not to complete their college program. In this case, working on campus would be a good consideration.
One great benefit for students working on campus is that it gives a chance to connect closely with faculty and staff, who probably might become mentors, and it leads to a future internship. What is more important for students is to keep a watchful eye as often as possible career service in their college to get the most major-related job information.
“We have an abundance of openings here on campus, and we can actually help them with their resume. Once they have their resume completed, we could take back one of our peer mentors or counselors to help them, then reach out to different departments,” Lorraine says. She is a career counselor working in the career center in Cal Poly.
She emphasizes that they have to assure that students work on campus no more than 20 hours in order to keep their study as the most priority.
“Working less than 20 hours gives them the opportunity to focus on their studies.
We make sure that their studies come first… we focus on this so that they are not overworked and unable to focus on their studies.”
When I reach out to her, she told me that today is the job fair day on which many companies come to university recruiting students and offer internship opportunities. That inspired another solution for the college students to make earnings – Internship.
Most college students would find job opportunities to build up their resume so that they could find a full-time higher-paying job. Bryia is going to graduate next year, with a lot of internship working experiences. She learns mechanical engineering.
When I met her, she was talking to a relative company representative about her resume and career plans. She told me afterward that it’s very helpful for her to find a job because of her internship.
“College students usually look for on-campus part-time jobs. My preference is working off campus, which means internship. I got a tutoring job when I was in high school, but later on, I applied for internships.
It could lead you to become more professional on your major. I am working on my internship right now and that is relevant to my major,” she explains.