Is college fun? Sometimes. Is it incredibly stressful? Absolutely. And when finances are the source of that stress, the cortisol spike is the nasty gift that keeps you from focusing on what’s most important: your classes and activities and building the relationships that will carry you with aplomb into adulthood.
Here are 15 cool online jobs that require no experience and are flexible, remote-based, and (possibly) career-building.
Why keep your light under a bushel? Share your skills with the world!
For some of you, that might mean helping students study for a standardized test. Others could dial into their ability to speak a foreign language. Do you love to exercise? There’s a market for that. And if you can play an instrument or solve differential equations with your brain tied behind your back, there’s a student out there for you just waiting to soak up shared expertise. Here are some online jobs for college students with no experience that simply require a bit of subject knowledge:
Possible online tutoring opportunities include:
1. Test Prep
ACT, SAT, LSAT, GRE, GMAT, MCAT, AP. If it has an acronym, there’s a market for online tutors. There are countless tutoring companies out there looking to hire part-time tutors. Varsity Tutors, for example, hires tutors as independent contractors. You can enjoy a flexible schedule, flexible location, and higher pay than you’d get waiting tables. Generally, having prepped and taken one of these tests is enough to get your foot in the door, and your client base will increase based on the quality of your classes.
2. Private lessons for sports skills
If you’re strong academically, that’s great. But don’t overlook the market for other types of private lessons, such as youth athletics.
3. Physical fitness
Group exercise instruction requires training (such as the AFAA), but the barriers to entry are low – provided you’re physically fit. Many colleges have group exercise classes in their rec rooms as well as college courses that you can take that will take you to becoming a certified group instructor. Check with your college or university for this course or how to become a group instructor at your university.
4. Foreign language
Help others with grammar, idioms, and more – whether for an upcoming exam or for kids just learning a new language. Teaching English online is a huge market and there are some companies that hire native English speakers without college degrees such as Lingo Live and Preply. Because these are online jobs for college students with no experience, you should double-check that the English training company does not require a 4-year college degree.
Just like the others on this list, Zoom and YouTube work great for private tutoring and recording lessons for a broader audience. For those who are musically-inclined, this can be a great job! You can take this masterclass to learn more about how to get students.
Monetize hidden creative talents on Etsy or eBay
It isn’t easy to make a steady income by marketing creative skills but it can be done. Consider supplementing each of these options with an affiliate marketing relationship so you can monetize your talents faster. And – publishing longer content on sites such as Medium can help you build your audience! These are the best online jobs for college students with no experience but that do require some sort of skill or hobby worth sharing with the world:
6. Personal stylist and personal shopping
If you have an active Instagram or Pinterest following and love fashion and beauty, consider offering virtual styling sessions or makeup tutorials. As the holidays approach, you can expand your offerings to include personal shopping – this is a big potential moneymaker as many shoppers could stay home from the stores because of the coronavirus pandemic, and you can build a following by helping clients save money by using browser add-ons that automatically source coupons and discounts.
Turn that talent for making your own *insert product here* into cold hard cash by establishing a crafting business on Etsy. From holiday ornaments to custom t-shirts to window treatments, Etsy is a tremendous income resource for many creatives. Check out this guide that shows you, step-by-step, how to make money on Etsy. For proper motivation, this woman makes $1 million per year selling knitwear on Etsy..
You could consider starting your craft business in high school, making the question of what to do after high school seem that much easier.
A word to the wise: starting a blog is hard work and takes long-term dedication. Nevertheless, if you have a gift for writing and photography or video – and you have a strong voice and point of view – blogging can lead to a nice income stream. Choose your audience wisely – for example, if you have a talent for working with kids, tailor your YouTube tutorials and lessons toward their interests while also appealing to their parents (who will foot the bill for the lessons).
9. Make a market selling used goods
If you have a gift for sourcing undervalued merchandise, sell it for a tidy profit on eBay, Poshmark, The RealReal, or other reseller platforms. Start by shopping your own closet for pieces to sell, and memorialize the process on social media for easy audience outreach.
10. Photography, illustration, graphics, and videography
It’s not just portraiture – the market for still and motion graphics is huge and easy to reach online. VSCO is a popular platform for creatives but you can also upload work to stock photography services such as Shutterstock and Getty. Read this person’s story on how they sold their first photo on Shutterstock within 10 days.
Join the Freelance Workplace
For a more reliable income that still nourishes your desire for flexibility, look no further than websites such as Fiverr or Craigslist. Like virtual tutoring and creative pursuits, making money as an online freelancer means tapping into the right marketplace.
11. Copywriting and editing
Explore the opportunities on freelancer platforms and you’ll find a robust need for proofreading, line editing, and broader storytelling strategy skills. It’s easier to find high-paying work when you have a deep portfolio, but these sites will give you an opportunity to build clips and develop relationships. You can find great opportunities for copywriting and editing on Upwork or Textbroker.
Do you have thoughts and opinions and a web connection? From site design user feedback to filling out surveys for cash, you can earn quick bucks by sharing your opinion. Nerd Wallet perfomed a case study on taking surveys and which platform was the best experience.
13. Social media management
Isn’t it great when a business has an active social media presence that includes prompt replies to customer comments and DMs? If you’re comfortable on social media, businesses can use your help.
14. The side hustle
If you’ve ever bought products at a home shopping party, you’ve witnessed the side hustle in person. Tupperware, Longaberger, Stella and Dot, and Rodan + Fields are just a few of the brands sold by “party” hosts. Just beware of pyramid schemes that rely on its “employees” to buy the products or recruit others to make money. Read more about how to spot a pyramid scheme here.
15. Become a (micro) taskmaster
Microtasking is an easy way to make money quickly. And though it’s not as lucrative as other suggestions on this list, getting work is easy and the barrier to entry is low. What’s a “micro-job” you may ask? This is pretty much any task that you may be asked to perform on a one-off or continual basis that is booked online. These tasks may include, but are not limited to, babysitting, watching a dog, running errands, cleaning, helping with website design (the list is literally endless). This is a perfect job for college students with no experience, some of which can be performed online, some in-person.
Long story short, there are countless ways for college students to make money online without any experience and on your own time. The keys to success are determination to succeed and a willingness to bet on your own strengths. Happy hunting!
Lisa Bigelow writes for WiseGeek and is an award-winning content creator and mom who learned way too late how to save for college. In addition to TestPrepNerds.com, Lisa has contributed to OnEntrepreneur, Finovate, Finance Buzz, Life and Money by Citi, MagnifyMoney, Well + Good, Smarter With Gartner, and Popular Science. She lives with her family in Connecticut.