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When it comes to good jobs, college students are sometimes stuck in the middle.
While they're not quite qualified for many jobs that require a degree, students are typically smart enough to snag a number of other excellent positions. But given busy school schedules, the jobs must be flexible and part-time. That limits options. Thankfully, there are a number of great part-time, flexible gigs out there.
Here are some ideas for college students looking to work while at school:
1. Make others smart: Some colleges and universities have tutoring centers where students can find work as tutors. This not only looks good on a résumé, since you get to show expertise in a subject, but it's also flexible and may offer a good hourly wage. If you don't live near a campus and are an online student, look into tutoring from home via Tutor.com. Another option, if you want to help high school students prepare for the SAT, is tutoring for Kaplan.
2. Keep an eye on kids: Babysitting or nannying can be great for college students, since the hours can be flexible and the pay can be decent. Look into signing up on Care.com, a website where parents can look for babysitters. Or just ask around school. Professors and grad students are prime candidates for babysitting help.
3. Give them a jolt: Working at a coffee shop as a barista can actually be fun. You get to become friends with the regulars, enjoy a schedule that works around your classes and probably score some free coffee. Plus, if you work somewhere like Starbucks you may qualify for benefits as a part-time employee. Plus, you never know who you'll meet in a coffee shop: perhaps someone who will hire you after college.
4. Freelance writer: Got a knack for writing? Then get paid to do it. You can either run your own blog, (using a pay-per-click platform like Google AdSense, which pays when people click on advertisements) or freelance for a company writing articles, press releases, blogs or other copy. For the latter, you may find gigs at networking events, on Craigslist or on freelance job sites. The pay varies, but you often work whenever you want. This option could be perfect for journalism and English majors looking to gain relevant experience.
5. Know it all: Working for ChaCha, a company that gives real-time answers to questions people text or ask online, could be an interesting student gig. You can either become a guide, earning between 1 and 20 cents per answered question, or a transcriber (3 cents per task), who interprets muffled questions or transcribes phone questions into text. Questions can range from the practical to the absurd. The money can add up fast and you work whenever you want. In other words, it's a viable job for a college student.
6. Table service: Don't let the movie "Waiting" dissuade you: Waiting tables can be an excellent job that works around your school schedule. Plus, don't forget about the tips. Some waiters can really rake in the dough, which could come in handy if you want to pay off some of those student loans you're taking out before you graduate. To excel in this role, you need to have excellent customer service skills and be quick on your feet.
7. Campus tour guide: If you're an on-campus student, look into becoming a tour guide. According to U.S. News & World Report, "By showing prospective students, their families and alumni around university grounds, you'll no doubt improve your speaking and presentation skills." Build your résumé, build some skills and enjoy a fun, flexible job. Plus, you get to learn lots of cool facts about your school.
There are several fields that have great positions for college students. If you choose to work while in school, then landing one of these gigs can enhance your college experience. Plus, your wallet surely won't regret it.
Jon Fortenbury is an Austin-based freelance writer who specializes in writing about higher education. He's been published all over the place, ranging from the Huffington Post to USA Today, and first got published at age 10. Follow him on Twitter (@jonwrites). This article was originally published on Schools.com.
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