College is a time to prepare for your future career. With any luck, that degree you're working toward will land you a nice job to help pay the bills. But what about the rent, tuition and other expenses that are piling up right now?
Working part time while you're in school can ease the pain of being a broke college student, but that doesn't mean you have to take a mindless fast food job for minimum wage. The best jobs for college students are ones that will pay decently and give you something valuable to put on your résumé. These 10 jobs will boost your bank account and your marketable skills without getting in the way of study time.
Let's say you're really great at calculus or French, and you know a few people in your class who are really struggling. How can you capitalize on that? Charge for an hour or two of your time every week to work with them and help them improve. If you feel bad asking fellow cash-strapped students for money, you could also advertise at local high schools, offering subject or SAT tutoring: Parents of college-bound students will pay big bucks to give their kids an academic edge.
Almost every on-campus department needs an office assistant to help answer the phones, schedule appointments and keep files in order. It may not be the most glamorous or interesting part-time job, but what you learn there may come in handy down the road. It's a safe bet that if you're working a desk job after graduation, you can expect at least a small amount of clerical duties as part of your routine. Even if your future job doesn't require filing and spreadsheets, learning how to get and stay organized will be a huge advantage in any field you enter (and in the remainder of your college career).
Babysitting isn't just for middle and high schoolers. If your end goal is to work with children after college, reaching out to families near your campus that need child care can be a lucrative move. Working parents often need someone to supervise their young children after school until they get home from work, so if it fits your class schedule, you could probably get a steady weekday gig. Otherwise, consider sacrificing a few weekend parties in favor of kids' movies and board games to earn that extra cash.
Exercising is an important part of avoiding the dreaded "freshman 15." If your local or campus gym offers fitness classes like spin or yoga, sign up to become an instructor. You can squeeze in a workout, help fellow students get in shape, and get paid, all at the same time. This type of work environment can also help hone your people skills, a must in almost any future career path.
Campus tour guide
Being a campus tour guide requires exceptional marketing, leadership and people skills — something you're likely to see in a job description down the road. If you've loved your college experience so far, why not persuade prospective students to apply? As a tour guide, you'll show groups around campus and point out the highlights of academic and extracurricular life. You'll need to brush up on trivia and policy knowledge about your school to field questions from curious high schoolers and their parents, too. If you can handle that with confidence and a smile, this is the job for you.
If you're an upperclassman or graduate student, you can gain valuable experience in education and leadership by working as a teaching assistant (TA). In large seminar courses, a professor can't give individual attention to every student, so a TA can act as another resource or liaison to the professor. According to Yahoo, you'll need to take a training course and apply to assist a specific class that you have already taken and passed. Responsibilities often include taking attendance, grading tests and papers and holding office hours to meet with students.
You'd be hard pressed to find a college student without a laptop nowadays. With so many notebooks and tablets on campus, chances are a good percentage of them are going to crash or otherwise break at some point during the school year. If you're a techie who can fix these issues with relative ease, you can offer to repair your fellow students' computers for less than the campus IT department. This is a big résumé-booster for anyone looking to get into a tech-related field after graduation.
Every aspiring journalist knows that getting published is crucial to landing a great job. Larger media websites often offer paid editorial opportunities for individuals who can write frequently and well. Freelancers work remotely and usually get paid by the article, so you can get a pretty decent cash flow going if you can turn stories around quickly. Sites like Indeed are a great place to start looking for freelance job listings.
Attention marketing majors: A retail gig can amount to a lot more than ringing up items and folding sweatshirts at your campus bookstore. If you ever worked retail during high school, you know that this job requires attention to detail (got to watch out for shoplifters!), great customer service and a knack for persuading people to make purchases. These are critical skills in the marketing world, so a cashier position could actually be a plus when applying for jobs.
For those with a level head, good attitude and strong character, being a resident assistant (RA) can really have its perks. You'll get to know a ton of amazing students and, if you do it right, become a great problem solver and leader. Sure, there are late nights, harrowing situations and the occasional trip to the emergency room with an intoxicated resident, but most students who become RAs love the experience and do it for the rest of their time in school. RAs also usually receive free room and board for their work, so it just might be worth having to break up wild parties during your 2 a.m. rounds.