Best Remote Jobs for College Students and Grads (During the Pandemic)

On one hand, you may be a college student with a packed schedule in need of extra income. Or perhaps you’re a college graduate looking to start your career on a remote footing. We’ll cover the most promising options for both in this handy job-seekers guide. 

Unless you come from a wealthy family or you landed a lucrative scholarship, you’ll need to front the financial burden on your own. And that means getting a job. 

Whether you’re partway through your tertiary studies or you’ve recently graduated from a four-year degree, a remote position can help bolster your dwindling finances.

A remote part-time or freelance gig saves the college student valuable time on their commute, which they can spend hitting the books instead. And for the graduate, landing a work-from-home internship or entry-level position is the perfect way to kick-start your career. 

So what are the best remote jobs for time-poor college students or aspiring young grads? 

The Best Remote Positions for College Students

Most college students already study full-time, thus doing full-time work as well is far from ideal. It’s theoretically possible, but you’ll suffer severe burnout and compromise that coveted GPA.

With that in mind, the most appropriate remote positions for students are either freelance or part-time. These give the worker sufficient time to study for exams while earning extra cash and gaining valuable industry experience. 

Tutoring

If you’re something of an academic whiz kid, you can harness your scholastic prowess by doing some tutoring on the side. Remote tutoring opportunities abound across every conceivable field, but it’s wise to focus on your area of expertise. You can earn a considerable amount of extra cash teaching fellow college students or high school kids, either here in America or anywhere in the world.

If you’re not yet confident enough to educate others in your chosen field, Teaching English as a Second Language (TEFL) is a viable alternative. There’s high demand for remote TEFL teachers right now, and the only cast-iron requirement is to be a native speaker (many platforms except workers part way through a degree).

Tutoring commands a respectable hourly rate and offers a flexible schedule ideal for college students. Just remember you’ll need a quiet, distraction-free workplace—forget about using a noisy college dorm. 

  • Median Salary: $25.30 USD per hour
  • Flexibility: High. But you may have to work late nights/early mornings when tutoring overseas students. 
  • Apply at: Varsity Tutors or VIPKid (TEFL)

Freelance Writing

College students get plenty of practice forming well-structured sentences in their essay-writing endeavors. So why not transfer these skills into the remote work realm? 

Freelance writing is a fully remote position where the worker sets their own rates and schedule. The freelancer seeks out clients and takes on appropriate writing assignments, pumping out content in their spare time. A college student can pad out a portfolio with their best academic essays and spruik themselves as an expert in their chosen field. 

But it’s a hard slog at first: lucrative gigs can be tough to come by without a proven track record. Also, avoid taking on too much at once because missed deadlines are a sure-fire way to dwindle your client base.  

  • Median Salary: $22.99 USD per hour
  • Flexibility: Hig. You can create content in your free time or after class. 
  • Apply at: Upwork or ProBlogger

Website / App User Testing

Businesses pay good moola for everyday people to test the usability of their websites and apps, and the gig doesn’t require any technical knowledge or experience. Best of all, it’s an entirely ad-hoc/part-time position, the perfect side hustle for college students seeking extra cash.

The job has you navigate a website or application and verbally document the experience, commenting on what works and what doesn’t. Developers then use this information to enhance the usability of their product. 

On the downside, this sort of work won’t make your CV shine, and the workload is famously unpredictable. 

  • Median Salary: $10 per website (testing takes 10-20 minutes)
  • Flexibility: High. You choose which assignments to take on. However, jobs may be sporadic or limited.  
  • Apply at: TryMyUi or UserTesting

Virtual Assistant

Highly organized college students can provide administrative support to executives after class. The Virtual Assistant (VA) is essentially a secretarial position undertaken entirely online. Everyday tasks span responding to emails, organizing travel, editing or proofreading documents, and fielding calls. 

Part-time positions are abundant, but you will need to be available during core business hours. Evaluate whether the schedule will suit your study commitments before accepting a position. 

  • Median Salary: $16.15 USD per hour
  • Flexibility: Medium. You need to be available during specific hours.   
  • Apply at: VANetworking.com or Vicky Virtual

The Best Remote Positions for College Graduates

As a budding young grad with a brand spanking new degree in hand, you’re ready to dive headfirst into a full-time position.

But alas, the college grad Catch 22 is all too real: you need experience to get a job and a job to get experience. This age-old conundrum is even more prevalent when it comes to remote work.   

While remote internships exist, they’re few and far between. Your best bet is to look for entry-level positions and use your stellar GPA to overcome your lack of experience

  • Pro tip: Try landing a freelance or part-time position to keep your motivation and finances in check until a full-time gig comes along. 

The following remote positions are suitable for college graduates in the relevant fields.

Developer / Programmer

Programming is the ultimate remote position, with a high degree of autonomy and lucrative salaries for devs with proven coding chops. 

But we won’t sugar coat it: the field is tough to break into, even with a college degree. Apply for as many full-time positions as possible while building up a portfolio of freelance gigs to prove your mettle. Although expensive and arduous, coding boot camps add extra oomph to your CV. As a junior-level developer, you’ll need to do some groundwork first.

If the going gets tough, you can always look at in-person positions then use that experience to segue into a remote job. 

Graphic Designer

If you’ve graduated with a bachelor’s degree in graphic design or a related field, then you could score an entry-level remote position straight out of college. With marketing moving further into the digital realm, there’s plenty of demand for graphic designers, both seasoned veterans and newcomers such as yourself.

Focus your efforts on small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) offering low-paid grad positions, then work your way up. Maintain an online portfolio to flaunt your snazziest college assignments or freelancing gigs.

Digital Marketer

Whether you’re an up-and-coming SEO guru or a sly social media specialist, digital marketing is a superb career for anyone interested in remote work.  An advertising degree will help you get your foot in the door, and there’s a wide array of companies out there offering work-from-home positions.

Remote entry-level jobs won’t pay fat stacks of cash, so expect to live frugally until you’ve got experience under your belt. If you struggle to score a full-time gig, try freelancing on the side to build up your CV until something comes along. 

Digital marketing is only going to get bigger as advertising budgets shift further into the online space. Get in quick before everyone else does. 

The Final Word

College students crave fast cash to cover living expenses and the flexibility to work around lectures and tutorials. For the college grad, a full-time position in their chosen field is the Holy Grail for fast-tracking a fulfilling career.

We’ve covered some of the top remote positions for both students and grads to help streamline your remote job search. Good luck with those applications, folks.  

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