Updated: Feb 2
Is it possible to leap straight from graduating with a degree into working from home without ever entering a traditional office job? The answer is yes, and this is how.
When it comes down to it, students are really one of the best target demographics for remote work. Not only are they young, freshly qualified, and eager, but they're also already somewhat comfortable with the tech used to facilitate remote work every day. Working part-time or off-hours suits their busy class schedules, and they're able to build key work experience that is beneficial to them and the companies they are working for.
At the same time, they are facing "entry-level" or "junior" listings that require up to seven years of experience, "expertise" in tools that have existed only for a year or two or even worse, they are unpaid. So while remote work is a great fit for students, there is a significant barrier to entry that discourages most from even trying.
The good news is there are paying roles suitable for students and recent graduates that don't require a mountain of experience or that offer training at the very least. We've put together our list of the best online jobs for students below:
Working in online transcription is a good way to make money part-time while attending university. Transcriptionists typically listen to audio recordings or watch videos and then note down what the speakers are saying. This role requires excellent grammar and attention to detail, and a fast typing speed can be helpful too.
Other than that, this is a beginner-friendly line of work that typically pays on a per-hour basis. Some transcriptionists prefer to work through a platform like TranscribeMe or Rev, while others take on work through direct contracts with clients. It's worth noting that a private contract can be more lucrative.
Depending on the degree held and the location, another option available to students is to teach or tutor other people online. The pandemic has fueled online teaching, and there are several platforms hiring young people with qualifications to teach students across the globe. Many students start out by teaching English to international attendees, working from course guidelines set by the online schooling platforms.
These platforms are not the only option, however, with many tutoring directly via Skype. Cutting out the middleman cuts down on costs, although they need to field and find their own students.
It's important to keep in mind that online teaching may require agreement to a set schedule, and the majority of online teaching environments will favor those that have completed a degree.
For students and graduates looking to break into the SaaS industry, customer support is a low-hanging fruit that has great growth potential. Remote customer support typically consists of handling customer issues and inquiries via chat application, email, or phone. The most desirable traits in remote support people are good interpersonal skills and time management. Many remote support jobs can be done on a flexible schedule.
From customer support, students can work their way up into QA testing, programming, or other technical roles. Startups, in particular, are known for having employees wear many hats, and working in one is a good way to build varied experiences very quickly. For students that are already interested in tech and have done some hobby work in the past, this path has a strong trajectory. You may also find customer support specialist jobs with Jooble, a job aggregator that features listings in over 70 different countries.
There are some remote companies that offer remote internships, either valid for a few months or with the potential to lead to a full-time hire. Not all internships are paid, but there are a few select ones that are and can give students essential work experience while helping them build their professional network.
Internship options should always be vetted carefully for legitimacy and value. There are many fake listings and scams out there, and they can easily sway the untrained eye. The other thing to consider carefully is what value the internship offer. Will the student learn skills that will aid them in their career moving forward? Does the internship have balanced requirements, or are they looking for someone to work 60 hour weeks at a lower cost?
Remote internships can be in several different lines, although marketing and graphic design internships are the most commonly available right now.
The Best Time To Start Is Now
Working remotely as a student or recent graduate is a great part-time or full-time choice, but it's also a solid and long-lasting career move that is future proof. The recent pandemic has proven that the online work world has longevity in circumstances that often cause traditional industries to fold.
The best time to start finding remote work as a student is now. The chances are good there are transferable skills or experience that can be highlighted to potential remote employers. The best online jobs for students don't require an extensive work background, have the potential for learning and growth, and pay fairly according to the average salary for the role in question.
Desk To Remote has a special offer available to students looking to set up their resumes and cover letters for remote work. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to redeem!