With school fees, transport costs, and money spent on daily necessities, it’s no surprise that a student’s financial load can easily rack up into the thousands.
The problem is worse when you realize that most students don’t have full-time jobs or a steady source of income. Instead — wealthy parents aside — many university undergraduates get along with the help of a hefty student loan and make do with a meagre monthly allowance.
In such a situation, you might be tempted to take part-time jobs in your free time to make ends meet. This is especially if you want to take extra classes on the side to learn english or brush up on important skills for your future job. If that’s you, you’re in the right place! Here, we list four of the highest-paying jobs for students to consider and what you need to get started.
1. Monetise your skills as a freelancer
Whether you’re good at making videos, cooking, writing or making music, it’s likely there’s a demand for your skills — so why not try seeking out a gig or two? Ideally, the freelance jobs you seek should be somewhat aligned with your strengths anyway, so putting them to use can be a way to bring in some much-needed cash.
The great thing about working as a freelancer is that you work on your own schedule, on your own terms. You decide what jobs you can take, and are free to say “no” to jobs you feel are too time-consuming. This makes the freelancer role perfect for students, who have to juggle work with a study schedule, not to mention a social life.
It’s also easy to get started as a freelancer. Once you’ve decided what kind of jobs you want to do, simply get on a freelancing platform. Most people use social media channels like Instagram or LinkedIn where potential clients may be on the lookout to connect. However, while these channels are indeed accessible, it may take some time for your new profile to get noticed, so be prepared to wait out a lull period!
If you want more direct access to networking and connecting with potential clients, skip the social media and go straight to a freelancer platform like Fiverr. These platforms are great because clients are always there on the prowl for freelancers. Simply make sure your CV and portfolio are updated, that your rates are in line with the market rate, and you’ll get a job in no time.
2. Starting an online business
Be warned: this route of working may not help you earn your keep from the get-go. Instead, this is a good option for those who don’t mind putting in lots of effort now and reap the rewards later on. Just look at the success stories. From starting a camera-cleaning company to selling sneakers online, setting up a business can take anywhere from weeks to months, but if it works out, there’s no doubt that it will be well worth it.
There are common misconceptions that you’ll need tons of starting capital or years of business experience to get started on your own online business. While having certain experiences and resources may be helpful, the truth is that you can always start with what you have on hand. What you do need, however, is tenacity and grit to see your business through. You’ll need discipline as well to maintain it and keep it growing.
Once you have these qualities and the right mindset approaching this, don’t be afraid of failure. Look at areas you are interested in and identify gaps in the market that you can fill, be it a product or a service. You can even follow your own passions, such as opening an online bakery or selling second-hand clothes.
A protip is to make use of whatever platform you can to establish and promote your business. Instagram, for example, is a hot spot for many small online businesses to sell their products and services.
3. Giving private tuition
Undoubtedly, giving private tuition is one of the most lucrative jobs a student can take up. Undergraduates can easily charge between $30 to $40 per hour, if not even more for subjects that are more complex or difficult.
You might be sceptical if students like yourself can fetch such high rates, but the fact of the matter is that it’s still more affordable than if customers were to go for professional tutors or tuition centres. The convenience that you can bring to the table — including going to their homes and getting materials for them — is also a huge draw.
That brings us to the next question, which is how you can find customers to begin with. Well, the first step is always to brush up on your own knowledge and skills, depending on which level you intend on teaching. It’s important to be well-versed in the syllabus and course content, regardless of if you’re teaching a primary school student or at a tertiary level.
Once you’ve decided what subjects you want to teach, you can start advertising your services. The easiest way to go about it is to use word-of-mouth. Ask your friends and family members to help you spread the word that you’re looking for tutees. Chances are, someone will know someone who needs a tutor.
If there are no hits from your own network, you can also consider advertising online. Of course, you should aim to make yourself seem as reputable as possible to gain the trust of potential tutees and their parents. This includes dazzling up your profile with testimonials, your credentials, and even your own past-year results as proof.
4. Becoming an accredited insurance agent
You might have seen many undergraduates pursuing a financial advisor role and wonder why they choose to work in that field at such a young age. Well, the short answer is that it’s one of the most well-paying jobs on the market today! Many insurance companies, for one, are actively on the hunt for students to join their teams and offer lots of benefits and work packages. Some students are even able to earn thousands per month with these packages.
However, to get there, you need to pass several tests to be qualified. For one, you need to complete a number of papers that test you on your knowledge on the rules and regulations that oversee the financial sectors in Singapore. It costs about $400 if you take it on your own, but the insurance company you’re joining will often take up that cheque if you promise to stay on with them. After that, you’re an official representative! You can start your sales and earn large sums of commission, even as a student.
To conclude, there are actually many well-paying jobs out there for students. Just don’t be afraid of trying new things you’re not familiar with — and these jobs will prove to be not just money-makers, but valuable learning experiences you can tap on in the future.