North Central College students at work.

The Best Jobs for College Students

Kara Kots

Apr 08, 2022

Best Jobs for College Students

If you're an incoming or current college student thinking about working while attending classes, then you've come to the right place. Earning some extra income while in school is beneficial, especially if you can’t afford college, but so is staying on top of your studies. Read on to learn more about the best jobs college students can have while still being successful in school. 

Types of Jobs

Affording college can be difficult. From writing papers during the week to working during the weekend, more and more students of all ages choose to balance their studies with a job. Working a full or part-time job throughout college is no easy feat, however, it does yield some undeniable rewards. It can also be one of the first steps that helps you navigate how to afford an apartment in college. If you're looking to earn some extra money or start paying off some of your student loans, finding the best jobs for college students may be the right path for you. 

While finding an on-campus job may be the most obvious choice, it's not the only option. There are off-campus and online part-time jobs as well. No matter which responsibilities and hours you're ready to take on, there's bound to be an entry level job available for you. 


In today's digital world, companies continue to use technology in new ways. With this increased use of technology, more and more online jobs are being created. Now, students can work and earn money from the comfort of their dorm or home. Online jobs also give students who may not have access to a car in college the same opportunities. Keep reading to learn more about some of the good jobs for college students available in today's online job market. 

Freelance Writer

Looking for freelance jobs with flexible hours? If you're an experienced writer and enjoy writing in your free time, becoming a freelance writer could be a good fit for you. From blogs and websites to print publications, the opportunities to produce content are endless. As a freelancer, you have the freedom and flexibility to create your own schedule and determine your workload. Depending on each semester's workload, you can adapt the number of clients you take on and the time you spend working. 

Freelance Graphic Designer

If you're majoring in graphic design, becoming a freelance graphic designer is a great route to take. Nowadays, every company needs various branding and marketing materials, such as logos, packaging, and advertisements. These businesses are more than willing to pay freelancers to help design and create eye-catching materials. Down the road, a job like this will significantly pay off as the pieces you make can be added to your portfolio to show employers after graduation.

Social Media Manager

Today, social media is an essential part of every business and company. Without a social media presence, companies miss a tremendous opportunity to increase brand awareness and build relationships with their customers. With his need comes new positions to fill, such as a social media manager. If you have a passion for and experience in social media management, then this remote job would be a great position to apply for. 

You can also consider other college student jobs like virtual assistant positions, search engine evaluator, ESL teacher or online tutor, transcriptionist, and voiceover assistants. 


Often, the best place to start your job search is right on campus. No matter your major or interests, there are various work study job opportunities available for students, whether you're an undergraduate, graduate, or international student. To learn more about them, take a look at your college or university's website, attend a student worker job fair set up by career services, or simply ask a fellow student employee, professor, or staff member about the different campus jobs available.

Admissions Tour Guide

If you're well-versed in your school's history and enjoy sharing more about campus, then an admissions tour guide would be an excellent option for you. Often the face of the school, tour guides are responsible for hosting groups of prospective students and their parents visiting campus. If you have pride in your school, apply for a role like this and earn some money for it.

Orientation Staff Member

A crucial role on campus, orientation staff members help welcome and acclimate new students and their families to campus during Summer Orientation. As an orientation staff member, you also assist in preparing Summer Orientation activities, share more about the institution's traditions and campus culture, and work with staff in academic advising to help students through the course enrollment process. As a familiar face on campus, you may find yourself as a role model and resource for new students throughout the year.

Find out more about North Central College

Resident Assistant

A leadership role on campus, resident assistants (RAs) have the opportunity to leave a powerful and lasting impact, especially on first-year students. As defined, resident assistants supervise and assist other students who live in the same residence hall. They are responsible for the well-being and camaraderie among all students on their floor. While it can be a challenging role and, at times, a serious time commitment, these students typically receive a discounted or even free room and board as compensation.


Tutoring jobs are a fantastic way to make money as a college student. If you are very knowledgeable in a particular subject, you can see if your university is in need of peer tutors. As a tutor, you’d assist other students in understanding various concepts for subjects that they may be struggling in, as well as providing hands-on support for various assignments. Outside of making some extra money, tutoring also provides an opportunity to meet and connect with other students at your university.


If an on-campus student job is not for you, there's also the option of finding one off-campus. In most cases, colleges and universities have a good relationship with the towns and cities they're established in, with many employers offering employment to students. For instance, North Central College, located in the heart of the historic district of Naperville, Illinois, is just a few blocks from the downtown area. There are many restaurants, shops, and businesses in Downtown Naperville, where students can find employment.

North Central's campus is also a short train ride away from the city of Chicago, where even more opportunities are present. Location can make all the difference when looking for the best jobs for students. By having access to both Downtown Naperville and Chicago, both current students and recent graduates have a variety of options to choose from for work. Additionally, full-time students who may not have time to work throughout the academic year can find a summer job or internship that receives hourly pay or counts as academic credit.

Some off-campus employment opportunities include but aren't limited to:

  • Administrative Assistant
  • Research Assistant
  • Babysitter
  • Bank Teller
  • Barista
  • Dog Walker
  • Food Service Worker
  • Sales Associate
  • Server
  • Uber/Lyft Driver

Balancing work and study

In college, it's easy to be short on cash. Working a full or part time job while in school can help you earn extra money and allow you to add to your resume as a path to your future career. However, before jumping headfirst into the job search, be sure to have a clear balance outlined between job opportunities and schoolwork. College is a significant investment and an expensive one, too. That's why it's crucial to be prepared. Below are some helpful tips for finding and establishing the right balance between the two.

Set your priorities

Earning some extra cash is always great, but what about getting a head start on a class project or making time to hang out with friends? These are some of the things you'll have to consider when setting your priorities. When you think through which parts of your life are regarded as the most important, it will be easier to stay on top of what you need to get done. This preparation will ultimately pay off in the end as there will be less of a chance of you falling behind in your studies or work.

Communication is key

Once you have your priorities set, be sure to establish clear communication with those around you from the start. Christopher Drennan, associate director of admission/campus visits at North Central College, encourages "student workers to inform their supervisors about their studies and if they need time off to give as much advanced notice as possible." Clearly communicating with your supervisor and keeping them updated on your school schedule is imperative to find the support you need and not run into any conflicts. 

Know your limits

While earning more money or receiving resume-building work experience is nice, it's important to know your limit and not overwork yourself. At the end of the day, there's only one of you. To be a successful student and worker, you need to take care of yourself first. Be sure to give yourself enough mental and physical breaks to stay refreshed and rejuvenated. By giving yourself breaks, you will feel ready to take on what comes your way. If you're unsure about how to go about establishing a balance, ask a friend or peer to see what works well for them. This indication can give you a good starting point to see what would work best for you. 

With more students having a strong desire, and sometimes the need, to make an extra income, finding a job that allows you to be the best you can be in all aspects of your life is the end goal. To learn more about the various graduate assistant and student worker positions at North Central, visit the North Central job board.

Kara Kots is the social media specialist in North Central College's Office of Marketing and Communications. There, she contributes her content, writing, and communication skills. 



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