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The Best Ways for College Students & Recent Graduates to Make Money

Jun 29,2021

College students and recent college graduates frequently find themselves struggling to make money. Besides having to pay bills and tuition, and my students must learn how to adjust to the adult world.

As children, we play “make-believe”, acting like we’re older and pretending we have jobs. We imagine the realm of the “real world”. However, as the looming challenge of “adulting” quickly approaches, college students and recent college graduates are bound to feel the added monetary stresses of IRL (or as they call it) in real life, problems begin.

Acclimating to adult life does not have to be a Herculean task. Even with Covid-19 and the challenges of finding work and making money, we have found some of the best ways for college students and recent college graduates to make money.

The Hunt for the Perfect “Right Now” Job

Finding the right career post-graduation can often feel like a job itself. Searching the job boards, cruising the internet, updating resumes, and putting one’s best foot forward during countless interviews daily is exhausting. How does one accomplish this while also trying to figure out one’s own personal path?

During the 2-4 years of college, people are discovering themselves and determining what directions in life they want to take. However, students and graduates need to make money and a living during this period of self-improvement and self-discovery.

Students don’t need the perfect job. They need the perfect “right now” job. The perfect right now job satisfies these necessary requirements for all college students and recent graduates. Its hours are flexible, it is fairly stress-free, compensates fairly, and prepares you with possible development of skills.

Making Money

You struggle, study, and save through 4 years of high school to prepare yourself for the wonderful college years. The wonderful years of college are expensive. While grants and loans may be available during the academic years which will free you of some financial stress and time, unfortunately, you too shall find out the truth: it’s not enough to live on, and you need a job.


College courses are scheduled at all hours of the day and night and even weekends. College students are forced to schedule the rest of their lives around their course schedules. Therefore, when searching for a job, college students are going to need to seek a position that is equally as flexible.

Low Stress

For serious students, college life can be stressful enough. As assignments, term papers, thesis, and graduations loom in the future, the stress levels continue to build. Having a little extra money in one’s bank account will alleviate some of the stress levels, but only if one’s job isn’t adding to them.

While having employment is technically a “job” it also should be something one enjoys, especially if this may be a future endeavor. This is a time in life where one can find a job or try multiple different jobs and discover what they enjoy doing to make money or earn a living. Therefore, we suggest the “job for now” approach.

Making Money

With the “job for now” approach, students can try out several different jobs; each with different salary ranges. Part of being an adult is determining your own comfort zone for “way of living”. Upon this possibly startling revelation, the time may come to further investigate one’s future job and career endeavors.

Skill Development

Most students are majoring and studying a specific subject matter with a career choice in mind. However, studying the topic does not always give students the life skills or the experience one needs. Getting a job during college that is in the same field as one’s course study will provide students with skills development, giving them an added edge upon graduation.

Job or Career?

So how do students and recent graduates make money while being able to achieve the other goals? We researched and found many positions especially in the areas of hospitality, sales, education, finances, computers, and medicine; all areas which will are well paying, low stress, and provide excellent experience or could be developed into a career choice for any college graduate.

Several positions are more permanent and fall into one of the following categories and one can begin their search on school websites, newspapers, and bulletin boards. One can always advertise on familiar websites one’s wiliness to walk dogs, perform handiwork, clean houses, or babysit. People will pay ridiculous amounts of money not to have to do their own adult chores.

For quick daily money, most cities do offer “Day Labor”, companies pay (usually men) an hourly rate for mostly manual labor. All of these manual labor positions pay better than the average job, pay daily, and in good weather can be fairly steady.


One of the best fields to make good money at any age and stage of life is the hospitality field. This is a broad field encompassing many positions, often quite fun, and frequently many people choose to keep these as long-term positions.

This field includes the following positions for those who are “people-persons” to investigate: restaurant host, barista, bartender, restaurant server, hotel concierge, customer service representative.


While this is a very broad topic, the positions listed are primarily listed as positions requiring some training. On-site or online computer training is generally provided for such positions as – retail sales associate, grocery store clerks, telemarketer, trained cold-call sales.


before becoming a teacher, one should test the waters and try working as a substitute or a tutor. Kids seem wonderful until you find yourself stuck with 25 of them who all want their mothers at the same time. However, even if those two areas aren’t the perfect choice, one might consider these educational jobs – campus library clerk, swim instructor, writer, camp counselor, research assistant, nanny, fitness trainer.

Finances & Corporate World

The best way to learn about money, or if one is a business major, is to take a position in the finance world. Perhaps one wants to work in big business and be a part of the corporate world. Many jobs are available to college students and graduates who are ready to get their financial feet wet, including – bank teller, IT support, administrative assistant, receptionist, telemarketer, tax preparer.


The field of medicine will always be in high demand. If one doesn’t want to be a doctor or nurse or is studying on their way, these potential jobs may be of interest – nursing assistant, transcriptionist, lifeguard, senior caregiver, animal caregiver, dental receptionist, orderly, funeral home specialist.


Some other positions we came across that are frequently available and may be of interest as training or career opportunities include- line cook, driver (Door Dash, Uber, Lift – make good money and own hours), security guard, social media assistant, IT support, administrative assistant, parking attendant.


Making money and one’s finances are the two largest stressors for most Americans. When children play make-believe as adults, they are always happy. The harsh reality of Stressor Number 1 hasn’t shaken Imagination Land. The kids playing as mothers and fathers put on the show, they want to believe in.

As people enter college and prepare to graduate and the “real world” of adulthood emerges ahead, the necessities of making money gradually do sink in. However, we feel our suggestions for how students and graduates can make money while remaining flexible, stress-free, and developing work-related skills, can get them through the next stage of adult life.

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