Work study is often touted as a way for college students to limit their student loan debt, but the job opportunities available on campus typically don’t pay much — or do much for your resume once you’ve graduated.
If you’d like to find better paying work that also gives you relevant job experience in your field of choice, here are four job search platforms — three of them geared specifically for college students — that can help.
Launched in September 2014 as CampusJob, New York City-based WayUp claims to be the No. 1 online marketplace for college students to land jobs and internships. When employers create profiles and post jobs, they can be very specific about their needs, so that only qualified students see the job listing. Students using WayUp are notified whenever a job they might qualify for is posted. Students can apply for jobs they qualify for — in many cases with just one click — and employers can also search WayUp’s database and invite candidates they like to apply. WayUp also offers advice on choosing careers and landing a job on its blog.
CollegeHelpers.com might be described as the granddaddy of student job search platforms, having been in business since 2001. While the website is showing its age, CollegeHelpers.com works much like other online platforms, serving as a matchmaker by allowing students to search for jobs in multiple locations, and giving employers access to students at many schools around the country.
The biggest advantage of CollegeHelpers.com may be its ties to schools around the country — the company partners directly with colleges to help their students find jobs, and claims students from over 500 schools use the site. The service is free to students, and CollegeHelpers.com pays partner colleges 5 percent of its revenue. Fees for employers are also low — $15 to $30 a month per listing, depending on whether the company is for-profit or non-profit, and the length of time a job is listed for.
Job postings are categorized by state and school, and appear to be plentiful. Although many of the jobs are entry-level or menial — the most popular job types on the site include wait staff, cleaning, security, store help, painting, moving and landscaping — there are also more skilled positions for picky job hunters.
The newest entry in the student job search vertical, sweeps.jobs is in some ways more like a temp agency for college students looking for extra income. One attractive feature is that “Sweepers” — students who sign up and create profiles on the site — are guaranteed at least $15 an hour, and can be very flexible about when they work.
The downside is many of the jobs are very short term, and not something you’d put on your resume. Think housework, yard work, errands, and events. But there are also jobs for Web designers, graphic designers, writers, and tech experts. As the Sweeps website puts it, “We help people and businesses move, clean, at events, with yard work, build websites, braid hair, bartend, walk dogs, deliver breakfast, do research and …” Sweeps not only matches you with employers based on your skills, availability, experience, and reviews, but facilitates payments for jobs you complete. Sweeps is a North Carolina-based startup serving a limited market, but worth keeping an eye on if it’s not providing services in your area yet.
Although not designed specifically for students, there are plenty of jobs that undergrad and grad students are capable of tackling on upwork.com, “the premier platform for top companies to hire and work with the world’s most talented independent professionals.” Born out of a 2014 merger of Elance and oDesk, Upwork lets you join the “gig economy” by posting a profile listing your skills and desired compensation, and searching through thousands of jobs — many that can be performed remotely — that would be good matches.
While it’s not unheard of for employers to hire workers they find on Upwork full-time, you may find freelancing an attractive option even after you’ve earned your degree. A recent survey commissioned by Upwork concluded that 53.7 million Americans are now freelancing, and half of them say they wouldn’t quit to take a traditional job.
Matt Carter <firstname.lastname@example.org> is editor of Credible News. Follow us on twitter @Credible.