Balancing school and work with a side hustleIn the not-so-distant past, higher education changed significantly as a result of new internet technologies that permanently altered the classroom experience. In what seemed like an overnight transition, universities began offering accredited, online programs that made obtaining a degree more manageable for working mothers, active duty military and established professionals alike. Grantham University is proud to have been at the forefront of that transition.

Fast-forward to present day and we find history repeating itself! Thanks to rapid technological innovation, a new wave of opportunity is reshaping the American workforce – ushering in an era of convenience and income potential for the otherwise unemployed student.

It’s called the “gig economy,” broadly defined as freelance jobs and other types of temporary work – all ideal for students. Also known as the “side hustle,” the gig economy offers complete flexibility for busy students to manage their coursework and life’s commitments on their own terms.

Exploring the Side Hustle

More working adults and students are successfully breaking away from the traditional mold of 40 hours a week at the same job. According to a recent Forbes.com article, freelancers are set to dominate the American workforce by 2027. And there are several types of side hustles you can pursue while attending school and juggling parenting or personal obligations. Most of these jobs are simple to perform and let one work as much or as little as needed.

Grantham University has many students with a wide variety of career aspirations. These students come from all walks of life and attend class from all over the world. Even for someone with a full-time job, Grantham’s 100% online courses and around-the-clock tutoring make it easier to pursue a degree.

If you’re interested in controlling your school and your work schedule, here are some proven side hustles you can manage as a student:

1.) Ridesharing. Uber and Lyft are the two most common ridesharing apps people use to get around town. Ridesharing services allow just about anyone with a clean driving and criminal record to take advantage of this money-making opportunity. During peak times, drivers can earn more than $30 an hour! And you can turn these apps on and off any time you want. So, if you have a few hours before picking up the kids from school, throw the car seat in the trunk and earn a few extra bucks. If you live in a bustling city or college town, you’ll find sporting events, conventions, concerts and other activities that draw big crowds in need of a ride from A to B.

2.) Reselling from garage sales. Ebay, Amazon and Craigslist offer great ways to earn extra cash. Whether you have your own online store and ship nationally or focus on reselling items locally, you should take advantage of garage sales. That old cliché about “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure” is often proven true with garage-sale reselling. Look for older toys prized by nostalgic adults, such as these from the 1990s, which can fetch big bucks from collectors.

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3.) Airbnb. Do you have a spare room in your home or travel often? Turn your place into an income stream by renting through Airbnb. There are people everywhere who prefer this service to traditional hotels or motels, and it provides great flexibility for hosts. Rent out your room for as many days as you’d like each month, possibly even to students who are interning or performing residencies for a semester or less.

4.) Consulting. There are countless examples of women who decided they wanted to work more hours from home while continuing their professional passions at the corporate level. More often, businesses are seeing the benefits of the gig economy for their own purposes. If you have professional experience in a particular field — such as advertising, engineering, data-entry or information technology — you may be able to market your skills to companies seeking help from freelancers.

5.) Freelance writing. If you have strong writing skills, freelance writing gigs are another simple option to earn extra money. Anyone can sign up to write for UpWork, TextBroker and BlogMutt. Potential clients post jobs that cover every type of subject imaginable. You can find writing assignments about education, law, advertising, current events and more. These assignments can often be written from home while the kids play, or in-between your online coursework!

In 2017, Intuit reported that the gig economy, which includes many of the side hustles we’ve listed, made up 34 percent of the U.S. workforce. If you want to join this growing landscape of opportunity, consider the best option for your skills and lifestyle and take the first step!

Think of ways you can apply your professional experience and personal interests to side hustles that allow you the freedom and flexibility you desire. As a result, you can be happier and make extra money, while earning a college degree online at Grantham University.

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