It is said that over 80% of engineering graduates in India are not employable. A lack of workable skills and practical experience is often cited as the main reason. And a sure-shot way to not fall into that category is to take up an online work-from-home job.
It doesn’t matter if you are still studying or if you have already graduated. The key is to look out for postings of online jobs from home for students and apply. The benefits are plenty: professional experience, skill sharpening, better employability, and income generation.
The current lockdown situation in India is a great opportunity for aspiring graduates and degree holders in India to start side projects. Take a few hours out of your schedule every day to search for online jobs that you can handle along with your graduate or postgraduate studies.
Best Online Jobs from Home for Students
Here are 17 of the best work-from-home jobs for students. Some of these freelance jobs will require you to learn and master certain skills but they will also pay better.
1. Subject Coaching
There’s this story of a tree owner who traveled around in search of food to fill his stomach. He didn’t realize that the tree that he had planted and now was taking care of could also bear edible fruit. By the time he came back, all the fruits had fallen on the ground and were now rotting.
The story is similar about graduates looking for online jobs. You are searching for an easy job when you have a job ready in your backyard. The job of educating someone else.
As a graduate or postgraduate, you can be a source of golden information to undergrads, pursuants, and students who are finding it difficult to pass exams. Imparting your knowledge to the juniors of your own institute can work wonders for your secondary income generation. This is because the students will trust you more than other educators, especially if you have colourful marksheets of previous semesters to showcase.
You don’t have to aim high and compete with coaching classes (not that you shouldn’t). Start small by letting your juniors know that you can take online classes and help them clarify concepts and doubts. If you have a good rapport with your former teachers, share this venture with them so that they can spread the word too.
Additionally, this is a massively popular online job right now due to the rise in both demand and supply of online tutoring.
Skills Required: Knowledge on any subject (e.g.: Java programming language, power electronics, micro-economics), basic teaching skills, technical writing.
Earning Potential: INR 500 to INR 5,000 per month per pupil.
Where to Start: Your academic books to brush up on concepts. Your college WhatsApp groups to share the news about your venture. You can also check out Khan Academy, Byju’s, Ques10, and Toppr for leads as part-time online tutors.
2. Freelance Writing
One of the easiest and most unintrusive professional activity for college students is to take up freelance writing. It can be of any form: web content to advertisement to technical composition. The aim is to put your writing skills and subject knowledge to use to earn some money on the side.
For example, if you are a computer science engineering graduate from a national institute in India, you can explore technical content writing gigs. Topics such as data analytics, artificial intelligence, and machine learning are in great demand with educational and corporate businesses looking for writers from these fields.
However, this is a highly competitive market. The COVID-19 situation has only worsened it where professional writers have also moved to online jobs. Do not go in with huge remuneration expectations. Beginner writers may be paid less than 20 paise a word in the Indian freelance writing market.
Skills Required: Writing, Word processing, good command over the English language, technical subject knowledge.
Earning Potential: Up to INR 1,000 per day working part-time.
Where to Start: Sites like Upwork.com, Freelancer.com, Fiverr.com, and QuillBridge. Searching on online forums and WhatsApp groups may also help.
3. Social Media Management
How would it feel to cut down your social media time by half and use it to earn some quick money? The feeling would be great because you would earn money to do something that you anyways do as part of the entertainment. That is exactly the idea behind this online job for college students.
Managing a social media profile for a business, a fledgling startup, or a person is largely about marketing. This makes it a perfect online job for marketing MBA graduates who can put their learnings to good use. The job basically involves knowing the entire landscape of social media marketing (SMM) and being up to date about the changes in a chosen platform.
For example, if you focus on Instagram as your preferred platform, you should know each and every thing about it. How to upload pictures, what type of filters attracts the most likes, how to write great captions, how to get a profile verified, etc. Going through online guides on these platforms will then help you.
But for a beginner social media manager, gaining clients may seem like a herculean task. Therefore, you should check out small startups and new companies looking for internet marketing help. The compensation will be low but at least you can rack up real experience.
This is similar to job #2 mentioned above where you can also depend on third-party freelance sites to pick up jobs to do from home.
Skills Required: Social media platform experience (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Reddit), writing, basic graphic design.
Earning Potential: Up to INR 20,000 per month.
Where to Start: Find a platform of your choice and learn everything about it from a marketing standpoint. Explore sites like Upwork.com to scout for relevant jobs. Here are some social media tools for an upper edge.
4. Data Entry Online Jobs from Home
Another common job that college students can take up today is in the field of data entry. Here the main aim is to transfer loads of data from one platform to another. It does not require much skills as you have to just stick to the guidelines set by your employer.
This will be a time-consuming online job so you need to plan your studies and activities accordingly. Set aside a couple of hours every day and get involved in data entry tasks. It may be reformatting a spreadsheet or transferring information from an online portal to a Word document. There are several types of jobs but the underlying theme remains the same: movement of data from one point to another.
Skills Required: Computer operation, Microsoft Excel, basic mathematics.
Earning Potential: INR 100 to INR 1,000 per day working for four hours.
Where to Start: Search for data entry jobs online on Google. Explore freelance sites for small jobs.
5. Closed Caption Remote Jobs
Ever wondered how subtitles (or captions) of a video that you are watching are made? It may be difficult to believe but those are typed manually and synced-timed to perfection. It is one of the fastest growing online remote jobs of 2020, naturally because of the boom in video content on the web. These captions exist to help both hearing impaired persons and for those who do not understand the spoken language of the video.
As a video subtitler, you will essentially be going through video content and creating minute-by-minute or dialogue-wise captions. It’s a complex task but can be extremely rewarding.
Skills Required: Language expertise (regional and foreign language experts are preferred), good typing speed.
Earning Potential: Up to INR 100 per audio/video minute.
Where to Start: Create closed captions for random videos on YouTube. Use them as samples to land part-time jobs at Rev.com.
6. Translation Services
A subset of the above online job, writing translated content is a great activity to engage in. Here you will need expertise in more than one language to be eligible.
In India, web content is slowly transitioning from English and Hindi to vernacular languages such as Tamil, Bengali, Malayalam among others. If you have fluency in any of these languages, you can very well become a translator. Regional language translators (English to Marathi, for instance) are in great demand these days.
The content can be for website, a blog, an app, or even a video’s script. You just need to translate by line without compromising on the meaning of the original content. If you think it’s as easy as translating sentences, you are mistaken. Translation can be a complex and back-breaking activity depending upon the type of content you are writing. For example, translating an Indian English article into its Marathi edition will be easy. But the same cannot be said about an English scientific paper which you have to translate into the same language.
Skills Required: Native or near-native fluency in at least two languages (preferably English and one regional language), writing, Word processing.
Earning Potential: Up to INR 25,000 per month.
Where to Start: Brush up on languages. Explore freelance sites for online jobs.
7. Freelance Graphic Designer
This is one of those online jobs from home that needs high amounts of skill training. You cannot become a graphic designer in a day just by going through Photoshop or Corel Draw tutorial videos. It will require weeks of training.
The work usually involves creating images for websites, blogs, and social media. On the side, you can also submit your creations to stock images sites like Getty Images to earn royalties. But for this to happen you need to be extremely good in digital designing.
Skills Required: Working experience in several designing tools like Adobe Photoshop, Corel Draw, InEffects, etc.
Earning Potential: Up to 1,000 per hour.
Where to Start: Learn and master at least one major designing tool. Create a portfolio online. Look for jobs on freelance sites.
8. Presentation Designer
It may be impossible to pick a college student out today who hasn’t made a PowerPoint presentation in her life. Every MBA, engineering, or science graduate has done some kind of presentation activity of her academic life. Was it for a technical paper presentation contest or a national-level science project?
And, this is a good time to put those skills into money-making elements for you. Professional presentation making is serious business in the corporate world and can earn you good amounts of money. All you need is a creative bend that allows you to put thoughts into a presentation slide that can floor its audience.
Some of the best presentations are those that are succinct, simple, and straightforward. And corporate companies will pay real good money for assistance in these tasks. You may have work with tables and graphs and pie charts, Gannt charts, and Sankey diagrams to make lively presentations. And if you have some formal experience in the presentation subject, it will be like icing on cake.
Skills Required: Working experience in tools like Microsoft PowerPoint (2019) and other presentation tools like Prezi and Google Slides. Knowledge of auxiliary tools like Tableau and Goole Data Studio will also help.
Earning Potential: INR 5,000 to INR 1,00,000 per presentation.Where to Start: Learn to use different presentation tools and master at least one of them. Search for jobs on freelance sites. Pitch your skills directly to businesses. Go through popular startup pitch decks for inspiration.
9. Audio Transcription
A remote online job similar to closed captioning and textual translation, here the task is to convert audio samples into written content. In audio transcription, you essentially listen to audio clips and write down the narration either in the form of dialogues or seamless content stretch.
The rise of podcast has turned audio transcription into a hot job. Every single podcast producer on the web is looking for a translator to convert their podcasts into written content. This content is then disseminated as short snippets on their blog or published as longform article.
In some cases, it is also used as a script for video production. This way, a single piece of content is replicated across different formats, giving more visibility to the author and her content online.
You’ll need a pair of good-quality headphones for this online job.
Skills Required: Language fluency, computer operation, writing and typing.
Earning Potential: Up to INR 100 per audio minute.
Where to Start: Rev.com is again a great place to start with audio transcription.
10. Product Testing (App and Service)
In January 2020, Delhi-based marketing trainee Shreedhar signed up for a private product testing gig. It was a startup based in Gurgaon that asked him to check out their product sample and provide objective review and analysis of it. The product was a pair of sweat-resistant socks.
Shreedhar wore the socks for 8-10 hours every alternate day for over two weeks. At the end of the testing period, he wrote down the pros and cons of the product and shared it with the startup. Not only did he get a few more samples for his entire family but also received a Google Pay money transfer of 2,500. This was just for testing the product and sharing his thoughts.
Such work-from-home remote gigs are time-insensitive and can really help you earn on the side. Even better are app and service testing jobs where you are supposed to find bugs and report them to the developers. You can earn in thousands doing such type of testing, without having to spend much time on it. The startup boom has only made this an increasingly popular work-from-home job for students.
You can also build your own side business out of reviewing products. All you have to do is start publishing detailed reviews (with photos) of each and every product you have bought from Amazon.in since you created the account. Once your reviews start getting upvotes, you can join Amazon’s prestigious Vine program and start earning free products. Of course, here instead of money you earn free interesting products. Some of these can be household and other useful items as well.
You may also expand this into an affiliate marketing business if you have more time on your hands. Suffice to say that, reviewing products and services is a lucrative skill these days.
Skills Required: Product testing and reviewing, writing.
Earning Potential: INR 200 to INR 10,000 and upwards per project. Or up to INR 300 per hour for app testing projects.
Where to Start: UserTesting is a great place to start. You can also check out ProductHunt and contact developers for app testing.
11. Voiceover Artist
Think you have a good voice? Do your friends often praise the way you talk? You may have a career as a voiceover artist.
But before taking it to that level, you can try it out as a part-time job that you can work from home. Just record a sample on your own and see how it sounds like. If you feel you really have a voice that can maybe become the next Morgan Freeman (is that a stretch?), explore this job.
Your voice can be used for narration in video games, apps, and even educational videos on YouTube and other video streaming sites. High-paying voiceover jobs can also involve voice-acting for advertisements, TV commercials, and even short films.
But before getting on your high horse, start small and target emcees and small-time businessmen who are looking for voiceover artists. Keep good-quality headphones and a mic ready.
Skills Required: Fluent speaking, audio recording and processing, audio software
Earning Potential: Up to INR 200 per audio minute.
Where to Start: Freelance sites are your best bet for this online job from home. The demand is high and supply low, so you can really hit it out if your voice is magical.
12. Google Opinion Rewards and Online Surveys
This is not a high-paying job but it does not require any specific skills either. All you have to do is participate in online surveys, share your opinions, and earn money.
Such surveys essentially exist to help gather general information from users and pass it on to different businesses for strategy and development purposes. In most cases, they involve random questions like your preference in the type of milk, your preferred supermarket to shop, and your favourite footwear brand.
Providing this information hardly takes a few minutes and in return you can earn some money. Google Opinion Rewards is only available to Android smartphone users at the moment but it’s a great platform. Since installing it on his mobile, 22-year-old engineering undergrad Praveen from Kolkata has earned over INR 800 through the app. He has used this to pay for his entertainment subscription via Google Play store.
Skills Required: None.
Earning Potential: INR 100 to INR 1,000.
Where to Start: Install the Google Opinion Rewards app. Visit Mouthshut.com or Swagbucks.
13. Video Editing
What you may have done in college for the cultural fest can really come handy now. Were you ever involved in video production and editing? Does Windows Movie Maker ring a bell?
Then you can start earning money by editing videos. The job is to polish up videos by cutting, editing, and adding effects. All the videos that you see on YouTube are edited. For example, the comedy skit that you saw last week was a product of multiple edits where the editor removed bloopers, video breaks, and added continuity to it to make it more interesting.
Advanced video editors can even pursue it full-time and explore a career in films. You will need an eye for details, photography and videography skills, and an overall interest in video content.
Skills Required: Video editing software like Adobe Premiere, photography, web video publishing.
Earning Potential: Up to INR 2,000 per hour.
Where to Start: Learn and master at least one video editing software. Take a course for better prospects. Create a portfolio online and then start looking for jobs on freelance sites.
14. English as Second Language (ESL)
English is inarguably still the top language in India from a professional perspective. It has sort of become a mark of quality in professionals everywhere. But in a populated country like India, a lot of people still lack English speaking and writing skills.
As a graduate, you can put your English skills to use by teaching English as a second language to friends and acquaintances who were born into a family where a regional language was in focus.
Do you have a neighbour who wants to learn or polish his English for better job prospects? You can take that opportunity to start your English coaching job.
Skills Required: Proficiency in English speaking and writing.
Earning Potential: Up to INR 1,000 per week.
Where to Start: Look for individuals who are in need of English training within your circles.
Another great way to earn money with a long-term approach. When it comes to blogging, you should expect financial returns only after a while. The first step is to create a domain and start pushing content on it.
Choose a topic and start publishing content on a daily basis. Over time – in a matter of months – your website will be ready to earn. But how?
You can run ads on your blog, publish sponsored posts, or simply use it for blogger outreach where marketers use your site to improve their clients’ business. A blog with some authority on a niche theme can become a continuous source of passive income for you.
Skills Required: Web publishing, web hosting, domains, writing.
Earning Potential: INR 500 to INR 50,000 per month.
Where to Start: Buy a domain from GoDaddy and host it on a server. Then start publishing content on it.
16. Work as a Virtual Assistant
Think you have above average conversational and interpersonal skills? You can become a virtual assistant to a businessperson.
Here your tasks will be to manage the person’s daily and weekly schedules and communicate with their clients and partners on a daily basis. Phone calls, videoconferencing, and email communication will take up most of your time in this remote job.
Skills Required: Project management, conversational and interpersonal, computer operation, email.
Earning Potential: Up to 10,000 per month.
Where to Start: Freelance sites.
17. Sell Your Course Notes
If the coaching job at the start of this article looks difficult for you, you can look at selling your course books and notes at a good price. It will be a one-time deal but at least it will be better than selling it to a scarp dealer for INR 10 per kilogram.
This is only possible for students who have already graduated.
Skills Required: None.
Earning Potential: A few hundred or thousands.
Where to Start: Spread the news in your circles. Put up an ad on your institute’s general notice board.
The key to finding the best online jobs to work from home for students is to look at the skills you possess. Then it’s just a matter of how you apply them to create an income source. The above 17 tips will help in that regard. All the best!