Students are funding diplomas through the freelance economy
The freelance economy is totally helping students pay for college.
Call it whatever you want – freelance economy, gig economy or on-demand economy – this sector keeps on growing and now makes up 40% of the U.S. workforce (up from 31% in 2005). Those ages 18 to 34 are leading the charge with working these jobs according to Beyond.
U.S. News reported that the gig economy (that’s what they call it), with services from Uber and DoorDash, has helped students earn extra cash between classes and chip away at student loan debt.
The explosion of the freelance economy (that’s what I call it at Laborocity) — the collection of online platforms that let workers sell their services directly to consumers on their own schedules — has lowered the barrier of entry for students who need money quickly. The flexibility a gig affords can help students get cash to pay off student loans or to pay bills during college.
What does all this mean?
When school is out for the summer, or students have some downtime between classes, they don’t have to rely on traditional jobs any longer. The most popular positions include running errands for clients, making deliveries, or driving for ride-sharing services. The Benenson Strategy Group did a survey and found that of the 450,000 active drivers for Uber, more than 10 percent are students.
Here’s why I think students are a great fit for the freelance economy:
Flexibility is key
“On-demand jobs are a good fit for college students due to the high flexibility of the work and the low barriers for entry. For many services, all you need is a smartphone,” says Neal McNamara, a spokesman for TINYpulse, a Seattle-based firm that gauges employee satisfaction and engagement.
At college, students need to juggle classes, internships, sports, different clubs, and developing careers. That can make it difficult to hold down the traditional schedule most hourly jobs require.
“I used to take jobs at shoe stores, but the biweekly checks weren’t going far enough,” says Joshua Ridley, 22, who decided to make extra money by being a ride-sharing driver. He says he works up to 30 hours a week and is able to pay for living expenses.
Pay is higher
According to the Bureau of Labor statistics, an hourly worker in the food and beverage industry only makes an average of $9.16 while on-demand jobs can pay anywhere from $10 to $20 an hour according to experts. Based on this fact alone, it should be obvious why these jobs are becoming more and more popular.
Laborocity and other on-demand staffing companies like GladlyDo are paying at least $15 an hour, so it’s significantly higher than traditional college jobs or an unpaid internship. We also want all college students to be able to perform tasks and get paid, so we don’t have the same age requirements for some traditional jobs. While Uber mandates that all drivers be at least 21, GladlyDo doesn’t have this requirement.
They can be trusted
Local college students who are taking on jobs in addition to their classes have the sense of responsibility and maturity required to complete any task they’re asked to perform. We covered why they make such great babysitters in a different post, and if people can trust them with their kids, then I’m absolutely certain they’ll be able to deliver your lunch.
Got a task you need some help with? Hire a college student from Laborocity and you could help pay for their future diploma. I don’t know about you, but I definitely wasn’t able to pay off my student loans like this.
Thoughts? Hit me up. Woody@Laborocity.com
Woody Klemmer is the Co-founder of Laborocity, a company that provides businesses with qualified workers, “Doers”, on-demand.