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I'm a college student with a full load of classes and i need some extra money to cover some of my expenses. I love anything and everything to do with computers. I don't know how to program but have build computers before and know how windows works. I would call myself a power user. My question is, what kind of a job can someone like me get with effort? If there are some more skills that i can pick up that would benefit in getting the foot in the door i would love to hear about them. The only limitation i have is that i can't work very late in the evening most days due to classes. But usually in the morning my time is available for work.

I will appreciate all answers i receive. Thank you for your help.

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Shitty tech support or web programming but since you don't know how to program I guess at least one of those is off the table... –  Rig Jul 9 '12 at 2:42
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As a college student, you can get a job ranging between flipping burgers and starting Facebook. –  GrandmasterB Jul 9 '12 at 2:50
    
perhaps you make some money by fixing computers for campus folks. –  dan_l Jul 9 '12 at 3:15
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closed as too localized by Oded, Jim G., Caleb, GrandmasterB, World Engineer Jul 9 '12 at 6:55

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3 Answers

You may have access to several on-campus options.

You might be able to find a part-time job with an on-campus computer lab. The labs at the university that I attended was mostly student-staffed, with some supervision from professional IT personnel. These jobs were fairly flexible in terms of hours, and are a way for you to pick up some additional skills.

Another way is to find a professor that might need some part-type programming help. A lot of professors will have their own research labs on campus, and someone with your skills and is willing to learn how to program a bit could be a big help for these types of groups. It's a good way for you to network and meet with other professors and grad students as well.

Finally, there may be a few groups associated with your school, such as the alumni association, that could use some computer help.

Best of luck! Be creative, and you'll be able to make a few new friends too.

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Personal Experience

Did this (in several universities where I studied):

  • taught part-time on campus as an assistant for several classes (during the day),
  • taught part-time on campus as adjunct lecturer (in the evening),
  • worked part-time for a startup created by someone from uni (likelihood that it's close, and flexible with your student situation),
  • supervised exams,

    Boring, not well-paid, but easy to do, comes up regularly, and you can sometime manage to read or do some work during the exams yourself.

  • did paid internships,

  • did ponctual contract-work for a software marketing company (doing demos in malls and stuff for new software releases on week-ends),
  • taught private lessons to middle-school and high-school students (CS and non-CS related courses),
  • did unpaid lab-work (but it helped to get other jobs),
  • Worked my university's junior entreprise.

    Junior entreprises are student bodies that finds jobs for you, and which draft the contracts as an intermediary: you're legally covered, and usually decently paid, for jobs that mostly relate to your field. A lot of universities and engineering schools have these.

My universities / engineering schools where quite student-work friendly. We were actually forced (it was part of the grade) to have 3 6-month internship during our 5-year program: one after 1st year, a 2nd after 3rd year, and a 3rd one after 5th year. You can make a decent amount, and you get out of uni with some experience.

Add part-time work to that, and you look pretty employable for a graduate when you have a pretty filled resume for someone who just graduated.

Do think long-term if you can: you're building contacts and a resume, so make sure, if you have multiples opportunities, to pick the ones that will consolidate your resume.

Also, look for jobs that specifically target students, and where they won't request tons of experiences, like call-centers (did this in high-school: crap job, but in high-school you don't mind the low-salary) or jobs where you stand and run a lot, like that demo company I worked for. They employ mostly students and do all leg-work for you: it's contractual and ponctual jobs, you have a one-day presentation of the products for free, they send you the products (which you can usually keep when it's games and software, not so much when it's hardware) and then they find you the placements for the week-ends. You just need to show up wearing whatever attire they recommend, and sell stuff.


Other Possible Options

There are other options, that I didn't pursue out of lack of time, because places where limited, or because they weren't my cup of tea.

On-campus

  • IT staff,

    Many universities employ students as part of their IT workforce. Good to get experience, they can get you out of some exams or get you to substitute a school project for a job (though sometimes you get stiffed with a lower substitute mark for a project you'd have aced).

  • student support,

    Either privately (post ads on yout school's boards) or as part of a student body.

  • lab-work.

    Some labs in your school might look for assistants, and sometimes they do actually pay. If you find one of these, and they don't overwork you like a dog for a miserable pay, leaving you exhausted for school and unemployable for other thing, hold on to these. Great experiences.

Outside

  • Student-friendly start-up.

    Many startups are created by students or recent graduates, and they know what you deal with. Careful though: startups die. They often do, that's the harsh reality of it. So you can end-up without payments.

  • IT support for small local business (local printing shop, doing websites, etc...).

  • Non-tech jobs close to your home or uni, even craps ones (food-court and stuff).
  • Night-jobs pay well, and may leave you tons of time to read or code, depending on the type of work, like night guard for companies in quiet areas (just don't overdo it, good stuff for one-time payments, like a supermarket inventory).
  • request payment for family IT-support tasks.
  • Create small apps on iOS or Android and sell it on an app-market, or any kind of easily marketable software. Or get micro-payments with something like Flattr, or ads from websites you create.

Others

  • Loans

    Avoid as much as you can (got some friends crippled by these). They're nice as you get a bundle of money but you'll need to manage it correctly (and will probably fail, to a certain extent) and to reimburse this with nice interests for the next 10 years. If you played your cards right, or it will be way worse. I repeat and stress it: avoid as much as you can!

  • Scholarships

    Great, if you can get one, but careful: they don't exactly come for free most of the time as many imply volunteer work at school. There are multiple types of scholarships: the ones offered by your university (mine didn't have any), and some sponsored by your state or local government. These aren't often very advertised, but you'll find them online, and by going to your city hall and other places where you can get student help. Prestigious scholarships (they aren't all like that...) can be a plus on your resume.

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I worked as a web programmer / system administrator for a few different companies while in school; it was the same as out of school, but with less hours.

I don't know how to program

Well, then you better learn if you want a programming job. ;)

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Did you have to work late in the evenings? –  Alex Foster Jul 8 '12 at 23:40
    
Not until my last job, and that was only once a week. If I had school I would've been excused. In general, my schedule was "come in whenever you can, but school is more important" plus full-time during the summer. –  Xiong Chiamiov Jul 9 '12 at 6:54
    
That was a pretty good deal. If i have i will be pretty happy. I don't need a ton of money, just enough so i can cover basic stuff like food and gas, and a little bit extra for getting more hardware so i can play around with IT stuff, which is what i love to do. –  Alex Foster Jul 13 '12 at 4:55
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