As more people find ways to embrace their favorite hobby and tap into passions, side hustles have become increasingly popular. In fact, recent data shows that nearly four in 10 Americans have a side job. For students, these opportunities to make some extra cash can be appealing but finding time to develop an idea and turn it into a business opportunity is another thing altogether.
The flexibility and accessibility of online education are helping lifelong learners and younger students alike have the freedom to create side hustles (and in some cases, even full-time careers!) while staying on track to earn a degree. Need proof? Look no further than Broadway cast member Erin Weinberger and travel blogger Ily Alvarez who, despite differing geographies, schedules and professional interests, have found success while pursuing their degree online at Arizona State University.
So how can you create your own side hustle while staying on track to earn your degree? Here are four tips:
How many times have you wanted to complete a new project, but dropped it because you thought you didn’t have enough time? With life demands, it’s important to spend time doing activities that bring you joy. Waking up earlier or using a lunch break is much more manageable if you’re doing something you enjoy. Using your spare time in a productive way can be incredibly fulfilling – especially if it covers the grocery bills! Be intentional with your time so that you spend it in a way that ultimately contributes to building your side hustle.
Ask yourself: when do you feel most creative? What activity satisfies you most? For example, do you enjoy conveying your ideas in 280 characters or less? Perhaps a side hustle in blogging is a good fit for you. Or are you interested in nutrition? You may consider a side hustle in being a health coach. Other options that may pique your interest: starting a photography business, consulting for local businesses, freelance writing for community publications, becoming a brand influencer on social media or developing a product for the consumer market.
Map your online degree program to help you develop your areas of interest and acquire the education needed to be considered a professional in your industry. At ASU, available online programs range from anthropology to psychology – so whatever your interest, there is a degree program that can take your side hustle to the next level. For example, a degree in a discipline such as digital audience strategy could be a good option for those interested in digital content creation, social strategy, app development and similar studies. Additionally, a Bachelor of Science in communication degree could be great for someone who is interested in storytelling, writing, social influence, leadership or public speaking.
It pays to take your lifestyle into consideration when making decisions regarding your education. You’re more likely to succeed if your education path fits your current circumstances. Choosing programs that provide the flexibility you need to earn a degree on your terms can make all the difference, and online learning options continue to expand. Pursuing a degree in an area that you are passionate about will drive you to succeed and make the finish line seem even sweeter.