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Has the emergence of sharing economy jobs put an end to life as a ‘poor uni student’?

Despite being almost twenty years since its first incarnation, the internet is changing and evolving now more than ever, giving rise to an array of new and highly attractive employment possibilities for students.

As unique, cutting-edge apps are launched daily, competition for the latest money saving, time-friendly, lifestyle-enhancing idea is fast and fierce. From the cheapest local delivery hub to the broadest international travel networks, the internet continues to change the world as we once knew it, and is now paving the end to life as a struggling student.

Students are typically vying for the same scarce opportunities in retail and hospitality, but the emergence of sharing economy and gig economy jobs in Australia such as Uber, Airtasker, Freelancer, Helping and Airbnb are opening up a world of new, non-traditional earning possibilities.

  • Uber

The most well-known share economy business, taxicab alternative, Uber, offers students an opportunity to earn an excellent pay rate while working to their own agenda. Uber is so competitively priced and conveniently organised compared to traditional car services that demand continues to grow rapidly.

Students with access to a car can easily register and choose their own working hours, earning at least $30 per hour during peak times, compared to common student jobs such as retail sales which currently averages $18.69 per hour or $19.48 per hour for bar tending. The only additional cost for Uber drivers is of course, the care and maintenance of their vehicles.

  • Airtasker

Sydney-based company, Airtasker, is revolutionising the way people think about employment and the process of earning money

The online enterprise enables everyday users to outsource any imaginable task from gardening and painting to household chores and deliveries for which a fee is established via a bidding system. Users can peruse profiles to assist in choosing the best candidate for the task, who is then paid the agreed fee for their services.

Airtasker provides the ideal platform for students to earn extra cash to a schedule that suits them, either by utilising existing professional skills, or making use of everyday labours such as dog walking or running errands for the elderly and disabled.

Students wishing to make money in between lectures, tutorials and assignments can follow Airtasker’s straightforward registration process and start offering their skills and services in addition to responding to specific advertised tasks.

Airtasker users have the potential to earn over $1,000 per week undertaking various job requests, with the freedom to opt only for local and convenient opportunities, saving time and travel costs in addition to a flexible and personalised schedule.

  • Freelancer

Increasingly popular website, Freelancer, enables students with particular skills including web design, marketing and copywriting to advertise their services and set their own hourly rate or flat fee. This allows users to effectively bypass the necessity to battle for typical casual or part time retail and hospitality jobs that aren’t nearly as flexible or well-paying.

Freelancing creatives on typically charge $20-$30 per hour and aim to receive positive reviews from the hirer. Offering services as a freelancer gives students the flexibility of taking on jobs when their study load is low while also allowing them to gain valuable work experience, build business relationships and improve communication skills.

  • Helpling

Lesser known online cleaning hub, Helpling, allows workers to adopt their own timetable, work close to home and earn at least $23.20 per hour plus bonuses with the option to work as many hours as needed.

This is compared to an average hourly rate of only $19.88 for cleaners in Australia, without the aforementioned perks in flexibility.

  • Airbnb

Students with a spare room or even a comfortable sofa in their living quarters can generate easy money by listing their space on Airbnb, a now internationally recognised network of accommodation options for (mostly) short-term travellers, looking for affordable alternatives to costly hotels and hostels.

Airbnb is arguably the most time-effective money making option for students, involving little more than linen laundering and basic cleaning in between guests along with some very simple website administration in order to manage bookings.

Depending on the location and condition of their accommodation, students can typically charge between $40 and $80 per night for a private room, subsidising their own rental expenses while generating other forms of income at the same time.

The emergence of sharing economy jobs in Australia means students have the opportunity to branch out from what has been the way of life for students of the past; to take control of their working schedule and earn well-above average rates.

New Student Opportunities Average Rate/Hr Traditional Student Jobs Average Rate/Hr
Uber $30.00 Bar Tender $19.48
Airtasker $25.00 Waiter/Waitress $15.38
Freelancer $25.00 Retail Shop Assistant $18.69
Helpling $23.20 Food Service Worker $15.47

These sharing economy job options essentially eliminate the hassle of job searching, timely applications and dreaded interviews. But above all, students will undoubtedly acquire brand new skills and experiences whether it be customer service and public relations or self-management, budgeting and accountability.