Programming & development work that college students can do remotely to make extra money and enhance their programming skills

7 Ways College Student Can Make Money Programming (2020)

Indian IT and Computer Science curriculum is still not up to the mark with the industry. Companies hire the right attitude of freshers and teach them the needed programming skills. If a student knows the basics, it won’t be tough for him to embrace new technology if they have the right attitude. Despite the education and industry gap, students can make money programming from home.

If students can freelance in their college days, they can earn some money. More importantly, they can get industry exposure and enhance their CV.

So freelancing is an excellent idea for students, especially undergraduate students in India. The aim should be to learn a programming language and, in the process, make money. It will help them identify the gap between what they are studying and what industry wants.

So here are some of the programming and development work that college students can do remotely from home.

1. Develop Scripts for Sale

There are marketplaces where programmers can offer simple utility code or scripts for sale on a per-use basis.

Apart from scripts, you can also opt to create paid plugins for CMSes like WordPress, OpenCart, Magento, or any other CMS of your choice.

If you are good at HTML / CSS, offer themes or templates.

Here are a couple of sample scripts that aren’t very popular but still are being offered by developers.

  • Link Expander – Convert Short URLs to Long URLs
  • Instagram Multi Photo and Video Downloader

And the list of such scripts is endless.

You may not make a lot of money programming such scripts. Still, it opens possibilities to know what works and what doesn’t. On top of that, it will enhance your programming skills and provide exposure to real-world requirement based programming.

2. Offer Hourlies or Gigs

List what you can offer code on sites like PeoplePerHour as Hourlies or on Fiverr as Gigs. If anybody is interested in them, they can hire you.

If you aren’t sure what you should offer, check this Gig where a user is doing programming in C, C++, Java about Stack, Queue, Functions (By Value, By reference), which is programming homework.

Note: If you aren’t sure what people will be more than willing to pay for a script. Check what people are offering on a site like Fiverr to get an idea of what you may want to create.

3. Participate in Code Competitions

Participate in coding challenges, competitions, and contests to win a cash prize.

When I was in college, I participated in BitWiser by IIT Kharagpur, and though I did not win it, I used to mention it on my CV.

If you are older than 18 and enrolled in a university, you can participate in Google Summer of Code. It pays $5000 for four months’ work during summer, and you can do it from the comfort of your home or CodeChef, where they have programming contests from different universities every few days.

4. Task-based Internship

An internship in a startup or a small company can be an excellent way of getting industry exposure and get paid for it.

Small companies like to outsource some of the tasks to students that need more time and resources to complete in-house. A startup may not want to hire a full-time tester and can outsource it to students to go through the test cases.

Payment can be on a per-task basis, or at times, students may even do such work for a certificate. The most important part is, it can help you to read and understand the client’s requirement document.

5. Create a Tool or Utility App

Create a tool or service to be offered on a website. You may not make money out of such a tool straight away, but monetizing can always come at a later stage when you can find users for it.

Facebook and Google are born out of such initiative, but they aren’t the only ones. We had Flappy Birds that rocked phones.

A simple game for a smartphone or a utility app can be a good starting point.

6. Blog

You don’t need to commit to blogging, but you can share the programming assignments that you have developed for your curriculum on a website or a blog.

I did that when I was in college, and all the programs that I wrote for my curriculum are online. Check out the linked list programs I shared back then. It still ranks in Google giving me a lot of royalties.

Blogging is something every college student should consider in India. Here is how you can set up your programming blog in under an hour or so.

7. Bidding Marketplace for Projects

If you can complete the entire project from freelancing websites, you can submit a proposal for it with a price. Here is my proposal template for you to use.

When I was in college, I did some homework help kind of project on RentACoder, which is now part of I wasn’t entirely confident in being able to complete the real projects, and so I worked only on homework help types of projects back then.

I did not make a hell lot of money, but it helped me make some decent income doing what I love, which is programming in C++.

Final Thoughts

There are many other methods of making money online, but I have kept this article dedicated to programmers only. If you are interested in affiliate marketing or selling stuff on Facebook or Instagram check out my complete guide to making money online.

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