College students around the world may be feeling uneasy with the prospect of looking for jobs given the current economy. It can be already hard to find meaningful work after graduating, but the economic downturn and massive hiring freezes around the world due to COVID-19 are striking fear into university students worldwide. While switching to working and attending classes from home has upturned many people’s sense of professional and academic normalcy, many experts are far from surprised by these changes. For many experts, these seemingly COVID-19-related changes to the working landscape have been on the horizon much longer than most people have realized. In fact, these changes associated with the next “Industrial Revolution” contribute to a changing landscape that can help students jumpstart their careers!

The technological advances that have marked the past 20 or so years of the industry have taken a sharp uptick in the past few years. Now more than ever, students with backgrounds in data science and analytics can find meaningful work in tech-related jobs. This can be a great way to turn coursework into $$$ — companies are looking for fresh minds to apply their problem-solving skills to real-world issues! Moreover, students can benefit from the laid-back lifestyle that often comes along with work in these fields as they can take advantage of the fluidity of gig-based work.

Instead of worrying about finding a long-term career, students can be free to work in a project-based setting with rates based on what work they are contracted to complete for employers. This can be a great way to finance an easy-going lifestyle without the commitment to a single location or a long commute. Students can even start working this way during school as they see fit, building portfolio overtime to supplement their income before looking for more full-time work. Especially as we’ve seen COVID-related layoffs across the board, even a stable long-term position isn’t necessarily guaranteed – take advantage of the gig economy!

Fitting in with the social justice movements that have shaped both national and global discourse is the opportunity for students to base their employment around the moral values and principles they hold themselves to. Gone are the days of having to sell your soul for employment that puts food on the table, from churning out work for like-minded non-profits to scaling up work for the world’s major companies, the fluidity of the new global job market allows students to commit less to the long term picture of a company. It becomes easier to cut ties after a project wraps up and for students to be selective in giving their time and labor to organizations they holistically support. Lean into the laid-back future of the job market, build new skills in growing fields, and make money all at the same time – check out paid gigs for college students at or by downloading the Uplancer app on the App Store!