Virtual platforms offer opportunities for skilled and semi-skilled students to attain financial stability with experience. Self-income from a young age gives students a sense of accomplishment and motivates them to achieve better in the future. There are numerous ways to earn money while being at home. The writer has talked to some of the student earners from different sectors of work.
Facebook marketing: In 2021, Facebook estimated that over 200 million small businesses are conducted worldwide using the platform. In Bangladesh, Facebook marketing has triggered hundreds of youths coming up with their own ideas, specially the women are getting empowered. Aklima Akter is a third-year Economics student at Shahjalal University of Science and Technology (SUST) and the founder of 'Shinjan,' a Facebook page of shopping product service.
"I create a variety of unique jewellery, and anklets, earrings, and campanulas. I feel confident earning through Facebook marketing despite being a lone soldier in this journey," she said. The typical tuition income exhausts both her mind and body, but Shinjan's work delights her.
Another student from the same department, Israt Jahan Jaion, is the originator of 'Aurora', a Facebook page for clothing brands. "Becoming a little self-reliant, I started my own venture, and the income was decent. Besides study, devoting extra time to creative work makes me feel emotionally spontaneous and more courageous," she explains.
Designing: Siam Shajid is a creative designer at RoboAdda. He always aspired to exhibit contemporary issues with art, architecture, or Greco-Roman motifs. He works exclusively on logo, book-cover, and jersey designing on Fiverr, Upwork, and Facebook. "Since designing depends on time, examination pressure, and client demand, an average Tk 3,000 to 4,000 occasional income is decent. This definitely minimises the financial strain," shared Shajid.
Content-writing: A content writer in Bangladesh typically earns around Tk 24,400 per month. Salaries range from Tk 11,200 to Tk 38,800 depending on several aspects. Adiba Tabassum Alvee is a creative content writer and a first-year student of Economics at SUST. She doesn't want to rely on her parents for her hobbies or fees. Again, a routined life with home tuitions felt like a burden. So, she began part-time content-writing.
"By writing reviews, info, guideline, Amazon affiliate marketing articles for clients, I earn Tk 5,000 to Tk 6,000 thousand monthly. This makes me self-reliant and my parents' expectations have also increased," she remarked.
Photography: "Photography is a way of relaxation for me, but I feel happy seeing that the little earnings from my passion sometimes become very helpful in an emergency for my family," Galib Mahdi, a young photographer and the vice president of the Shahjalal University Photographers' Association (SUPA) was speaking. He occasionally works for Flickr, Instagram, and conducts programme coverage. Like Shajid, Mahdi too believes that tuition should be the last resort for earning. He thinks, "If someone has more time and money in hands, then the photography route is better. But if not, tuition is a safer option."
Digital marketing: According to data from Statista, the e-commerce market in Bangladesh stood at US$ 1.65 billion (approx) which might cross the US$ 2.5 billion mark by 2023. Hence, the opportunity of digital marketing is immense in the local market. Muhibur Rahman is an HSC examinee from a private college in Sylhet. He earns Tk 14,000 to Tk 30,000 monthly, doing print-on demand (POD) business.
"Purchasing a store from Gearlunch Bangladesh website, I create many T-shirt and tea-cup designs based on various European and American holidays, such as Halloween, Christmas. Then, I post my store's design link to different social media targeting my buyers," he explains.
Freelancing: A recent report by Orbis Research estimates that the global freelancing platform market-size is expected to rise at a Compound Annual Growth Rate of 15.3 per cent by 2021-2026. To keep up with the sector's exponential growth, the Bangladesh government has exempted tax on freelancers till 2024. And this is encouraging many youths join this sector, like Imran Islam Iman who is a master's student from SUST. He has successfully completed more than 200 projects, and specialised in infographics for Fiverr, Upwork, and Fivesquid marketplaces.
"In the last two to three months, my average income has ranged from Tk 59,000 to Tk 85,000. I am truly grateful to God as I am not seeking jobs with Tk 20 thousand per month salary; rather I can earn a better amount," shared Imran. However, "While clients in Australia, Germany, and the Middle East deal with outworkers during the day, clients in the US and Canada deal at night. As a result, it may affect studies," warned Imran.
Another freelancer from the same department, Prosenjit Deb-- who is also an organising member at a tourist club, works as a designer of logo, banner, flyer, poster, etc. for Fiverr, Behance, and social media. He earns on average Tk 5,000-10,000 monthly which is good considering he is a newcomer. "For newcomers, it is difficult to earn overnight. We may do commonplace jobs after 20 to 22 years of education. So, it requires proficiency in certain fields in freelancing," Prosenjit concluded.
Suraiya Ruhi is currently a second-year student of Economics at SUST