The Effect of Part-Time Jobs on Students


While academics are the main focus of college students, many will also spend their college years in part-time employment. In the report "Student Employment and Higher Education: Empiricism and Contradiction," members of the American Educational Research Association reported that more than 50 percent of students attending four-year colleges work part time. The reasons for working may vary--earning funds for tuition or spending money--but many benefits exist beyond the paycheck.

Balancing a Schedule

  • Balancing a part-time job while attending classes full-time will force a student to balance their schedule. A March 2009 study by the Bureau of Labor Statistics says students with part-time work reduce the time spent on homework, sleeping, socialization and life maintenance by 84 percent. A student employee will need to learn how to not let the decrease on time spent on studying show in her academic performance.

Experiencing Workplace Culture

  • Classroom learning is important, but the culture of workplaces and offices are hard to impart within the classroom. Holding down a regular position outside the classroom will allow students to gain firsthand experience in office culture and politics, which will be helpful upon graduation and their first full-time job.

It's All Who You Know

  • In today's weak economy, it is even more crucial for students to make as many valuable connections as possible. Working part time for a campus office or off-campus organization will allow students to network outside their social circles, giving them valuable recommendations and contacts for their full-time job search.

Accountability and Responsibility

  • According to "Work on the Campus: Benefits for Student and Institution" by Mary Roark, "Values, skills, emotional maturity, personal identity and integrity are fostered through (on-campus) employment experiences." Student-employees will learn to be accountable for their actions in a non-classroom or home environment, and experience how responsibility is delegated and evaluated in an office.

Basic Skills

  • Many on-campus part-time jobs will give students the opportunity to learn administrative skills, such as phone and email etiquette, office electronics troubleshooting, and meeting manners. Gaining such skills while in school will place a student-employee ahead of the curve when they enter the full-time workforce.

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