A recent study that was published in Time Ideas from the American Sociological Review (2013) found that students whose tuition is paid for by their parents do not do as well in school. Further, another study found that students who are working while in school, between one to 20 hours per week, had a higher GPA than those who did not work! (Usnews.com). That being said only 6 in 10 students are currently employed, working about 18 hours per week on average (Canadian University Survey Consortium).
Working while in school is not easy and is a juggling act. But working while in school keeps students focused and helps them prioritize. They learn to use their time wisely. Otherwise, students with too much time on their hands may be spending their free time doing activities that are less beneficial. A recent article, noted that college students spend 3.5 hours a day on their cell phones, about 3 hours watching TV, 1.3 hours on their gaming consoles, .8 hours on their tablets and one hour a day on an e-reader or gaming device. (Research results, June 28 2013). Another study added 10.2 hours drinking alcohol and 4.1 hours online social networking and gaming (freemoneyfinance.com).
With about 3 out of 4 students concerned about having enough funds to complete university and almost 6 out of 10 graduating with debt (Canadian University Survey Consortium, 2011), students should start thinking about getting jobs this september as part of their going back to school regime.
Here are the top 5 benefits to working while in school:
Earn money to reduce your debt. Upon graduation you can begin your life faster without a big loan over your head.
Improved grades: So not only do those who work have higher grades, according to a recent study at the University of Pennsylvania, those who work between 10-15 hours a week are more likely to persist and earn their degrees.
Gain Experience: Learn what you like and what you do not like. Apply concepts learned in school to real life and learn more.
Learn to budget and time manage: Juggling a job and work gives you valuable experience in managing time, planning and organization. Getting a pay check teaches you the value of money and how to budget.
Build your resume: The experience you gain gives you a competitive edge after graduation. A potential employer will choose you over someone applying for the same job without experience. This is a great step towards preparing for employment.
However, with all these benefits, it is important to have a proper balance between work, leisure and school. You need to know your limits. Some students, depending on their program load and personality can work 20 or more hours in a full time study program, have time for fun and maintain amazing grades while for others 5 hours is the max.
So as you get ready to go back to school think about a reasonable number of hours you would be able to work and still keep your grades up. Look for an employer who is flexible. Discuss in advance that your schedule may vary as you get close to exam time. Your boss will appreciate your honesty as long as you give enough notice to schedule accordingly.
Some flexible jobs that you may want to consider that look great on your resume are: Brand ambassador – you are chosen to be placed on the front line to represent big name companies (tells future employers that you are personable and presentable), social media consultant for twitter and Facebook campaigns (your tech savvy), waiter/waitress (emphasizes your customer service skills),retail sales (great training), volunteer for a great cause or work for yourself (set up a freelance business-shows your entrepreneurial skills).
At workhoppers.com you can find flexible jobs like these and more. Create a profile today; upload your CV, professional picture, skills and schedule. Tell us what kind of jobs you would like to do and we match you with great local companies looking for students who want to work flexible hours.
Working a reasonable amount of hours while in school can help you graduate not just with a diploma but with the skills needed to enter the workforce.