Once students have reached their later years of high school and college, they are eligible to begin working. And while school is their primary concern at the time, working a job has the potential to teach them valuable life skills. The burden of working can have its downsides, though, if the person is not ready or in the right position to maintain a job and receive an education. In this article, we will take a look at a few pros and cons of having a job while going to school.
Living the life of a student means taking classes as well as managing homework, which, by itself, can be a lot of work, but if that student wants to remain financially independent, they will need to start working a job. This doesn’t necessarily mean that they have to jump into a position that specifically applies to their major, but it does mean that they will have to dedicate extra time specifically to their place of work. The benefit of this situation for the student is that they will learn how to manage their time effectively and teach them how to have a strong work ethic, which are skills that will greatly benefit them later in life.
In addition to developing better time management skills, students who work part-time jobs while attending school are shown to have had better GPAs. In a study conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, they found that the GPAs of working students were at an average of 3.13 whereas nonworking students had an average of 3.04.
This simply means that students that accumulate more responsibility, especially in the form of a part-time job on or off-campus, have improved work ethic as well as school grades and performance.
While time management skills and higher GPAs are a benefit to students, it should also be understood that students who are from lower-income families tend to be disproportionately affected by holding a job while going to school and end up with 2.95 GPAs on average.
This effect can be due to many factors, but primary contributors are stress and guilt over the financial burden of attending college. According to the Suicide Prevention Resource Center, “Research suggests that depression is associated with lower grade point averages and that co-occurring depression and anxiety can increase this association.” This shows that the overwhelming stress for students to perform well in school, as well as work a job to minimize the debt of their education, drives down their GPAs instead of raising them.
Choosing to attend college is a decision that has the potential to change the course of a young person’s life. If they choose to work a job while attending school, they could set themselves up for success from the beginning. Working a job while attending school teaches students how to manage their time well and, in some cases, has raised the average GPA of college students. Every student should take the time to examine their mental health and reasons for wanting to work a part-time job to avoid potential negative effects on their academic performance.