The debate over the benefits and drawbacks of working in college is ongoing, with both sides sticking firmly to their point of view. Several studies that have been done into this area have thrown up some interesting facts, some completely contrary to the prevailing beliefs. Busting some of the myths about working while in college will help set the record straight.
Myth # 1 Students who work while in college tend to lag behind their peers in the coursework
There’s no doubt that taking up a job will give you less time to study and complete your coursework. However, that does not necessarily mean you will lag behind your peers. During the course of the week, students have plenty of free time. It is often spent pursuing some leisure activity, relaxing or socializing. All of these hours can add up considerably.
On the other hand, students who take up a job have a higher awareness of how they spend their time. They use their time management skills to stay up to date with coursework.
Studies show that college students who work a modest 10 to 15 hours a week are less likely to drop out and will go on to graduate with high scores.
Myth # 2 Only those students with financial need should work in college
For some students taking up a job is absolutely necessary to help them pay for education-related expenses. But, money is not the perk associated with working in college. Working on campus provides benefits that extend well past graduation.
College jobs provide an excellent opportunity to extend their network, build self-confidence, and develop crucial transferable skills such as teamwork and customer service. All of these can boost your employability tremendously. Employers looking to hire new college grads prefer students who have some work experience. They are typically better able to handle the rigors and challenges of the workplace.
The decision to work in college should not be based solely on financial need. Any student who has the necessary organizational and time management skills should consider working in college for the invaluable job experience it offers.
Myth # 3 If the money is good, it is worth working away all your free hours
It can be tempting to work away all your free hours if the money is good, but research shows that the benefits can be annulled by the drawbacks of working too much. College coursework can be strenuous and having some amount of downtime to relax and re-energize is crucial for students.
Experts recommend working no more than 15 hours a week. This allows students to meet at least a part, however small, of their financial obligations while still having sufficient time for classwork, homework, completing assignments and participating in other extracurricular activities.
Research shows that working more than 15 hours a week can seriously hamper a student’s academic progress and veer them away from their academic goals. No matter how high the pay, it is not worth spending all of your free time working.