Having a part time job while attending school helps students in being better prepared for the real world. A part time job along with school workload help students to learn to handle greater responsibilities effectively, improve time management skills, and become mentally stronger to deal with the stress real world may have in store for them once they graduate. Students also improve at multitasking and taking charge of their own life affairs. Successful handling of both job responsibilities and school workload also increase students’ self esteem as well as self confidence in their abilities.
Student life is a learning phase and the ultimate goal of public education is guide students as they prepare to start their own practical lives and leave the protective shadows of their parents. But class room learning cannot perfectly mimic the conditions of the outside world. Theories and ideas can teach students only so much. Part time jobs give the students an opportunity to enhance their learning by personally experiencing workplace culture and norms and develop more realistic view of the real world that is waiting for them. Moreover, students who hold part time jobs are also better prepared to handle surprises and setbacks in the beginning of their professional career due to their more realistic expectations and understanding of work culture.
Some may argue that students’ part time jobs and fields of study are often entirely unrelated. This may be true but certain workplace norms and cultural aspects exist across multiple professional fields and similarly, certain skills are in demand across multiple industries such as communication skills, teamwork skills, time management skills, and leadership skills. The intensity of competition has been increasing due to globalization and has put additional pressure on the workforce today to achieve more within the same time frame. The responsibility to manage both work and school workload helps students achieve performance efficiency and discover new ways to be able to do more in a day without sacrificing performance.
Many students have reported that workplace provides an additional dimension to their social lives, a place where they can meet new people and enjoy good sociability. Chinese students have been increasingly taking part time student jobs and unlike students in the western countries, Chinese students are usually supported by their parents throughout college. A study on the impact of part time jobs on Chinese students revealed surprising facts. Students’ GPA increased by 0.39 point if students took part-time jobs in order to acquire work experience, by 0.27 point if the part-time job was related to their fields of study and by 0.30 point if the part-time job provided opportunities to acquire knowledge and develop skills (Wang, Kong and Shan).
Similarly, studies at Brighton University in 2000 found that students reported certain positive effects from undertaking employment such as transferable skills, increased confidence, time management, improved organization skills, and enhanced employability. It also happens that students often don’t realize the skills they are learning and may even not perceive the benefits of those developed skills until sometime later (Blake and Worsdale). A survey of school students in Australia revealed that most students didn’t work for financial reasons but because they liked the independence their job gave them, the enjoyment they derived from their work, and those who were employed were more likely to be happy with many aspects of their lives such as money and social life than those who didn’t have a part time employment (Robinson).
Thus, it is clear that part time employment enhances students’ school life and makes them better prepared for the life after graduation. In addition, it also teaches them valuable skills and complements the classroom learning. The students become better used to hard work and feel more in control of their life affairs.