In U.S. colleges, where 41.6% of students experience anxiety and 36.4% experience depression, the question of whether working while attending college full time is a choice that takes careful consideration. Working can increase the stress already present among students, making it even more difficult to balance work and personal life. However, working while in college proves to be an asset for students by giving them the experience necessary to find future jobs, along with teaching time management and potentially decreasing the amount of loans that students take out to pay for college.
A study by Georgetown University found that working less than 15-20 hours a week can prove to be beneficial to students by increasing good habits and raising academic performance. However, anything over 15-20 hours a week can prove to be harmful to a student’s academic performance and aspirations. Working allows students to practice time management and perfect it, which can also lead to better habits for schoolwork too. Thus, those with better time management have a higher chance of earning better grades in school.
Working while in college also increases the chances of future employment. According to NACE’s Job Outlook 2017 survey, almost 91% of employers prefer that their candidates have work experience, and only 5% stated that work experience is not a factor when hiring new graduates. Although working may cause increased stress from balancing it with school, it may decrease since these students have a higher chance of finding a job after college. Additionally, since the money earned during college years can be saved up, the added pressure of having to pay off loans can be quelled. Students who are in debt from colleges are now closer to paying it off thanks to the work that they did during their college years. This would, therefore, decrease another factor of stress that is common among many students today.
For those who work while in college, there is a study that shows working between 10-19 hours a week will increase a student’s grade point average (GPA). As working students get more accustomed to managing their time, they feel less overwhelmed and more adept at keeping stress under control. Without practicing time management, knowing how to break up work into more sizable pieces would likely be more challenging.
It must be stated, however, that students should know how to balance school and work in a healthy way. In the study conducted by Pennsylvania State University, working 30-40 hours a week has an adverse effect on a student’s GPA. So, in order to keep stress under control, keeping the amount a student works between the intervals of 10-30 hours seems to be the healthiest option for preventing burnout. Working while in school may seem overwhelming at first, the benefits provided from doing it lessens stress in the long run.