Earning education through employment

Students may benefit significantly from a part-time job


Eddie Shi

Students have the opportunity to connect with people at jobs. Jobs not only pay students, they offer scholarships and experience which is arguably better than any form of payment.

Eddie Shi, Staff Reporter

Nineteen percent of teenagers (16-19) are working and enrolled in school, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The percentage of working high school students has decreased considerably since its peak at 31% in 1988. However, it has been on a steady rise since 2015, with a temporary drop in 2020, like every other situation.

Working as a student is quite common. A chunk of students is employed in any given high school. The main reason why many students work is to collect a paycheck. Extra spending cash offers students more freedom to purchase whatever they want, and it also enables them to save money for their future tuition. It also helps them understand the value of money and how to manage their finances. Cash inflow also gives students a sense of being financially independent, which helps develop responsibility.

Responsibility is a powerful lesson in employment. Employment can teach students accountability like no other. Deadlines must be met, and employees must show up when their shift begins, with few exceptions. Employees who fail to meet standards can lose their position or get fired. The working environment is usually students’ first taste of the professional world. A part-time job can ease students into their permanent employment.

Part-time employment is an excellent opportunity for students to find interest in fields. Internships could be a great way for students to find out if they are a good fit for their industry of interest. Internships also provide a good entry to a field, just like any school class. Working in a fast food restaurant could interest a student in food sciences.

With the extra opportunities, students will naturally accumulate skills and experience. The abilities and experience students gain from working will be helpful later in many careers. Jobs can branch out and even offer scholarship opportunities for students. Acquiring social skills would benefit all career paths. Working as a team and handling conflicts apply to any job involving a group or consumers. Working experience also looks fantastic on any resume.

There are a few causes for worry. Overworking and additional stress come with any other responsibility, and jobs are no exception. Loss of sleep and anxiety could impact education. However, according to the University of California San Diego, “Studies show that students who work up to 30 hours a week do just as well or even better academically than those who don’t.” If a job interferes with a high school student’s education, the job is not a good fit. Jobs take time. The time that could be spent on self-improvement or with friends is now exchanged for work. Depending on the person, a job might not be worth it.

Working in high school can provide students with many benefits. It can help them develop responsibility, gain valuable work experience, earn money, improve their social skills, and expose them to different industries. However, balancing work and school responsibilities is essential to ensure that academics are not negatively affected and to prioritize health and well-being to prevent stress and burnout. Ultimately, a part-time job can be an excellent way for students to prepare for their future and develop valuable skills that will benefit them throughout their lives.