Opinion: Employed college students gain work ethic

Opinion: Employed college students gain work ethic

College students should hold down a part-time job when they’re in college because it teaches collegiate persistence, better time management and work ethic.

For many working college students, working is a necessity, not a choice, but even students who do not have to work could benefit from it.

According to the 2017 Condition of Education report, in 2015, 43 percent of full-time and 78 percent of part-time students were employed.

Forum for Youth Investment reported that there is evidence that community college students who work part-time have higher rates of persistence than students who work full-time or do not work at all.

As a working college student, time management is a necessity, and when a student holds down a job, they are forced to better manage their time in order to be successful in both school and at work.

Additionally, work ethic is important both as a student and as a person in the public workforce — a study conducted by Bentley University found there are perceptions that recent college graduates are harder to retain for jobs and lack a strong work ethic.

If these aren’t reasons enough to convince students, the extra cash is nice too.

This brings me to that pesky word: “internship” — a word we hear repeated constantly throughout our college career. Internships are a great way to kill two birds with one stone.

They give students practice in their chosen field while also teaching students good work ethic and what will be expected of them in the real world. The downside to internships is their competitive nature and the fact that they’re typically unpaid or pay very little.

This isn’t only very unrealistic for students short on time and money, but according to a National Association of College and Employers survey, “Students who took paid internships or co-ops were more likely to receive an offer of full-time employment and a higher salary offer from their employers than were students who took unpaid internships or co-ops.”

If you are one of the lucky few to find a paid internship in your given field, don’t hesitate to jump on the opportunity.

Yes, working while attending college is hard, and as many working college students know, working too many hours can begin to take a toll. Becoming overloaded with homework and studying can become a problem for those who have little time to do it because they have to work.

This is where the importance of time management comes in. Admittedly, this doesn’t apply to all students — no matter how well they manage their time — because there are some who work two jobs while attending college. That’s a tough feat.

I encourage students who don’t have a job already to get out there into the working world. Students’ working lives should start while they’re in college, not once they’re outside of it. Work ethic is not something we’re taught in our classes but something we can learn by actually working.

Working college students already have a leg up in work experience, whether it’s related to their degree or not. To those who don’t already hold a job: extra cash and the path to necessary post-collegiate skills are within your grasp — make it happen.

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