Advantages and Disadvantages of studying while working:
Advantages: In my opinion, working while studying has a number of following advantages:
Finance issues is one of the top reasons why students have part-time jobs: “Most students are working, at least in part, because of money concerns, with 58% wanting to spend the money on socialising and 55% on food and household bills”(Gil, 2014). Some part-time jobs offers good salary, which can assist students in paying their household bills, student loans or simply cover their daily expenses and save their parents some money.
Studying while working gives students an opportunity to gain work experiences and acquire flexible skills at an early stage. In my opinion, learning the theories and knowledge is one thing, being able to put them into practice is another subject. This is probably the reason why a number of students seeks internship programs and part-time jobs. They are a good opportunity for students to familiarize themselves with the actual tasks they might have to do in future jobs while getting a hold of how the theories and practices correlates.
It is also a chance for students to try working for a wide variety of organizations, thus deciding if their interests and the job is compatible. This is an important step towards future career orientation. In different circumstances everyone is at different levels on the Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, which states that “people are motivated to achieve certain needs”(Hovdhaugen, 2013). This means, from what I understand, that everyone has their own needs to be met, either extrinsically or intrinsically. Therefore, a job would probably satisfy one’s needs extrinsically, but might fail to cater to intrinsic ones. For instance, a student who loves helping other people (because it makes he/she feels good on the inside) would probably opt for a volunteer job with lower income rather than a job that offers good salary but deemed less meaningful. In the end it all comes down to students to figure out what they truly want to do with their lives and the only way to do so is to try out different jobs. Working while studying will assist students in doing this in a less time-consuming way since they have an early start compared to those who wait until they finish their degree.
Working while studying forces students to learn and develop their time management skills. This might play a pivotal role in increasing efficiency for their later career, especially in demanding, fast-paced positions where to-do lists and deadlines pile up in heaps. Learning how to manage time is a skill everyone should master and it is best, from my perspective, that students develop their time-management skill early in college.
Working while studying may help students develop money management skills. Working and being paid might give students an understanding of the value of money, thus become more responsible and conscious of what they spend money for. In the long run students may develop a healthy money spending habit, which might make the transition to self-catering adulthood easier.Disadvantages: However, working and studying also has its downside:
Having a job, part-time or full-time, inevitably means less self-study time, which might result in poor grades and little study progress. Students with dense work schedules state that they believe it has a negative impact on their academic performance.( (Elling and Elling, 2000)
Mental and physical health problems from excess working is also a problem to take into consideration. To some students university life is a lot of pressure, not only from putting considerable effort into getting good grades but also from post-graduation plans. These pressures alone can already lead to mental health issues, trying to integrate paid employment will only make things worse. According to a case study of work/life/study balance from a Scottish university, students often suffer from stress when trying to make time for both work and study. “Full time and part time students experienced different but equivalent demands on their time and were equally at risk of overload. Over half of the students achieved a good or manageable work/life/study balance, whilst some experienced stress caused by conflicting priorities” (Lowe and Gayle, 2007)
Going to college, either full-time or part-time, occupies a significant amount of students’ time. When one decides to add part-time jobs into their schedule, valuable time for personal and family business contracts to the minimum. This shortage of family time represents a problem, even more severe in Asian societies, where people very much value traditions and family bonds. According to a study from a university in Macau, China, students taking part-time jobs often suffer from relationship damage with their parents. (Wang et al., 2010)
Being employed while studying is also one of the most common reasons contributing to drop-out rates (Hovdhaugen, 2013)