Getting a part-time job is one of the first steps many students take when they start college. It’s an excellent way to make some extra money on the side.
However, part-time jobs are time-consuming, and studying requires serious dedication.
So what are the effects of holding a part-time job while studying?
Teachnology asked 1500 teachers if having a part-time job affects academic performance.
The survey has an unambiguous interpretation: most teachers think part-time jobs hurt academic performance!
The number of teachers who felt that working has no impact is less than 18.1%. These teachers think that some students spend very little time studying, so the hours they spend working has little or no effect on academic performance.
Here’s another interesting finding: 22.1% of the teachers felt that part-time jobs improved academic performance.
Maybe these teachers feel that when students become responsible enough to hold down a job, they can take advantage of this new attitude tow and improve their grades.
So, what does the scientific literature say about it?
Scientific literature review
A quick review of the scientific literature reveals that the number of hours worked per week is the most critical factor at play.
The table below summarizes the effect of part-time jobs on grades:
|Number of hours worked per week||Effect on grades|
|Less than 10 hours||No effect/Positive effect|
|11-15 hours||No effect|
|15-20 hours||Negative effect|
|Over 20 hours||Very negative effect|
If you want to read our sources, here are the scientific publications on the topic:
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: Students who worked less than 20 hours per week had an average GPA of 3.13, while nonworking students had an average GDP of 3.04. The research shows that students who worked over 20 hours a week had much lower grade point averages — 2.95 on average.
- International Journal of Business Administration: An interesting finding of the study is that work positively affects both satisfaction and GPA when students work fewer than 10 hours. Thus, part-job may not always be detrimental to students’ satisfaction. However, when students work for over 11 hours a week, students’ satisfaction and GPA declined.
- National Center for Education Statistics: As students work longer hours, they achieve at lower levels academically and are less likely to engage in extracurricular activities.
The bottom line
It is generally accepted that part-time jobs hurt student grades.
The scientific literature confirms that it is especially true if the student has to work over 20 hours a week.
However, part-time jobs can positively affect both satisfaction and GPA, provided that students work fewer than 10 hours a week. In this case, part-time jobs are an excellent opportunity to transfer a professional attitude towards your academic studies.