Column: Is It Worth Getting a Part-Time Job?


Photo by: Tim Boyle

Cole Tauscher, Student of Journalism

Even though it is difficult to balance work and school life, having a part-time job as a teenager is vital because workers get funds that can be used for college, build discipline and gain work experience.

I did not have a part-time job until the end of my junior year, but I believe that a part-time job adds many benefits that outweigh the cons overall. After working at Festival Foods, I have been able to follow schedules better and feel more confident in performing tasks assigned to me. Arguably the most important aspect of a part-time job, however, is that workers earn money from it, and even though I have only started working in my junior year, I still made a good amount of money that can be used for college tuition.

Although the benefits seem great on paper, there is always a give and take. According to  an article made by Walden University, one of the main things workers must give up is time. This reason alone puts many people on edge about getting a part-time job, especially those who are involved with multiple activities. I can understand this; however, a large swath of time is available where many people are not busy, which is summer break. If a student cannot get a part-time job during school because of extracurriculars, I would highly recommend getting one during the summer, since the vast majority of students have plenty of extra time to spare.

Another con to having a part time job is shown by a study in a Salarship Article by Nathan Brunner, which shows the impact of part-time jobs on grades. The study shows that students who work more than 15 hours per week have slightly worse academic performance regarding their grades. The sources for the data date back to 2001, and these results have been consistent throughout the years, including today. Although this seems like a call for concern, the solution is to request for fewer hours per week, or to limit job candidates to places that have flexible schedules. The study actually revealed that students that work 10 hours per week have increased academic performance!

Although there are cons, they can be worked around and lead to a vast majority of benefits, which is explained in an article by Student Tutor. The article lists many benefits including but not limited to: Developing a resume early on, having increased communication skills, building a good work ethic/discipline, learning time management, building confidence, learning new skills and of course, earning funds for the future. Nearly all of the benefits a part-time job provides will be relevant when having to get a full-time job, and most benefits even apply to day-to-day life such as communication skills. 

With support from research and personal experience, I can say that there are definitely cons to a part-time job, but they are not insurmountable. If students can work around them, the benefits are wonderful, but if they cannot avoid the cons, a part-time job might not be the right choice for them. After all, even the College Board’s recommendation for part time jobs says, “The major point that students should keep in mind is the importance of balance.”