Students should balance school with a job

69.2% of students hold part-time jobs, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Should that number be higher?

Max Hancock, Staff writer

While many argue that a high school student should not balance both their education and employment, the positives of working in high school far outweigh any possible negative side effects. Having a job in high school is essential if a student wants to succeed in life.

A high school education teaches students factual information as well as problem-solving skills. Unfortunately, many essential skills that are necessary for a successful life post-high school are missed out on if a student limits themself to only school-related experiences. 

A high school job teaches communication skills and a great work ethic at an early age, giving a head start against one’s peers.

A study conducted by Walden University in 2017 found that just over 30 percent of students are employed in a job for at least a portion of the year. Students either need the money to help provide for their families, spend on their social life, or begin saving for college. Regardless of what the motives behind one’s employment are, the experience gained is priceless.

From my experience, having a job taught me more things about the real world in the past year than I’ve ever learned from school. I have learned that hard work pays off, and I can now communicate in situations I used to fold under pressure in. At the same time, I learned the value of a dollar all while building a resume.

Furthermore, if a student’s part-time job is related to an intended major or profession, college admissions offices will recognize a student’s focus and drive in that particular field. This will open up new career paths and even jump-start their college life. Having high school job experience also catches college’s eyes as well as future employers. Working a part-time job shows maturity and conscientiousness, these are both qualities that are very important in a successful student. A high school job can even give students ideas as to which field or profession to pursue at a higher level of education when the time comes. 

If a highschool job is balanced with an education correctly, the opportunities to grow are plentiful. Researchers from the Bureau of Labor of statistics found that students who worked less than 20 hours per week had an average GPA of 3.13, while nonworking students had an average GPA of 3.04.

Many students and parents will claim that a high school job is too overbearing. This could not be more backward. A job provides the necessary skills and experience to be able to handle the challenges of school.

Alongside other essential skills gained from a job in high school, time management is also learned. Life after high school is not easy, and college can be harder than most people realize. That is why it is important to have adequate time management skills when things begin to crack down.

I know that if I did not have my job experience, I would not be able to perform in school as well as I currently do. I now know how to space out assignments and due dates more effectively, ultimately raising my GPA. 

Getting a job while in high school is the answer to most problems teens suffer from on a daily basis.