By desire or necessity, quite a few students choose to work at the same time as studying. However, juggling work and studying can interfere with academic success, a study published by the Canada Millennium Scholarship Foundation reveals.
Experts have observed a negative correlation between the number of hours worked and academic results obtained – the more hours students devote to work, the more their grades suffer.
And it’s something for society to be concerned about. According to a survey conducted by Ipsos Reid for the Royal Bank of Canada, the majority of post-secondary students (57%) plan to find a way to earn a living during the school year to provide for their needs.
This propensity to work more is especially prevalent among students from Quebec, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta, who work one and one-half times more than adults. When the time spent in the classroom, at work and on the job, they average to 46 hours per week.
According to the Canada Millennium Scholarship Foundation, this is especially true for students who work out of necessity or who are not receiving any financial assistance. “61% of students who received a loan (from the government or from other sources) did not have any paid work during their studies, compared to 46% for those who had not borrowed,” the experts indicate, based on the data from the Youth in Transition Survey (YITS).
The happy medium
However, although it is recommended to take some precautions with respect to the time spent on the job, students who are absent from the labour market are not destined to succeed.
According to the research, which draws on a variety of previous studies and surveys on work and perseverance, students who work 1 to 14 hours a week are the most likely to succeed.
“The studies on the issue suggest that students who work part time (especially those who work on campus) are more attached to the institution, manage their time better and are more focused on their school work than those who do not work at all,” is how the Foundation’s report reads, citing the observations of a researcher from the American Council on Education.
Considering that the attraction for student work is increasing each year, it’s something to think carefully about. The money or results? As in all fields, you have to find the happy medium!