Professor Lori-beth Larsen
May 13th 2011
High School Employment; Should or Should not?
Student main obligation is study, that’s what typically parents will say to their children in South East Asia countries but in North America, especially United States, that might be different. Student maybe or maybe not has second obligation, their job. In United States, student can start working part time since their first high school year. The big question is, does this high school employment really helps them in future’s career or in opposite of that, contributing to low grades and student’s failure to get a good job after they graduated from high school or college.
One category of employed students who earn significantly lower grades than non employed students are those who work in all weeks and for more than 20 hours per week (Oettinger 10). The fact shows us there’s a strong correlation between student’s employment and lower grades, but it also mentions that it happens with students who work excessive hours.
Students who worked 20 hours per week or less in every week of the school year earned highest grade, outperforming even students who never worked (Oettinger 8). Noted that these students working less hour every week but they keep working in every week of their school year. They work consistently the same small amount of hours through every week. This fact is breaking general opinion about negative effect of high school employment. This is something that everyone should put attention on it, so people can see positive effect of high school employment in the right dose.
By working, students are developing skills and cultivating work habits (Oettinger 1). The first thing could be learned from school but the second one is obviously can be obtained only through work place, in other word by working. Every company wants someone who has experience in certain field of job, even some of them is hiring fresh graduates but preferably the experienced one. It makes sense with this kind of general requirement, working experience while still in high school has it’s advantage.
Time management skill is essential for student who wants to work and go to school in the same time. Student has to know how many hours in week they can work without affecting their study time. Student must recognizes their own needs of study, work and personal time. Student with ability to understand lessons faster needs shorter hours of study, compared to those who aren’t. By doing so, student would have better understanding of themselves, their own behaviors and so on.
High school employment also teaches student the value of hard working. If this value carried by them through the rest of their future journey, there’s no doubt that they’ll succeed in career and life. Student might be born smart, but they still need to do hard work. They can’t count on luck to be successful because as one old proverb says, “luck is residue of preparation”. The hard work preparation.
Other positive effect of high school employment is independence, student who works earn an income and they should financially responsible for that. They should have enough money to buy what typically high school students want without asking their parents. Once again, it’s not about how much money they can make but it’s more about independence. Parents might still need to help them with financial support but at least not a hundred percents.
One more thing about students’ independence is, they don’t know what’s going to happens with their parents. It is not impossible, they can lose one or both of their parents in accident. Better scenario if it’s not caused death but what if it caused permanent disability. Except student’s parent already have insurance that covers that, student might has to find his own way to survive and financially responsible for himself and his parents. Even if parents have insurance coverage, he has to be able to manage the financial condition of his family, allocate money for family needs and his self.
Conclusion is, high school employment is not always has negative effect for students’ grade or future career. Depend on students’ ability to manage time and recognize their own time needs, it could be a good way to gain work experience and life skills. Important thing that mustn’t forgotten, it should be in the right amount of hours, consistently same every week throughout years.
Oettinger, Gerald S. “Does High School Employment Affect High School Academic Performance?”. Industrial & Labor Relations Review 53.1 (1999): 136-151. Print.