Should Students Hold Jobs While in High School?

If you are a student, have you ever wondered if you should work a part-time job while in high school? You may dream of what the money you earn can buy. But how will holding a student job affect your future? It could help you – or harm you.

If you are a parent, perhaps you are considering helping your teen find a job. Maybe you feel it will teach them responsibility and help them save up for college or pay for their car, insurance, or cell phone. You can examine the following information to aid in deciding whether a student job is right for your adolescent.

Are you wondering how your part-time job, grades, and extracurricular activities can help you in the future? There are plenty of resources out there for more information on how to build your resume, what to include, and more.

Benefits of an After-School Job

Having an after-school job can offer a student a host of benefits. Consider a few, below.

Extra Money

One of the biggest benefits of an after-school job is that it may allow the student to save up for college expenses. It can also lighten the burden on the family if some of the income is used to pay for bills accrued by the teenager, such as the purchase of a car, car insurance, or a cell phone bill. Some families may also benefit if the student pays a reasonable amount of rent, a utility bill, or buys groceries for the family one week out of the month.

Further, parents can use a teen’s first job as a teaching tool, aiding the student in learning good budgeting, saving, and spending habits. They can also be introduced to responsible management of credit cards, checking and savings accounts, and federal income taxes.

Character Building

Adults must juggle work schedules, family life, and other responsibilities. Holding a job can help the student develop a good work ethic and qualities such as responsibility, punctuality, organization, and scheduling as they balance work, school, family, and fun.

Work Experience

A student job will become the first work experience on a youth’s resume. Highlighted skills may increase the student’s chances of getting into their college of choice or landing a future job.

Work experience can be especially beneficial if it relates to the student’s chosen career path. For example, a summer job as an assistant to a carpenter, plumber, or similar craftsman will look very good on construction or engineering resume.

Drawbacks of an After-School Job

Despite the benefits listed above, student jobs can have drawbacks, too. Consider whether the following would be true in your case.

Don’t Let Grades Drop

Time spent at a job necessitates less free time. But care should be taken that the number of hours worked does not interfere with the student’s ability to complete homework assignments or study for exams. If the student’s grades plummet, this can negate any beneficial effects the job may have had on resumes or college admissions.

Don’t Sacrifice Relevant Extracurricular Activities

Some students may excel at sports and be considered for sports scholarships. If this is the case for your student, may sure that working hours do not conflict with time for practice or scheduled games. Also, the student should get ample rest so that his or her health does not suffer.

Various other extracurricular activities also look good on new resumes and college applications. But these activities take time. Extracurricular activities may include honor societies, volunteerism, subject-specific school clubs, debate teams, theatrical troops, or yearbook or journalism staff.  Activities related directly to the student’s career path can give resumes and college applications a boost. You may carefully consider whether a job would interfere too much with the student’s participation in beneficial activities.

Not working an after-school job can also free up time for other college preparation resources. For example, Stoodnt connects college hopefuls with preparatory classes, counselors, “boot camps” in growing fields, and more.

Don’t Sacrifice Mental Health

Today, more teens than ever require health interventions for depression, anxiety, and other mental disorders. Stress is often a factor. Adding a job to a full plate of schoolwork and activities can greatly increase this stress.

Don’t forget that your teen needs recreation, too. If the student feels that they have no “downtime” or that they lack the time to get adequate sleep, eat right, and exercise in addition to fulfilling their responsibilities, adding a job to the mix could do more harm than good.

In Conclusion

Some high school students choose to hold a job after school or on weekends; others do not. Benefits of holding an after-school job include gaining work experience and saving up for college. It can also foster responsibility, good organization, and scheduling.

In other cases, parents and students may decide that a job would interfere too much with scholastic attainment or extracurricular activities such as sports. Balance is needed, because good grades, sports involvement, and certain extracurricular activities may be even more conducive to a college application or resume than a job would be. Finally, the child’s mental health should be taken into consideration. A job may add a burden of stress, causing depression and anxiety.

Parents and teens can openly discuss these factors to decide the best course of action in their unique situation.

Hope this article will help you.

If you are facing problems on choosing the right college, career paths or If you need any help on the college application process, essay/SoP/or reviews, please schedule a 30 or 60 minutes online 1-on-1 interactive session with any of our experienced counselors OR send an email at

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