I have in the past been sceptical of claims that encouraging students to spend fewer hours in paid work is a worthwhile public policy goal. Recent research supports this scepticism.
The most detailed findings are from the Graduate Pathways Survey. Key points:
* no relationship between paid work and average overall grade
* working for pay during study is positively related to employment after graduation
* mean satisfaction score for those not working was 62 – the same as those working between 11 and 20 hours
* developmental outcomes were enhanced through paid work – an increase from 42 to 46 on the 100-point scale
Developmental questions related to understanding people of other racial and ethnic backgrounds, solving complex, real-world problems, developing a personal code of values and ethics, contributing to the welfare of your community, developing general industry awareness and understanding different social contexts.
As in previous research, the negatives only develop with very long hours at paid work, well beyond what most full-time undergraduates are doing. Key points:
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