Working Students

            As a working student, you’ll be able to put theory into practice while still continuing with your studies. You will work in specialized areas that give you real insights into your subject and make a huge contribution to your studies. You’ll also make important contacts among your colleagues and managers – the first step in creating your own network. And of course you’ll get to know the company from the inside. Taken together, all these benefits will offer you excellent prospects for a future career (Daimler AG, 2017).

Reasons of Students to Work on Campus

            Depending on their financial aid packages, students may qualify for work-study positions that would allow them to receive funding to work on campus.  Most campuses maintain a central listing of work-study positions. The financial aid office typically houses such listings, and academic advisers are well positioned to share this important information with students. Depending on the campus size, students may be able to find on-campus employment that will enhance their personal and professional development. For example, there may be positions available for biology majors to work in research labs on campus. This can be advantageous to students, because it allows them to gain valuable work experience, make connections with faculty and/or staff members, and earn money to help pay for their education. Another advantage is that on-campus employers may be more flexible during busy times of the semester (such as mid-terms and finals), since they tend to be more cognizant of class loads than off-campus supervisors. Other on-campus jobs, such as working in student unions or residence halls, allow students to network and gain skills that will be attractive to future employers. Advisers can help students realize how the skills they have learned while working are transferable to future employers in their field of study (Presley, 2013).

According to Rapacon (2015), stated that even if you work in an unrelated field, the experience can help you develop highly desirable professional skill. Working while one is still in school enhances the ability to meet deadlines. Work under pressure and effectively structure time blocks.

            Students who work off-campus jobs are more likely to feel disconnected from campus activities. According to King and Bannon (2002), nearly half of all full-time college students with jobs work hours that negatively impact on academic performance. Participation in class sometimes suffers because of lack of study time and/or fatigue from work. A study conducted by Torres, Gross, and Dadashova (2010) found that students under the age of 21 worked an average of thirty-one hours per week while enrolled as a full-time student, which influenced grade-point average and course completion. While working can help students find their true passion and gain valuable time management skills, some students are not able to find a school/work balance, which can cause academics to suffer (King & Bannon, 2002).

Depending on the student’s employment status (part- or full-time), their ability to access campus resources may also have a negative impact on their academic performance. According to a study done by Orszag, Orszag, and Whitmore (2001), working college students face the challenge of limited hours for support services such as tutoring, health services, and libraries. In the study, 26 percent of the students working full time reported that working hindered their access during normal library hours (Orszag, Orszag, & Whitmore, 2001). Studies also showed that 40 percent of the students felt their class schedules were limited based on their work schedule. These factors not only play a role in student retention but also impact the number of years it takes students to complete their degree.

According to Chang, Rand, and Strunk (2000), stress plays a major role in job burnout for college students. As stress levels increase, so does the likelihood that students will drop out of school and have “less attractive post-college opportunities” (Orszag, Orszag, & Whitmore, 2001).

Benefits of Working Students

            A part-time job, whether on-campus or off-campus, can help the student become a better student and get a jump on his/her career track.

Nearly 40% of undergraduates nationwide hold part-time jobs while attending college, and nearly half of these students work on-campus. Part-time work allows students to:

  • Perfect time-management skills necessary for academic success
  • Reduce reliance on student loans
  • Gain career-related experience as they clarify goals, acquire skills and self-confidence, and build a network of contacts

Most college students take a job for the financial benefits associated with it. For some, work is absolutely necessary to help them pay for education-related expenses. For others, employment provides some basic spending money for incidentals and for treating themselves to the occasional eating out and entertainment (Levy, 2017).

Though many students work while in school, some educators believe that working during the academic year serves as a distraction from what should be a student’s top priority: their academics. But the 2008 National Survey of Student Engagement demonstrated that working while in school was positively correlated with student engagement. Similarly, the 2009 follow-up to the 2003-04 Beginning Post secondary Students longitudinal study (BPS:04/09) demonstrated that students who worked 1-12 hours a week had higher Bachelor’s degree attainment rates than students who did not work, but that working more than 12 hours a week caused declines in graduation rates.

Studies show that students who work up to 12 hours a week do just as well or even better academically than those who don’t. Working only 10-12 hours a week shouldn’t affect academic grades or performance. Similarly, a part-time job can enrich the college experience. Far from being a distraction for students, working during college has proven to be one of the places where students develop two critical employment and life-related skills: teamwork and time management.

Even working in the college dining hall or at a fast-food eatery can help students develop fundamental work habits. But, securing employment with a specific on-or off-campus employer related to the student’s field of study can provide students with the potential to deepen and enrich what they are learning in the classroom. Most importantly, working students find that part-time work experience helps them clarify their career aspirations and provides them with an advantage when seeking a full-time job after graduation (Levy, 2017).

Problems of Working Students

            Student jobs have become sort of a trend among students around the world primarily college students whereas college tuitions and finances are more high-priced and costly than high school learners. In short, the term that suits this trend is ‘Earn and Learn’ policy. Another factor is students who have no relatives or family who aspire to fulfil studies prefer to be a working student unless they’re students who comprise scholarship. Every student has their own aspirations in life, and that is the reason why some students are now working by virtue of aiming those aspirations (Study Moose, 2017).

According to Edison (2016), stated that working while in college gives you a different perspective on the college experience. Ranging from friends to classes to jobs, all working students will understand how difficult it can get. Throughout college, you get to know all the ways that students finance their education. Some, like a student, work numerous jobs on top of going to school full-time. Some have a part-time job, others do miscellaneous work from time to time, and there are those who don’t work and/or have never worked a day in their life. When faced with having friends who have an unlimited amount of time to do whatever they want to do outside of their class and homework time, working folk have a time-management dilemma. These five basic, working college student problems highlight issues that they are faced with every day:

1. Spontaneity

Having a set work schedule every week doesn’t leave much room for spontaneous trips, or even random coffee dates with friends who don’t have that commitment. Even friends who share the same problem, who have committed schedules for work, find difficulty in finding time to share with you amongst other friends because of conflicting work schedules. The only way you ever really have free time to spend with friends is when you take a weekend off of work in order to take a break and relax with the friends you hardly get to see.

2. Sleep

Sleep is nonexistent to working college students. I can’t remember a night I went to bed before 3 a.m. Nights are long and mornings are dreaded. The only time we ever get any kind of rest is on the weekends and even then it’s possible that we might have an early morning shift. When we get home we still have to work on homework, and if it doesn’t take hours to finish then maybe we’ll have time to go out with some friends later that night. The question then would be, would we rather catch up on much needed sleep or have some fun and test ourselves on how much longer we can last through our sleep-deprived days?

3. Morning Classes

Morning classes are not your friend. If I get off work at 12 a.m., get home in time to finish my homework due the next day by 2 a.m., take my shower, hop in bed, and fall asleep by 3 a.m., I do not want to wake up five hours later to make it to a 9 a.m. class, during which I will probably fall asleep. That doesn’t help my sleep-depravity or my grades. Having a 9AM class can make those absences soar. It’s a good thing colleges have attendance policies, otherwise I would not have any determination to get up in the morning.

4. Stress

Unfortunately, having to balance a social life, work, school, and family time is extremely stressful. It’s not hard to get overwhelmed, especially when you have next-to-no time just to relax. There’s always something going on and you constantly feel as though you’re being pulled in every direction just waiting to see how long you can last before you’re stretched too thin. This probably isn’t a very healthy lifestyle, but hey, what can you do? Work is necessary for a large portion of college students in order to afford the pretty penny that college costs. Spending time with friends is an important part of our late-teen, early-adult years. Seeing your family, or even face-timing with them, can be a nice, much needed reminder of home, especially when feeling homesick. Learning to deal with the stress that follows with being a working college student, and making sure you have at least one night off a week, can bring down your stress levels ten-fold. Don’t try to overextend yourself. You know your limits, don’t pass them.

5. Priorities

Typically when I have a paper, or a load of homework, that’s due by the end of the week, I try my best to study and finish everything the previous weekend so that I don’t have to stay up extremely late during the week. This isn’t always realistic. Working double shifts are painful, but sometimes we need those extra hours for our next paycheck. On weekends that I work double shifts, it’s likely that I’ll be way too exhausted to do my homework when I get home. Time management revolves around our minimal sleep schedules. Trying to muster the maximum amount of sleep when your schedule doesn’t allow for more than 5 hours almost every night can impact your studies, and energy level, in a negative way. There’s not enough hours in the day to allow us to do everything we need, as well as want, to do. We have to prioritize the most important things against the not-so-important things. Writing an essay for one of your classes, as opposed to watching the next show on Netflix that made your list, is probably worth higher priority.

Hard work pays off and those who work for what they have known what it’s like to have responsibilities. The value of independence starts in college, and learning how to adapt to this lifestyle can be a difficult transition. Make sure you allot some time to yourself every so often and you have the option to relax without all the stress of the outside world. It gets better and you will eventually understand that this is a blessing in disguise.

Disadvantages of Working Students

            According to A Guest Author (2017), opens that the first year of college can be quite a challenge in time. It is no accident that many college students put on pounds or lose weight during their first year in college. This is due to the fact that college can be a very stressful and confusing place. There are many personal issues that are brought into the surface because of the amount of academic stress that college can inflict. With that said, college can also be a very fun time. Many people actually never have as much fun in later life as they did during their college years. Your experience totally depends on how you play the cards that you are dealt.

One way to have a tough time in college is to work while you’re studying. While many students can handle working while studying, it’s not just for everybody. You have to weigh the pros and cons of this decision carefully or else you might be postponing your graduation date by several years, or in many cases, this might take yourself out of the graduation pool completely. Some students get so caught up in the work they have started in college that they eventually drop out.

1. It hugs your time.

Unless you have a lot of solid time management skills back in high school, college can be especially challenging in terms of handling your time. There are just so many things to do and not enough time to do it. In between social commitments, extracurricular activities, schoolwork, or family issues, there are way too many considerations to keep in mind. Many people can’t really juggle all those things up in the air. You have to pay careful attention to how you deal with pressure and stress as this can greatly affect you.

If you feel that your time management skills is not up to par during your first semester in school, it’s probably best for you to hold off taking that job until you have gained a better handle on how to manage your time and achieve the results you’re looking for.

Don’t dive into a job commitment immediately. Look at how you handle your other commitments first and then see if you can sneak in a few hours at work in your busy schedule. Keep in mind that there are many different kinds of people when it comes to time management. There are zero sum people – those that look at life’s resources as a giant pie.

One of life’s resources is time. In zero sum mentality, if one piece of the pie gets bigger – say your schoolwork – other pieces of the pie – like family time and work – gets smaller. If you have a zero sum mentality or mindset, it’s probably a bad idea to get a job before you get a handle on your schoolwork. Once you are able to study efficiently and produce better and consistent academic results with less and less time, then that would be the best time to go out and get a job.

2. Can you handle the extra stress?

Sure, having an extra job brings extra money but that money comes at a price. First of all, you have to sacrifice some socializing or study time so you can work. But the sacrifice doesn’t end there. All jobs, regardless of what they are, involve some level of stress. You are already stressed out enough from your schoolwork and perhaps even your personal relationships. Can you really handle the extra stress load that comes with a job? Jobs produce stress not just in terms of the actual work itself but also in terms of dealing with your co-workers. In fact, this is the number one cause of stress – interpersonal tension. Sadly, not all people at a workplace are pleasant. Not all fit smoothly with our personalities. That’s a fact of life. So you have to really be mindful of the extra-stress level a job brings. A better approach to follow would be: Once your academic stress level subsides and you have a lot more free time, maybe this would be the right time to take a job, since you’ll be more able to handle whatever stress the job may bring.

Advantages of Working Students

            According to Harrison (2013), there are certainly strong advantages of holding down a job during your college years.

            Added cash flow

The first and most obvious reason for getting a college job is money. For some students, getting a job may be an absolute necessity due to a tight budget. This can also be a huge help for students who don’t want to rack up credit card debt or student loan interest. Earning extra money on the side also helps kick the broke college student reputation that many college students have to bear.

            Work experience

Two things that can be gained from almost any job are experience and references. Even if your job doesn’t directly correlate to your major, having steady work experience while in college will show that you have strong work ethic and the ability to multitask. Depending on the nature of your college job, you may learn new skills that will come in handy in school and/or in the workplace after you graduate.


There’s no better way to learn how to responsibly handle finances than to do it. Nothing will teach you the value of a dollar faster than watching your hard-earned money go in and out of your bank account. Using the money that you earn from your college job will cause you to budget realistically.

           Time management

A college job can help you to develop valuable time management and organizational skills and improve your ability to focus and concentrate. Coordinating work and study can be challenging, but it can also pay off by forcing you to learn techniques to use your time as productively and efficiently as possible.

Theoretical Framework

There are some theories related to our study which all about working students. According to the Social Work License Map (Social workers can encounter many different obstacles in their line of work. Each obstacle faced represents a different kind of challenge. However, there are a few theories that can help social workers deal with some of the challenges they are facing, and how they can be utilized to achieve positive solutions.

In general, a theory is a statement backed by evidence gathered through the scientific method intended to explain something. Theoretical approaches for social work are often used to explain human behavior and serve as starting points for practice models and treatments. For example, Psychodynamic Theory explains how internal and external forces interact to influence emotional development. Conflict Theory explains how power structures and disparities affect people’s lives. This post concentrates on how Systems Theory was developed and how it can be applied to assisting a client.

  1. Systems Theory 

Systems Theory explains human behavior as the intersection of the influences of multiple interrelated systems. Even for individual issues, families, organizations, societies, and other systems are inherently involved and must be considered when attempting to understand and assist the individual. According to this theory, all systems are interrelated parts constituting an ordered whole and each subsystem influences other parts of the whole.

There have been dozens of unofficial iterations of Systems Theory over the past few hundred years, applied to society, science, and many other areas. In the 20th century, multiple scientists, philosophers, and academics began to outline and define the structure of Systems Theory in their various disciplines; there are now systems theories for biology, cybernetics, and for social work. While the applications obviously vary depending on the discipline, all systems theories follow the concept of interrelated parts influencing one another as part of an ordered whole.

Several prominent thinkers advanced Systems Theory in social work. Talcott Parsons was an economist and sociologist at Harvard University, whose book “Social System” helped steer the conversation on systematic determinants of behavior. Robert Merton is considered one of the founding fathers of modern sociology and significantly advanced Systems Theory through his progressive theories on functional analysis. Merton also coined the now ubiquitous terms “self-fulfilling prophecy” and “role model.” Carel Germain is internationally recognized for her work on explaining human behavior in a social environment. She mentored and worked extensively with Alex Gitterman, who continues to develop Systems Theory through the Life Model.

  1. Case Study in Systems Theory 

The Pruett case study provides a concrete, real-world example of how Systems Theory is applied to understand how interrelated factors contribute to unhealthy actions. In this case, the client was engaging in risky behaviors (drug abuse and unprotected sex) and not attending school. She had not had contact with her father for five years, and some of her only memories of him involved him abusing drugs and arguing with her mother at home.

In the Family Systems Theory, individuals must not be evaluated in isolation, but in the context of the family, as the family operates as a unit. One of the core concepts of this theory is the triangle, whose most common form is a parent-parent-child relationship — aka “two helping one”). Clearly, the client was missing one of the corners of the triangle and thus one of the pillars of healthy emotional development.

Another concept is the family projection process, wherein the client suffers from the emotional dysfunction of the family unit. In this case, the client witnessed her father abusing drugs to self-medicate, so she imitated that behavior, thinking it might help her. The full complexities of this case go beyond the scope of this post, but it serves as an example of how a social worker must understand interrelated systems (e.g., school-family-individual) in order to assist the client.

  1. Issues Addressed by Systems Theory 

Systems Theory is used to develop a holistic view of individuals within an environment and is best applied to situations where several systems inextricably connect and influence one another. It can be employed in cases where contextual understandings of behavior will lead to the most appropriate practice interventions.

In the Pruett case, for example, the client’s school and family environment heavily influenced her individual actions, and her actions influenced the way she interacted with others at school and in the home. The recommended interventions thus involved strengthening the missing part of her family unit, referring her to counseling services, and connecting her with academic support. There are many practice interventions available to social workers and their applications vary greatly depending on the context, but following are a few common interventions used as part of Systems Theory.

  1. Strengthen one part of the system to improve the whole

In the Pruett case, the social worker recommended finding a healthy father figure for the client, to strengthen the missing component of the family system.

  1. Networking and referrals

A critical part of any social worker’s job is to help clients navigate between systems. This often means referring clients to specialists, or connecting them with resources or organizations that can help their situation. In the Pruett case, this meant referral to a counselor and connection to an after school tutor.

  1. Ecomaps

Is a flow diagram that helps someone understand a family’s and community’s interrelated progression over time. It allows social workers and clients to capture and organize the complexity of a system.

  1. Genograms

Is a graphic representation of a family tree, constructed with symbols that describe relationships and connections between an extended family, Social workers typically construct them along with clients in order to better understand relationships and identify patterns in the medical history.

Understanding and applying Systems Theory is a critical part of any social worker’s career. One of the most important functions of a social worker is helping clients navigate the various systems that affect their lives, which requires a deep understanding of how subsystems are interrelated and influence one another. This post provides an introduction to Systems Theory and some real life examples of how it is applied. It is just one of the many theoretical approaches that social workers will apply throughout their careers.

Conceptual Framework

            In view of the literature presented,  shows how the difficulties and problems encountered by the working students can affects their studies.

              Independent Variable- Problems and difficulties by the working students

              Dependent Variable- Studies of working students



A Guest Author (2010). The Disadvantages of Working During College. Retrieved fromhttp://www.communitycollegetransferstudents.com/the-disadvantages-of-working-during-college/ on January 20, 2017.

Balum, P. (2002). College Students Have Evolved From Clients to Consumers. Retrieved from http://www.ed.psu.edu/news/studentconsumers.asp on February 27, 2017.

Chang, E. C., Rand, K. L., & Strunk, D. R. (2000). Optimism and risk for job burnout among working college students: Stress as a mediator. Personality and Individual Differences29(2), 255–263.

Daimler AG. (2017). Working student Start your career while still studying. Retrieved fromhttps://www.daimler.com/career/students/student-interns/ on January 8, 2017.

Edison, T. A. (2016). 5 Problems of a Working College Student. Retrieved fromhttps://www.theodysseyonline.com/5-problems-of-working-college-students on January 25, 2017.

Harrison, J. (2013). Four Advantages of Working While in College. Retrieved fromhttp://www.blackenterprise.com/career/advantages-working-while-in-college/ on January 22, 2017.

King, T., & Bannon, E. (2002). At what cost? The price that working students pay for a 
college education. The State PIRG’s Higher Education Project
. Retrieved from
http://www.pirg.org/highered/atwhatcost4_16_02.pdf on January 8, 2017.

Levy, D. (2016). The Benefits of Working While Enrolled in College. Retrieved fromhttp://www.edvisors.com/student-employment/job/benefits-of-working/ on January 15, 2017.

Orszag, J. M., Orszag, P. R., & Whitmore, D. M. (2001). Learning and earning: Working in college. Commissioned by Upromise, Inc. Retrieved from http://www.brockport.edu/career01/upromise.htm on January 8, 2017.

Presley, C. K. (2013). Advising and Engaging the “Working-Class” College Student. Retrieved from http://dus.psu.edu/mentor/2013/11/advising-and-engaging-the-“working-class”-college-student/ on January 8, 2017.

Social Workers License Map, (2017).Theoretical Approaches: Social Work Systems Theory. Retrieved from http://socialworklicensemap.com/theoretical-approaches-social-work-systems-theory/ on March 8, 2017.

Study Moose (2017). Problems of Working Students essay. Retrieved fromhttps://studymoose.com/problems-of-working-students-essay on January 25, 2017.

Torres, V., Gross, J. P., & Dadashova, A. (2010). Traditional-age students becoming at-risk:  Does working threaten college students’ academic success? Journal of College Student Retention: Research, Theory and Practice12(1), 51–68.

Wienberg, A. (2005). An Alternative to the Campus as Club Med. Retrieved fromhttp://chronicle.com/weekly/v52/i02/02b01301.htm on February 27, 2017.


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