A 2013 study by the NUS and Endsleigh Insurance found that 57% of students have a part-time job whilst at university and 90% of these students are working as many as 20 hours per week.
Most Universities recommend that students only take on a maximum of between 10 and 15 hours employment per week during the academic term. This is so that they can readily balance work with their study.
Some Universities, such as Oxford, do not allow students to undertake part-time work during term time except under “exceptional circumstances”.
The University of Reading however is supporting students to find a suitable work/study balance and recognise that this will be important once they have graduated.
For students at the University of Reading there is a Jobshop that was specifically built to help undergraduates find work that can be undertaken alongside a degree. The University also offers lots of placement modules within degrees, which enables students to build contacts, gain experience and hopefully secure full-time work once they have graduated.
Students who have had a part-time job, some work experience, an internship or a placement are ultimately going to have a better chance in this competitive job market.
NUS research into employment services for university and college students found that: “The overwhelming consensus [amongst job shops] was that part-time work brought considerable positive benefits provided there was a work/study balance.”
Some students need a part-time job so that they can have some extra cash whilst at University for textbooks, printing costs and nights out and without this surplus income it could be a real struggle to survive on the student loan.
Studying for a degree aims to equip undergraduates for employment but without the necessary life skills, experience and contacts they could really struggle to get a foot in the job market. More students could benefit from being able to study for a degree as well as having a part-time job and this is something that all Universities should be encouraging.