Merits & Demerits of Students Working Part-Time While Studying

Studying abroad is a dream for many Pakistani students. Some students are interested in studying overseas as they consider it as an opportunity to leave their mundane life and explore something exciting while others are interested in pursuing a specific bachelor’s or master’s program. No matter what the reason, studying abroad carry various benefits and opportunities for students.

One of the many benefits of pursuing higher education in a western country is the opportunity to work part-time along with your regular lectures. This may seem like a surprise to many students because this is not a common trend among people in Pakistan but many students opt for part-time jobs during their education period in a western country. Part-time jobs are not easily available for students in Pakistan and they also are not considered a good opportunity for students as people think it will affect their studies and grades. However, part-time jobs in a foreign country are a completely different scenario and are even encouraged.  

Just like every opportunity has its advantages and disadvantages, so does part-time work while studying. We will go through some of the merits and demerits of students that are working part-time while pursuing higher education abroad.

Pros:

  • Financial Assistance – The biggest hurdle for students looking to pursue education in a foreign country is the high tuition fee and living expenses. Pakistani currency is not highly valued in the international market, so it costs a lot of money to go through a college or university in a foreign country. Some people can afford to move abroad for higher education, but most students cannot afford the high tuition fee structure. Luckily, many students can avail the opportunity of working part-time alongside their regular lectures. This not only helps them to bear the burden of high tuition fees but also enables them to carry out their day-to-day expenses.
  • Work Experience – Work part-time with any firm or organization enables the student to work directly in their profession. Although it will be slightly less paid than a full-time job, students will gain insights into how organizations work, how the different departments of a firm coordinate and work together to produce collective output that benefits their organization.

Students sometimes struggle to secure a job after completing their graduation. The main reason highlighted by employers is the lack of practical or professional work experience. Fresh graduates from international universities have the potential required to excel in an organization but employers usually discourage the time required to train them. Work experience of a part-time job shows seriousness and commitment and gives the added advantage in landing a job after graduation.

  • Time Management – Pakistani students are only used to focusing on a single job or task. They put in a lot of effort in scoring good grades but are not used to managing other important affairs. Working part-time during studies is an excellent opportunity for students to learn how to effectively manage their time. They will develop a timetable or a schedule to maintain a balance between their college education and a part-time job.
  • Networking Opportunities – Working part-time also means interaction with different people such as clients, colleagues, co-workers, and your boss. This indicates that working alongside your education is an excellent opportunity. Most of the modern-day jobs are acquired upon referrals and contacts. When multiple people apply for a job and the candidates only have slight differences between each other, employers look for a referral or a contact for hiring. Since it is impossible to choose the perfect employee among a pool of similar candidates, your network could greatly increase your hiring chances if you can connect with an employee of the organization.

Cons:

  • Distraction from Studies – The main goal of students when opting to move abroad for higher education is their bachelor’s or master’s studies. Working along with their studies is a secondary thing. Since part-time work in foreign countries is well paid, students start focusing more on jobs than their primary goal i.e., education. Only a few students can keep a good balance between part-time work and university lectures and most of the students end up with below-average and bad grades. This certainly does not reflect well on their resume during the job hunt as it indicates that the student was unable to maintain a good balance between part-time work and studies.
  • Lack of Time – Lectures in a university are held regularly in the daytime and if a student is working part time, he or she barely gets time for themselves. This may seem harmless in the beginning but with time this routine gets extremely exhausting. This busy schedule barely leaves any personal time for extracurricular activities or social interactions in a multi-ethnical and multi-cultural environment.
  • Increased Stress Levels – Students in Pakistan usually have to focus only on their education. No one expects them to work or provide financial support to their families. In short, there are no responsibilities and education, and grades are the only concern for students and their parents. Working part-time in a western country while studying and with no help from any friend or family is exhausting and can increase the stress level for students.

At the end of the day, there are benefits and drawbacks for students who work part-time along with their education. It is the student’s responsibility to maintain a balance between all the activities and not go astray from the main goal. A recommendation would be to take at least 30 mins of their daily routine to do some activity of their liking. This greatly reduces stress, refreshes one’s mind, and helps maintain focus.

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