During students high school years many students sign up for extracurricular activities which could include sports, dance or service.
Research and personal experiences suggest adolescent work experience can also benefit teenagers for the future ahead of them, as this includes learning how to budget, preparation for the workforce, and develops freedom and independence.
But there is a strong debate about whether adolescents should be working, and for how many hours.
Statistics show if adolescents are working up to 15-20 hours a week, it gets to the stage where it distracts them from schoolwork.
It’s a personal choice if teenagers want to pursue a job to help their finances, but the outcome can be positive or negative.
This debate has been supported by debateworse.org, which shows different opinions on the positive and negative effects on high school students who are employed.
THE EMPLOYED STUDENT
Mackinnon Bryan-Wakeling is in her first year of university but has been employed since the age of 15.
Mackinnon says having a job in fact helped her with time management, as she had the responsibility to balance her job with school work.
Furthermore, it helped her time management in university, as she was adjusted to managing her time wisely.
Appreciation for money and belongings developed as Mackinnon realised the effort and time needed to earn to save for her future requirements such as buying a car, saving for university, a house or travelling.
When coming to the start of university she was open to new jobs from her previous job in high school. This is backed up by the research conducted by Bachelor Degrees Online, which claims the benefits of having a job outweigh the potential risks for teenagers.
Bachelor Degrees Online says benefits such as money management, valuable work experience, building connections that could lead to other jobs and constructive use of free time are very useful. They are skills that Mackinnon has developed throughout her four years of employment.
THE EMPLOYED STUDENT’S PARENT
Mackinnon’s mum agrees having a job has helped her daughter’s leadership skills that are important for the future. It’s a way to learn how to budget and save for something valuable, knowing she has paid for it.
She also said she wouldn’t let her own kids rely on her for everything as they wouldn’t have experienced the joy of buying something for themselves.
Though she recommended jobs to most teenagers, Mackinnon’s mum also knew that some people may not have a choice due to parents not being available to get them back and forth from work, or because they were committed to other hobbies such as sports or other interests.
THE UNEMPLOYED STUDENT
Rory Barnett doesn’t have a job. She wanted to give her full attention to her school work as it was her priority and couldn’t think how she would juggle a job at the same time as finishing all the homework she is given.
Rory recognises the independence and freedom gained from a job and has seen this through her friends who have jobs and the feedback they have given.
When going out with friends and wanting to buy something, Rory says she feels guilty for asking her parents and thinks that’s a benefit of having a job. However, her parents understand how hard she works in school so they don’t mind lending her the money when she needs it.
THE UNEMPLOYED STUDENT’S PARENTS
Both Rory’s parents feel it’s best their daughter focus on her academics.
Even though their daughter doesn’t have a job, both her parents agree that jobs can be beneficial to introduce young people to the workforce and gain a sense of independence.
Overall, they think there are benefits of work but these shouldn’t come at the detriment of academic achievements.