High School

Study shows value of summer, after school jobs

Students who work at age 15 do well at age 25

Parents who think their teenagers should focus on school instead of paid work should consider a new study from the University of British Columbia.

Researchers found that the more hours 15-year-olds had worked at summer or evening jobs, the better suited they were for their careers 10 years later, at age 25. The benefit was observed for those working at jobs up to 33 hours per week during the school year and 43 hours per week during the summer. The researchers concluded that the boost was because the 15-year-olds got a head start on soft skills, references and learned how to successfully job hunt.

“Parents may think that their kids could do better than a job at the local fast food joint,” said co-author Marc-David L. Seidel, according to a UBC press release, “but our study shows even flipping burgers has value—particularly if it leads to part-time work later.”

The study, Beneficial “Child labor”: The impact of adolescent work on future professional outcomes, was based on data from  Statistics Canada’s Youth in Transition Survey.

Of course, students looking for work this summer might have trouble finding it. Statistics Canada reported in May that the unemployment rate among 15 to 24-year-olds was 13.3 per cent.

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