Why College Students Make the Best Part-Time Employees

By Timothy Hayes on February 16, 2015

Running into class last minute, breathless, unorganized, disoriented, the student takes a seat near the back. Hair capped inside a uniform hat, they scribble notes, raise their hand asking for clarification, and keep listening.

When the last few minutes of class slip by, the student slips a look at their watch and starts to pack up. Others around them give sideways glances. Class isn’t over, but the student is already on the way out the door, having drawn their own conclusions from the lecture. Running outside, they leave campus, headed for their job. Clocking in, they greet their manager and get to work.

Maybe this is a familiar image for you. You might find yourself running to class or work, just trying to keep up. Maybe you see this all the time. Some breathless students running in, clocking in just in time, and suddenly turning on a game face. Here is the life of a working college student.

Whether it’s on or off campus, students provide an excellent workforce to choose from. (photo courtesy of collegeparents.org)

Whether you work, you don’t, or you hire, you’re doubtless going to encounter this multi-tasking worker ant. Most times, they’ll come into work with a backpack or computer bag full of assignments they’ve got to do after the clock-out. Busy, but industrious, the college student appears to be a second choice for hiring, but it is time to reconsider that notion.

Students are busy, there is no doubt, but being so busy forces them to schedule. For many that means looking into work schedules as soon as they are out, cutting leisure time, and adjusting study schedules. Budgeting time is crucial to any work environment, be it school sponsored or private. The workplace requires dedicated timing. Where better to learn this than college? Taking 15 credit hours give or take, the students learn quickly in a sink-or-swim environment to fend for themselves.

College is a place to learn, and learn differently. Students are responsible for the first time for their own education, taking the time to work with professors to pass or excel. This responsibility is learned quickly as students can tangibly feel their own comprehension. This pushes them to approach authority figures with questions when they don’t understand. Translating into the work environment, students will ask “how” when they don’t know or “why” when they don’t understand. If they need help, students will ask for it.

Knowing the struggle of fellow students, college students help each other out. When people need a shift covered, students pick them up. Whether they’re doing a favor for fellow students or picking up a shift to pick up the rent, students will go the extra mile. With classes, students will also work odd hours and fill gaps in schedules. Most are also available on the weekend, meaning they are willing to work when most non-students want a break.

If someone is in college, they’re there for a reason. They are a cut above the rest. They have successfully proven to a university or college that they are a good choice to accept at their institute. So what do ACT scores and grades have to do with a job? At the least, higher scores and grades may show more intelligence. However, as many will agree, intelligence does not mean better scores, nor is the inverse true. Most of the time, good marks mean good intention and good work ethic. Ultimately and unfortunately, most of the American public school system is based around tests and effort. Good marks mean hard work.

If you’re hiring college students, then chances are, you’re in a college town. The business you represent will likely deal with clientele from the institute you neighbor at some point. Depending on your age and experience, that might be a task you enjoy and excel at or aren’t good with and don’t look forward to. Enter the student.

Relevant to current culture of the U.S. and the town, they can navigate the problems of interacting with their peers and reaching out to the community. Students are pan-cultural and bridge the gap between youth and adults, teacher and students, community and individuals. Hiring college students is hiring ambassadors providing a unique perspective.

While inexperienced, college students come with a willingness to learn. By their inexperience, these students can learn new processes faster rather than break bad habits and relearn techniques a new way. This allows you to mold employees to a standard with ease. With an eagerness to learn, students provide an excellent option for hire.

A large portion of computer science majors get into the field because they have previous experience with computer technology. (photo credited to parttimejobideas.com)

Aside from unskilled jobs students might take in college, some will seek out specialized jobs pertaining to their field of study. Computer science majors might look for jobs in computer repair to fill a gap in their learning, but bringing what they have learned to the table.

Writers can apply what they’ve learned in the classroom to a job where they can apply and hone those skills. Hospitality majors can apply specific knowledge to their fields, allowing them to better serve the needs of their guests and patrons. Business students provide up to date knowledge about the field and new ideas of their own. College is preparing students for the workforce.

Some would discredit students, claiming they don’t have the experience necessary to make good employees or that they are too immature to handle the job. While some students do not have good experience or any at all, they are willing to try and need to be given a chance. The question of immaturity should be handled when hiring, and usually, is not an issue. Students know that work is work and play is play.

Personally, as a working student with coworkers mostly from my university, I can say that college students are as responsible as they need to be. They understand with serious gravity how important their employment is and act accordingly. No one who wants a job is going to go at halfheartedly when the rest of the campus would like their position. It’s a cutthroat job market and students understand that they have to stand out.

Not the most experienced, students do need to be given the opportunity to prove themselves. However, given time and training, students can provide an excellent, responsible, mature and capable workforce.

By Timothy Hayes

Uloop Writer
Ohio State
I'm a Sophomore at The Ohio State University. My major is Journalism. I used to hate writing until a very passionate 6th grade teacher showed me how fun it could be. Since then, I've expanded my skills and portfolio to encompass short stories, poetry, articles, speeches, movies scripts and play scripts.

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