Working and studying: possible and desirable

Is it possible to work while at university, without this being a heavy burden to bear, or slowing the regular academic path? In Italy, it is a common practice, even though working learners are now decreasing in numbers compared to the past. According to the Italian newspaper Sole 24 Ore, the percentage of students that study and have a paid job dropped by 39% to 26%, probably due to the reduced working possibilities.

Conversely, in the US, according to a report by Georgetown University, nearly 14 million people – 8 percent of the total labour force and a consistent 70 percent to 80 percent of college students – are both active in the labour market and formally enrolled in some form of postsecondary education or training.

There is a widespread consensus that working too much while enrolled in a postsecondary program hurts one’s chances of completing it.

However, the analysis made by researchers highlighted a positive relation between working and studying during college years. Findings also show clearly that students who complete college degrees while working are more likely over time to transition to managerial positions with higher wages than people who go straight into full-time work after high school.

An effective school-work transition, thus, helps to find a good job and to understand what is best for one’s life, personal and professional fulfilment. Yet, this theme – happiness in the workplace – is often left apart, but it is a definitive and most important topic, and an key factor to drive general productivity.

Indeed, a survey on students of the Harvard Business School, shows how the majority of graduates choose not to work as bankers, and that this figure decreased since 2007 to 2007 – it was 13 percent in 2007, and now it is only 5% -, rather they prefer to work in tech companies and start-ups who embrace wellbeing and sustainability as their core business. Hence, better happy than rich. And with a travel bag always full of dreams.

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