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Languages: English
Types: Article
Subjects:
Amidst the growing importance of employability in higher education, this study explores and identifies the motivations behind full-time university students engaging in part-time employment during term time, how students cope with simultaneously managing the two activities and how part-time working influences their career aspirations. Semi-structured interviews are used to obtain data from a sample of 30 business degree students at a UK university. The findings confirm previous studies, that financial necessity is a primary driver of part-time work, but also reveal a complex set of supplementary reasons, that either satisfies a long-term vision, or a more immediate need for development or self-gratification. Furthermore, most students compromise the longer-term benefit of study against the more immediate financial gains offered by work, resulting in an accepted lowering of academic performance as a consequence. The majority of the students did not see a connecting opportunity between their part-time work and future career, and were uncertain regarding future career direction. This study extends the use of qualitative methods in this area, which is dominated by survey research, while also extending extant findings to the career aspirations of students, which is hitherto largely unexplored.
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