Employed Ryerson University students spoke on how important they believe it is to have a part-time job related to their field of study.
First-year Ryerson School of Journalism students surveyed 1,302 Ryerson students in person and online between Feb. 27 and March 3, 2020. Results for the full sample have a margin of error of plus or minus three percentage points, 19 times out of 20; it may be larger for subgroups.
Out of the 1,302 students surveyed, 57.1 per cent of them have part-time jobs. However, only 14 per cent of students have part-time jobs related to their field of study.
“Working outside your desired field allows one to gain different skills that can also be applied to their field of study and to life in general,” said Isabella Macchia, a first-year business management student. “I strive to be well rounded and knowledgeable in many aspects of life.”
Benefits of working in your field of study
“Having a part-time job related to your field of study is very beneficial,” said Leah Mascarenhas, a first-year business management student. “While you’re learning the foundations of your major; you’re also retaining experience to further benefit you in your future career path.”
Mascarenhas said that while the university does not provide hands-on experiences for the future, she thinks it instead provides insight and foundations of what the field will be like.
However, first-year sociology student, Amber Lucena believes you can take things from school and apply them to a part-time job.
“I believe having a part-time job related to my field of study could be beneficial as I can easily apply my skills learned in class to the tasks I come across at work,” she said.
Some students praise working a part-time job related to their field because it can help decide if the field is meant for them.
“I actually did change my major in the past. This is my second degree,” said Phi Pham, a second-year public health student. “I worked in a lab before, and from my experience, I didn’t like the job, so I switched my major.”
“I may lose focus on my classes and school work.”
Reasons to not work in your field of study
For some Ryerson students, having a part-time job related to their field of study can be overwhelming.
“Sometimes work can be overwhelming during exam seasons, and if the job was related to my field, I would want to take the job very seriously,” said Pham. “I may lose focus on my classes and school work.”
Other students believe they do not need to work in their field outside of school, they can look for extra-curricular activities in school for the experience.
“I don’t think I would take a job related to my field of study at this time. I am still young and participating in student groups related to my field while working an unrelated part-time job can have the same effect,” said Macchia.