Volume 9

The Perceived Effects of College Employment on Academic Performance

Janaina K. Almeida

This study examined perceptions of the impact of work hours and job tasks on academic and employment orientations. Participants included 115 undergraduates who were randomly assigned to read one of four scenario conditions that varied by characters’ number of hours worked per week and by degree of job challenge. The students then evaluated the depicted character on academic motivation and work-style preferences. Students also provided self-report information on job performance, school-work issues, academic motivation, academic performance, and the degree of challenging job ratings. The findings indicated that students perceived scenario characters who were employed part-time as having lower academic motivation and career work-orientations than those who were employed full-time in challenging or repetitive jobs. Findings also showed that students who were themselves employed over 20 hours per week scored higher in academic motivation than students who were employed fewer hours per week.

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