Employment isn’t working for students

College can be extremely expensive, so it is ideal to have a job while attending school. Unfortunately, employment for students is becoming nearly impossible. Some companies seem reluctant to abide by availability requests, so a student is either denied employment, punished or forced to adapt to the companies’ best interest.

As unemployment rates drop, work conditions have fallen to an all-time low. Employees are asked to do more work for proportionally less pay and fewer benefits. Work conditions have left college students questioning if employment is even worth it. Companies are looking out for what is best for business, and college students don’t seem beneficial to them. 

College students seem to be at an extreme disadvantage compared to non-student workers when seeking employment because employers prefer more available and flexible workers.

Sean Lee is a manager of multiple restaurants, including Zaxby’s near Georgia State’s Downtown campus. He disagreed that employers prefer to hire non-students, but he did admit to the disadvantages of hiring students.

“College students do come with the weirdest schedule request … I enjoy having a large reserve of employees, especially for the summertime, Lee said. “Although I prefer to hire someone with open availability, I don’t let that be the deciding factor, so I hire student applicants.”

Lee considers himself an “outlier” because he was a college student who worked.

My previous employer denied dozens of requests to change my availability so I could attend school. For months, I made multiple requests, but they were unwilling to adjust due to a shortage of staff. I eventually was forced to quit and find employment elsewhere.

Initially, I struggled to find employment suitable for my schedule and standard. I had multiple interviews, and despite the fact I was beyond qualified and posted outstanding scores on any test or survey, I was denied employment due to my availability.

Realizing that employment suitable to my standard seems unrealistic due to my schedule, I was left wondering if the available employment was beneficial to my studies and if I could find a job that will negotiate a proper schedule.

Georgia State student Atiyah Newkirk works a part-time job in retail and attends Georgia State full-time. She admits that her employer does adjust to her school schedule, but she questions if employment benefits students.

“I think a student has the potential to prosper while working as well, but a student has the greatest potential to thrive and excel as a student if he or she were not working and focused on school solely,” Newkirk said. “Most companies seem to focus on what is best for the business. My work schedule has been the greatest obstacle as of now. I believe I would better manage my studies if I were not busy at work. I feel like I do miss out on extracurricular activities as well.”

Companies have made employment for students extremely difficult. Unless a student can find employment associated with the institution, he or she will struggle to find a good job that provides a student time to rest.

Luckily, I found a part-time job near my house. I accepted considerably less money than I would have liked, but I had to accept the horrendous nature of the work world for college students.