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Three-quarters of students work while studying

More than three in four (77%) university students now work to fund their studies, according to research from insurance firm Endsleigh.

This is up from 2014, when 59% of students worked, and from 2013 when 57% of students juggled work and studies.

More than six in 10 (63%) respondents said that they have a part-time job, with a third (33%) working part-time during term time. The report also found that 14% of those asked said that they now hold down full-time jobs (either during term time, holidays or both).

Sara Newell, manager of student and graduate markets for Endsleigh, said that while a key driver is money the silver lining to working while at university is the acquisition of workplace skills.

“While many rely on their parents and student loans as their main sources of income, unexpected costs at university mean that many are looking for jobs to help ends meet,” she said. “However, there is no doubt that being employed while at university serves a dual purpose, and a considerable number of students are also looking to bulk up their CVs to enhance their future job prospects.”

Professor of organisational psychology and health at Manchester Business School, Cary Cooper agreed that working while studying can benefit students. “I was raised in the US, and what helped me to develop soft skills was working from a young age,” he said. “It’s a lot more common to work any kind of job while studying there; flipping burgers, sales jobs, customer-facing roles.”

But the skills learned will depend on the role, he told HR magazine. “Delivering papers on your bike doesn’t help to develop social skills that much. It may help you be a bit more independent and teach you about earning money, but the social, interpersonal [skills] are learned by teamwork.

“I think it’s really important to work through further and higher education. It’s really healthy for developing the skillsets we need,” he added.