Working while studying: the impact of term time employment on dropout rates14 Mar 2016
There are many possible reasons why students leave university prior to degree completion, and one of the more commonly cited is being employed while studying. This paper analyses the impact of employment status on dropout rates using survival analysis. It finds that employment status does have an impact on dropout rates; students who work full time alongside studying full time are less likely to complete their programme than students working short part-time or not working at all. However, it seems as if there is a threshold to how much students can work, as working more than 20 h a week (long part-time work) increase the risk of dropout as much as full-time work. Integrating employment status into the analysis does not change the effect of variables known to have an influence on dropout, such as grades, gender and social background, but it contributes to further explain who are at risk of dropout. This implies that models for dropout and retention must also take such external factors into account, not just consider what happens at university, as in model of student departure.