That Lousy Summer Job Can Help Kids Get Ahead

TIME

Flipping burgers at a fast-food joint might offer teenagers more than just some extra cash. A new study reveals that teenagers who work after-school or summer jobs reap career benefits down the road by establishing practical skills in the real world.

The study, which was conducted by the University of British Columbia’s Sauder School of Business, used data from the Statistics Canada Youth in Transition Survey. Researchers followed 246,661 15-year-old Canadians for a 10-year period, until they turned 25. Students who worked up to 33 hours per school week or 43 hours in the summer had more success finding jobs and earning higher wages. Marc-David L. Seidel, who co-authored the study , explained that working adolescents benefit from the early introduction to the workplace, boasting higher earnings and refining their networking skills.

Yet, school-year and summer jobs can be controversial—facing off against protective parents and the coveted internship. “Adolescent labour…

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