Burger-flipping Teens Likelier to Succeed: Study

Teen summer job | BCBusiness
She’s learning more than just how to scoop ice cream

Summers spent flipping burgers may improve your kid’s future career prospects, as low-wage, part-time work helps hone her time management skills

Forget summer camp. The more hours your 15-year-old works—particularly during the school year when she has to learn how to manage her time—the better her career prospects later on, according to a new study from UBC’s Sauder School of Business.
“With summer in full swing and kids sitting on the couch, parents are wondering whether to push them to find a job,” said Sauder professor Marc-David L. Seidel, who co-authored the study, in a statement. “Parents may think that their kids could do better than a job at the local fast food joint. But our study shows even flipping burgers has value—particularly if it leads to part-time work later during school term.”

As well, working summers or evenings gives teens a competitive advantage by exposing them to the working world at a young age, Seidel explained. “Our research shows that working can offer educational developmental opportunities that prepare adolescents.”

Benefits arose from working up to 33 hours per week during the school year and 43 hours during summer. The researchers gathered data from a quarter of a million 15-year-old Canadian teenagers via the Statistics Canada Youth in Transition Survey. The study considered their work history over a 10-year period beginning at age 15 and ending at 25 in 2009.
“Adolescent labour has been stigmatized as exploitative with many parents opting to put their kids in summer camp rather than summer jobs,” Seidel said. “However, our research shows that working can offer educational and developmental opportunities that prepare adolescents for the real world.”