Intending to improve skills, youths are opting for part-time jobs and internships that will enable them to take theoretical knowledge to their future workplaces.
Megha Bhargava, a final-year architecture student who does a part-time job at Waavie, an architecture firm in Bengaluru, informed The Observer: “Studying and then applying the knowledge increases your understanding of the subject. Also, it makes you financially independent.”
Asked whether the job affects her studies, she said it helps her gain experience and more knowledge. “You just cannot sit back and study from the textbooks and do rote memorization. You need to apply your learning to something practical which is only possible through internships or jobs.”
Her father, Shiva Bhargava, a government employee, said he is happy his daughter is trying to be financially independent. But “I don’t want my daughter’s studies to get affected because of the job. This is just a part-time job and not a permanent one. She is in the final year of her graduation and I don’t want her grades to drop.”
Dishant Kumar, a class 11 student, manages some of his personal expenses through the money he gets by giving tuitions to children and working as a freelancer on Fiverr, an online platform for freelance services. “I like teaching kids…. My experience of teaching children tells me to do something in this field. As a freelancer, I earn some money and don’t need to ask my parents for pocket money,” he shared.
However, his mother, Poonam Kumar, a homemaker, believes it’s important for students to complete their studies first and then look for jobs. “My son says his studies are not hampered by the work he does, but I know that it is getting affected. Instead of focusing on his own studies, he spends his time on tuitions and freelancing.”
After students start doing part-time jobs, parents are skeptical about their performance in studies. They believe devoting time to part-time jobs will hinder their children’s academic performance.
Aayushi Aastha, who works as an HR executive in a consultancy firm, believes youngsters are energetic and efficient in their work. “Before joining any workplace, it’s good to have some practical knowledge and experience. This can be achieved only when you have done some part-time jobs or internships. Companies look for candidates who have some previous experience….” Working gives exposure to young people and develops their personality.
Padmavathi Devarakonda, a career counselor, feels a part-time job or an internship is crucial. “Be a part-time job or internship, the student will get to learn a lot. In the process, he/she will realize whether they really enjoy what they are studying or need to explore something different.” Paid internships generate additional interest in students. They learn the value of money at a young age.
Ruchi Gaur, a teacher at Delhi University, agrees that part-time jobs provide students with practical knowledge and experience, which are essential in a time when industries are looking for freshers with prior experience.
“Nowadays, virtual internships are available for 9th, 10th graders also. This helps them to realize their potential and interest so that they can plan their career well in advance. Right from a young age, students can cultivate skills needed in the outside world.”
In the US, Canada, and Britain, teenagers start earning as early as 16 years. They are motivated to work and be financially independent and manage their expenses. This gives them the exposure to how things work professionally.