Being a student is something transitional and a time when someone is preparing for their future career or occupation.
However, some argue that being a student should be considered an occupation in itself. This is because, students have responsibilities, and work obligations, and contribute greatly to society’s collective knowledge, similar to those in traditional occupations and the workplace.
However, when you look at the definition of an occupation, the demands placed on students, and the value they provide, you will see that it can make a strong case for students being in an occupational role.
Is Being a Student an Occupation
Being a student is usually seen as a time before you start working in the real world. But being a student has changed a lot over time and has become more complicated.
Even though we do not usually think of it as a job, there is a good argument that being a student today is like having a full-time job.
The question of whether being a student is a job comes from all the things students have to do now.
However, being a student mostly meant going to classes and doing assignments. While that is still important, today’s students also have many other things to do every day.
Key Responsibilities of Modern Day Students
Students today have a lot of work to do daily to maintain their stands as students. Alongside their regular classes, they are also expected to juggle extracurricular activities, part-time jobs, internships, research projects, and more.
However, learning does not only stop in the classroom. Here are some of the important things today’s students do:
Attending Classes and Laboratory sessions:
This is still the main part of being a student. To pass their classes, students have to go to lectures, labs, seminars, and more.
Sometimes, they can spend around 20-30 hours each week in classes, which is quite tasking for them.
Studying and Homework
For each hour they spend in class, students are supposed to do 2-3 hours of studying and homework on their own.
Studying means they need to concentrate, manage their time well, understand the material, and stay disciplined.
Group Projects and Presentations
In many classes today, students need to work together on group projects and give presentations, which count for a big part of their grades.
This means students have to work with their classmates and do their assigned tasks well.
Research and Writing
Students often get assignments like term papers, essays, and reports that require a lot of writing.
To do well, they need to use their research skills, writing skills, and critical thinking to create good-quality work.
Internships have become almost essential for students nowadays. Balancing an internship along with classes means students have even more time to commit and more duties to handle in their schedules.
Students are not only encouraged but often expected to take part in afterschool activities on campus, which can range from sports teams to student government to cultural groups. These activities demand more time and effort from students.
Because the cost of education is going up, a lot of students need to work part-time jobs while they are in school to pay for tuition and other expenses.
This means they have even more responsibilities to handle on top of their schoolwork.
Students in fields like science, engineering, and humanities often take on research projects with the help of a professor.
These projects help them build skills, but they also need to put in a lot of time to make them successful.
With all these academic, after-school activity, professional, and financial responsibilities, the life of a modern student is incredibly demanding. In many ways, it is like having a full-time job.
A Full-Time Commitment
Being a student is essentially a full-time job when you add up all the time spent in classes, working on assignments and projects, holding down a job, and more.
- 20-30 hours per week attending classes.
- An additional 40-60 hours per week studying and doing homework (2-3 hours for every hour in class).
- 10-15 hours per week for part-time jobs for those who work.
- 10-15 hours per week for extracurricular activities.
- At least 10-15 hours per week for assignments, research, internships, and other responsibilities.
All combined, this amounts to a very busy and demanding schedule for students.
When you add it all up, the workload of a modern student totals to 60 hours per week or even more, which is equivalent to a full-time professional job.
Although it does not follow the usual 9-to-5 schedule and often spans into nights and weekends, it still constitutes a full-time commitment.
Developing Professional Skills
Beyond the demanding workload, being a student necessitates the development of a qualification related to that of many professional careers. Accomplished students demonstrate skills such as:
Managing multiple tasks, meeting deadlines, and sorting out priorities.
Keeping oneself motivated, sustaining focus for extended durations, and take clear of distractions.
Working effectively in teams, delivering presentations, and communicating with professors.
Understanding complex ideas presented in lectures and textbooks.
Efficiently locating appropriate information and sources and then skillfully analyzing and incorporating research into written work.
Using technology for communication, teamwork, assignments, and research purposes.
Facing tough assignments and challenges that demand analysis, creative problem-solving, and unwavering determination.
Becoming a successful student in today’s higher education world means mastering a diverse set of professional skills. These skills not only equip students for future careers but also demand considerable time and effort to develop during their academic journey.
A Period of Professional Training
Considering the substantial workload and the focus on skill development, being a student can be compare to occupational training. In many aspects, the student phase resembles an extended internship or apprenticeship, where the primary goal is to prepare for future employment and nurture career-related skills.
Much like an internship, students acquire practical experience encompassing both technical and interpersonal abilities. They also learn to handle their workload, meet expectations, and achieve results.
This educational journey essentially lays the essential foundation, enabling individuals to smoothly transition into professional careers. From this perspective, being a student represents the necessary training to qualify for and develop in future vocations.
Key Takeaways: Is Being a Student an Occupation?
- Today students shoulder a substantial workload that surround classes, assignments, projects, activities, and employment, adding up to a commitment of over 60 hours per week. To develop as a student, they must cultivate vital professional skills such as time management, self-discipline, communication, comprehension, research, and problem-solving.
- In essence, the student experience functions as a form of professional training, readying individuals for future careers. While not generally tag as an occupation, the demands imposed on today’s students closely are like those of a full-time job.
Although being a student is not officially tag as an occupation, there is a strong case to be made that the responsibilities, time commitments, and skill development involved are on equality with a professional role. Given the substantial effort and dedication it demands, it is accurate to say that being a student genuinely constitutes a full-time job.
However, we can say that being a student is like having a full-time job, even though it is not called that. With all the stuff students do classes, homework, jobs, and more it is a big deal. They learn skills that help in real jobs, and all the effort they put in is just like a full-time job. So, being a student is a lot of work, even if we don’t call it a job.