Learning While Earning: The New Normal


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  • Learning While Earning: The New Normal Anthony P. Carnevale, Nicole Smith, Michelle Melton and Eric Price October 28, 2015
  • Overview •  Combining work with ongoing learning is the new normal among college students. •  More then 70 percent undergraduate and graduate students work while enrolled in college. •  One-third of working learners are 30 years old or older.
  • Who are Working Learners? We define working learners as students who are simultaneously working while enrolled in postsecondary education or training programs. We categorize working learners into two groups: 1.  Young working learners (ages 16-29) 2.  Mature working learners (ages 30-54)
  • One-third of working learners are 30 or older
  • More than half of working learners are in the sales and food/personal services occupations
  • Young working learners gravitate towards sales and office support while mature working learners are more concentrated in management
  • Nearly 60 percent of working learners are women
  • Business is the most popular major for both young and mature working learners
  • More people are working full-time while in college •  Over 50 percent of mature working learners work at least 40 hours per week •  About 40 percent of undergraduates and graduate students work at least 30 hours per week •  After completion of a Bachelor’s degree, young and mature working learners work similar hours (majority 40-49 hours)
  • Working learners and students who do not work both face rising school loan debt
  • Conclusion •  Learning while earning is the new the normal for college students both young and old. •  After graduating, working learners have added to their resume and are upwardly mobile and more likely to move into managerial positions.
  • For more information: Email Us | cewgeorgetown@georgetown.edu Follow Us on Twitter | @GeorgetownCEW Find us on Facebook | Facebook.com/GeorgetownCEW See the full report at: cew.georgetown.edu/workinglearners