Essay of the Week: Should students get work experience before university?

Our band nine sample essays give you the opportunity to learn from successful essays that show off the best structure, vocabulary and grammar. This essay looks at if it is better for students to get some work experience before attending university.

Band Nine Sample Essay

Some people believe it is better for young people to work before attending university. Compare the advantages and disadvantages of this and give your own opinion. 

For many people, it is advantageous for young adults to experience the world of work before starting higher education. In this essay, I will compare the advantages this can bring to students’ work ethic, with the disadvantage of lost time. I will conclude that this work ethic is worth taking the time to gain. 

First, gaining some experience in the workplace can help students work independently when they arrive at university. While school is also hard work, university requires you to do much more work without supervision. If students come straight from high school to university without any work experience, they may struggle to make the transition to this independent style of work. Conversely, a student who has some work experience at a supermarket, where they are expected to work proactively, will be able to apply that mindset to their academic studies. 

However, the cost of this is that students might lose a year or more of their time. Because most universities only admit students once a year, getting work experience for a short period of time is usually not possible. As a result, students start university a year later and will go on to finish a year later too. As graduate jobs tend to pay more than work experience jobs, students who gain work experience before university will likely miss out on a year of well paid work and earn less over their lifetime. 

To conclude, while joining the workforce before university can help young people be better prepared for independent work, it can also cost them time and money in the long run. However, for me, it is more important for these students to get as much benefit as they can from their studies and so work experience is worth doing as an investment in the future.

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