Balancing work and study as students still need degrees for employment success


Sikia Meza

Danielle Moreno on shift at work

Sikia Meza, Reporter

In spite of recent headlines where skeptics claim that a college education and degree is not for everyone and may not even be necessary for success, the fact is, according to many in the business community, a degree is still necessary.

For instance, Alex Membrillo, CEO of Cardinal Digital Marketing, said that a standard prerequisite for post positions in his marketing agency is a four-year degree. If a candidate doesn’t have one, their application likely won’t even be reviewed.

Most students have to work while they attend school so in addition to obtaining the degree they have always wanted, the reality of life is waking up early, going to work, attending classes—and this takes major commitment along with a lot of “blood, sweat and tears.”

The sheer intensity of daily employment combined with class attendance, homework, pop quizzes, lectures, group projects, presentations and all-nighters during finals, is enough to make any student feel like a pressure cooker.

To obtain a college degree that sets a student on their path to a dream job takes a hefty dose of ambition and drive. And many students also carry the added responsibility of helping family members with rent, food and even childcare.

Danielle Moreno is the “normal” college student today.

She attends Scottsdale Community College and Danielle must balance the reality of her job and classes, and the stress can be overwhelming.

“At times it is tough especially at the end of the semester when I get a lot of assignments, and when stressed I’ll have a meltdown, but I try to take it day by day,” Moreno said.

Having to work an eight-hour shift or even a double has become a necessary evil and the balance is often met by less sleep and or leisure time for young students.

Juan Pablo another Scc student when asked how he may balance working while attending school and if it is stressful says:

“It’s very stressful because I have to balance time between school, work and home and at times I only get five to six hours of sleep,” says Juan Pablo a college freshman.

On top of everything else, one must try to balance a decent night of sleep or risk dozing off and not paying full attention in class. A student might get off late from work, then sleep past the alarms, miss class, which then leads to getting dropped from the course and must have to retake the class all over again. 

Student loan repayment and what seems to be a constant barrage of attacks on securing loans through the government only add to the pressure.

Still hiring managers believe that degrees validate qualifications and they’ll pick a candidate with a degree over one without every time.