The Relationship between Work Experience during High School and Student Outcomes
Gray, Jennifer E.
Wei, Thomas E.
Students often begin preparation for higher education and the workforce during high school. One way students can gain such preparation is through exposure to work, which can come in two main forms: student-found employment and work-based learning experiences provided by a student's high school. Studies suggest that part-time work during high school is negatively associated with academic outcomes but positively associated with employment outcomes, while work-based learning participation is generally associated with positive academic and employment outcomes. Little research has considered the two types of work experience concurrently. I use data from the Education Longitudinal Study of 2002, a nationally representative sample of high school students in the United States, to compare students from the same high schools who participate in student-found work, work-based learning, and both activities to students who do not participate in either work experience. I examine the relationship between participation during the sophomore year of high school and academic and employment outcomes two years after high school (dropout status, postsecondary school attendance, postsecondary school persistence, employment, and wages). I find little evidence of an interaction between the two types of work experience.
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