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


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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.


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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)


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One-third of working learners are 30 or older


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More than half of working learners are in the sales and food/personal services occupations


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Young working learners gravitate towards sales and office support while mature working learners are more concentrated in management


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Nearly 60 percent of working learners are women


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Business is the most popular major for both young and mature working learners


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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)


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Working learners and students who do not work both face rising school loan debt


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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.


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For more information: See the full report at: cew.georgetown.edu/workinglearners   Email Us | [email protected] Follow Us on Twitter | @GeorgetownCEW Find us on Facebook | Facebook.com/GeorgetownCEW


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