University Post
University of Copenhagen
Independent of management


Copenhagen students work the hardest

59 per cent of young people in the Danish capital region work part time jobs while studying. Good job opportunities – and high living expenses – are sending young Copenhageners on to the job market, says an expert

Copenhagen students are better at getting student jobs than young people in the rest of Denmark. This is according to new numbers from a survey conducted by Gallup for the bank Nordea. 59 per cent of students in Copenhagen (capital region) hold jobs, far more than in other parts of Denmark where more students make it through their studies only supported by the Danish SU grant. The Zealand Region Sjælland has the lowest participation rate among students – where only 36 per cent work during their studies, while in the North Jutland Region Nordjylland the number is 40 per cent.

High rent and good job opportunities put young people on the labour market

It is no coincidence that more students choose to combine their studies in Copenhagen with a part time job, according to Wenche Marit Quist, head of education policy at DJØF.

“The cost of living is significantly higher in Copenhagen. So it is not just because they want the jobs, but also because they are forced to take them. Students have expenses, and if the SU grant is not enough, you have to find a part-time job,” says Wenche Marit Quist.

The opportunities for finding a good and relevant part-time job are often bigger in Copenhagen. And this is an incentive to leave the study books on the shelf a few days of the week.

”Most people want to work a bit next to their studies. Partly for the money, but also because it is nice to link theory with practice. And for this, Copenhagen is a good city to study in, because there are jobs in the private sector as well as many public sector jobs available if you are living in Copenhagen,” says Wenche Marit Quist from DJØF.

“Students with student jobs get better grades than those that don’t have jobs,” Wenche Marit Quist, head of education at DJØF

Student culture at the University of Copenhagen allows for the taking of student jobs, says Wenche Marit Quist:

“You can’t generalise about all study programmes, but at the University of Copenhagen (UCPH) a relatively high number of hours are spent self-studying. And if you can structure your calendar there is time available – and this can be filled out with a job,” she says.

Part time jobs lead to better grades

Most people agree that it is a good idea to work during your studies. Several studies, including studies from DJØF, show that relevant work experience is one of the main criteria used by employers to assess recent graduates .

“Student jobs – with moderation – can help young people complete their education. The job not only looks good on the CV, it can pave the way towards the dream job,” says Ann Lehmann Ericsen , consumer economist at Nordea, which has conducted the survey with Gallup.

In fact, a moderate amount of time spent on a student job can make students better in class, says the DJØF expert Wenche Marit Quist.

“If you work under 15 hours a week and don’t get bogged down with work, we know that those with student jobs get better grades than students that don’t have jobs while they study,” she says.

Every fifth student wants to work even more

Even though students in Copenhagen are at the top of the job rankings, it is the same group where most students are most desperate for more working hours. 19 per cent – or nearly every fifth student in Copenhagen – would like to have even more hours in the week at a workplace.

But for the sake of your grades and mental health, you should be careful of working too much, according to Wenche Marie Quist fra DJØF.

“Your studies should be your primary ‘job’ during your study programme, and we recommend about 15 hours a week. Working may be OK for your bank account, but we know also that many of our members are stressed as a result of their work. And previous surveys show also that grades can suffer if the workload becomes too great,” says the education head of policy at DJØF.

In the fact box to the right you can see the numbers from the survey, showing that Copenhagen students work more than the other Danish regions.