The debate over whether your education or experience gets you the job has been going on for decades. Does your degree count more to prospective employees, or does the fact that you have experience in the field count more?
The answer to this question is likely to depend on your chosen career field. In fields like high tech, education may be more important, whereas in vocational fields, like construction, experience is vital. In most cases, both education and experience count.
Some common arguments
- Getting a degree proves you can succeed in the academic world, but it doesn’t indicate how you will perform in a job. If you have work experience, prospective employers have a better idea of how you will handle a job.
- Your work experience may help you to perform well in a specific job, but without academic qualifications, you may not have the skills you need to advance beyond a specific role.
- A degree proves you have the background and specialized knowledge a prospective employer wants, and a little on-the-job training may be all that’s necessary.
- A graduate degree is important for some jobs but may not have that much value in others. The ideal combination of education and experience varies depending upon the field.
The value of higher education
Statistics appear to back up the fact that higher education leads to earning more and experiencing less unemployment. Employees with only a high school diploma earn less than those with a bachelor’s degree. Having a degree on your resume tends to give you an edge when getting hired, as many hiring managers believe getting a college education is essential. They often attribute soft skills, such as being able to communicate effectively, to studying at college.
The disadvantage of obtaining a degree is that it will keep you out of the workforce for a few more years, and you may have to take on student debt which can take you years to pay off.
Can education replace experience?
In some fields, completing a relevant degree is seen by employees as equivalent to work experience. In a high-tech field where your degree consists of studying all the latest developments, you may have an advantage over someone solely with experience. In some industries, like education or healthcare, you need the education to qualify for certification. If you have a degree from a prestigious school in your field, it could also open doors for you, even if you don’t have experience.
How to combine study and work
Employers look for employees with an education and work experience. This helps them to find the right job and advance their careers. If you want to graduate with good grades and work experience but you’re battling to find time, you can pay for homework at EduBirdie, a professional writing service offering online help. You can choose a professional writer to write an essay for you that’s plagiarism-free and ensures your grades are as high as possible.
The value of experience
As a recent graduate, employers may feel that with only a little on-the-job experience, you will quickly get up to speed. If they find that you have acquired some work experience while doing your degree, it will help to convince them that you’re the right person for the job. If you earned a degree while working full time, you are obviously a hard worker willing to make sacrifices, and this will help you in interviews.
Research suggests that working while doing a degree can help you to pick up skills like time management and how to collaborate as part of a team. As a student, applying what you learn in the classroom to real-world situations helps you to understand the practical value of what you are learning and can also help you to clarify what career you would like to pursue.
Does all experience count?
Some forms of experience count more than others. If you can prove you contributed to the company’s bottom line, won awards, or brought in new business, your experience is likely to count more.
It is difficult to dispute the value of either higher education or experience, and a mix of the two is best in most cases. Most prospective employees are likely to employ a candidate with both over someone with one or the other.
However, in certain fields, education is more important and in others, experience carries higher weight. For college grads needing experience, interning or volunteering can help to boost their resumes. For someone who has just experience, getting a diploma or a certification can make a huge difference.
Angela Boggs works with school and college students as an online coach in the field of writing, editing and proofreading. She has helped numerous students succeed in their careers with the help of her communication classes. Her free time is for learning glass painting, meditating and watching classical cinema.