Education or Experience?

We would like to bring this article about the importance of experience and education to your attention. Ask any career counselor, resume reviewer, employer, employee, or job-seeker this question, and never receive the same answer twice: what’s more important to an employer – a candidate’s level and quality of education, or the amount and quality of relevant job experience that candidate has?

In an ideal world, a candidate would be armed with both elements, and would ride into work on a unicorn that wouldhave a reverse environmental impact, but since we live in the real world, candidates usually have to choose between opportunities that give them real world experience or first class education – and employers have to choose between candidates who chose schooling vs work.

A new survey by Glassdoor suggests that while an advanced degree can still be advantageous to job seekers, many employees now feel that their academic credentials are less important to their professional development. While 82% of U.S. college grads in the survey thought their level of education has been an asset in their careers, 72% also believe that specialized training to acquire specific skills is more valuable in their workplace than a degree.

Additionally, 3 out of 4 survey participants believed that their employers value work experience and related skills more than education when evaluating potential employees. Clearly, both employers and employees are looking for more opportunities to learn new skills and to add relevant experience to their resumes. The question is: where can they find it?

Interestingly enough, more and more organizations are looking inwards to help develop promising employees. Companies are sending employees back to school for advanced degrees less, and, based upon specific skill sets identified by the organization as crucial to leadership, are developing their own training programs more. Job shadowing, collaborative learning, and formal training programs are helping organizations combine education and experience – without breaking the bank.

So what’s more important to you when looking at a job candidate – their education, or their experience? 

This article has been written by HCM Essentials.