Does an employer value theoretical expertise achieved through a good quality education or the practical know-how a job can give?
This is a question that has plagued many students since time immemorial. There are many contradictory views on this subject.
While some employers would prefer only to hire people from a specific educational background, others would give less importance to education and more to past work experience.
The weightage given to each also changes depending on the industry, position, and pay scale at which you are being hired.
In this article, we try to understand what employers look for from job applicants in a better manner. We also try to answer the question of what is more important – experience or education?
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There are many factors that influence this question. Some of these include the following:
- Experience level at which the job is posted
- Type of job description
- Job Industry
- Social and economic constructs in the place
One can understand this better by thinking about a particular industry.
For example, in the writing industry, more weightage is given to the experience of a writer and less to his or her educational background.
The skills that are of primary importance in this field are the person’s writing skills. Beyond that, it does not matter whether the person is from an engineering or business background.
However, this is not the case everywhere.
Let’s look at another case study of a student. When a student is a fresher applying for internships or first jobs, they will not have much to put on their resume from a work experience perspective.
However, they will have a lot of relevant educational backgrounds to speak about.
In such cases, where the job position is that of a fresher, more importance is given to educational background over work experience.
There is definitely an advantage that applicants can gain if they have relevant job experience pertaining to a certain job that they are applying to.
Relevant experience means that the person has already done similar work in the past with the same or in a different organization.
What this tells the recruits is that this candidate knows how to practically get the required work done. This will mean the recruiter will have to spend less time training the candidate.
Recruiters are likely to hire you if you can show relevant work experience because they will expect you to hit the ground running when you join them.
It can be hard for candidates to make the right application and communicate their experience efficiently. However, aid is not far away.
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One of the biggest advantages of having relevant educational qualifications when applying for a certain job is that recruiters will know that your foundations and theory are strong.
The more relevant your education is, the higher your earning potential may be. This will be most significantly visible in the early stages of your career when many freshers are competing for few job openings.
The impact of starting with higher pay is also seen when you want to switch jobs because your new company will most likely offer you a pay package that is attractive compared to your current pay package.
It is safe to conclude that there is no simple answer to the question of whether experience or education is more valuable.
If you are someone who is looking for a new job, it’s a good idea to evaluate the position that you are applying for, the job description, and the nature and values of the company that you are applying to judge accurately whether your recruiter is likely to value education over experience or vice versa. Then, you can tailor your application accordingly to boost your chances of getting hired.