Education Or Experience? Which Do Employers Want More?

Education Or Experience? Which Do Employers Want More?

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When you are entering the working world, or are perhaps considering a change in career, then there is one huge question that is likely to pop into your mind. Which is more important to a prospective employer; the experience you have or the education that you have?

It can be hard to know the answer to this and for many employers there are benefits to both, and you may even find that in order to secure your dream job you might need a little bit of both.

So, let’s take a look at both of the approaches, education and experience. Uncover which one is the most important to employers and therefore which one you should be focusing on in order to get the career that you hope for.

Education over experience

Of course, when you are studying at university you are going to be told that getting a degree and furthering your education is one of the most important things that you can do for your future. There are many careers that require that you obtain a certain level of education in order to enter it such as doctors, lawyers and engineers are a prime example of this.

These may seem relatively obvious; however, education does help you in other career paths too. They say that this is because it shows that you are able to manage your time, that you are able to take in information quickly and of course, that you are also keen to learn too.

Experience over education

We have seen one side, what about the other? If you opt to enter straight into work rather than study at University, you are going to have a good few years work experience than those who continued their education.

Learning on the job, so to speak, will help you to be job ready. You will know the industry well and you will have the softer skills that are important to fit into any working environment. You will also show employers that you have the drive to succeed, that you want to work hard and that you are already used to the working world. That you won’t find it a struggle and then decide that you want to try something else after a very short period of time.

Which is better?

The truth is, neither is better than the other. It really does depend on your chosen career and their requirements. Not only this, but in most circumstances,  you can improve one of them if you are lacking with relative ease. This means that even if you may not seem like the ideal candidate on paper straightaway, you can show that you are dedicated to making an effort into improving yourself and becoming the full package in the future.

So, what can you do about it?

We know that this article probably hasn’t really answered the question for you as neither is more important than the other in all cases. It really does depend on the industry, the role and of course what that one employer is looking for in its ideal candidate.

The thing to remember is that there are always things that you can do in order to be a better match for their requirements. If you lack relevant qualifications in that particular role then you can study online courses from your own home. These will be designed to give you the knowledge that you need and will also show the prospective employer that you are taking your chosen career seriously too.

If it is skills that you lack, then you could always show how you are trying to improve on these, such as taking on new tasks in your current role as well as putting forward solutions as to how you can learn more about these skills and develop them for the future.

Not only this, but you also need to remember that securing a job is also all about you. In fact, it has been shown that 48% of employers will actually hire someone because of their personality over everything else. So, when the time comes to sit down at an interview, make sure that you show them just how great you are and this could be enough to get you where you want to be.

Nick Cooper
Nick is NCC's resident blog author and covers a range of subjects, including teaching and health & social care. NCC is an international learning provider with over 20 years’ experience offering learning solutions. To date, NCC has engaged with over 20,000 employers, and delivered quality training to over half a million learners.
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