Experience or Qualifications: Is One More Important Than The Other?

There is an ongoing debate among recruiters on whether experience or qualifications are more important to a job seeker. This has become a hot topic for debate because employers are complaining that a lot of recent graduates lack readiness for the job market, and many young people are having second thoughts about attending higher education due to the increasing costs. So, what do employers prefer in their ideal candidate, qualifications or experience? Here is the opinion of an expert in academics and recruitment.

Arguments In Favour Of Qualifications

Many job advertisements indicate a degree as one of the requirements, which tells you that degrees are important. On top of that, compared to employment opportunities from half a century ago which mainly required you to work with your hands, the majority of jobs nowadays require you to use your intelligence.

Your education starts you off in a career, and the experience reinforces what you had learnt so you can become better in your trade.

For example, let’s say there are two job candidates of the same age and same level of intelligence. One is a recent graduate, and the other has no degree but has experience in the industry. For the one with experience, it is important to remember that it does not negate the person’s intelligence. Some people in academia seem to forget that.

Arguments In Favour Of Work Experience

So, in the example above, which candidate is a better choice for the employer: the candidate with several years of solid job-related experience who has gained industry knowledge, or the recent graduate who has minimal to no actual work experience in a workplace?

From a candidate’s point of view, would you think you are more qualified for a job if you have worked several years in the same industry and have earned a steady income? Would you feel the same if you had, instead, spent the same number of years accumulating book knowledge on a subject area, and probably amassing a debt from your educational expenses at the same time, but with little actual work experience? If you’d rather have the experience, should employers rethink whom they should hire? If you are in Brighton or the local area and looking to be recruited, I would recommend google searching recruitment Brighton.

The fact is that more and more recruiters are placing less emphasis on higher education and more on practical experience. A degree used to play an important part in a recruiter’s decision on whom to hire. However, as advanced degrees are becoming more commonplace, employers are now looking for more relevant experience.

I think most employers would prefer a job applicant with three years of solid job-related work experience over a recent graduate who has a degree but no experience.

Among the job specs I get, most of them indicate education as a “desired” quality rather than something “required”.

When I go over CVs with employers or on my own, I focus first on experience before looking at education.

A degree representing three years of education just does not carry much weight anymore. Apprenticeships and experience on the job are becoming more relevant.

Of course, this does not include certain professional-level jobs where an advanced degree is required to gain certification, as in accountancy, the legal industry, etc.

Ideally, a candidate should have both the education and experience in the field. However, based on what I witness in my work, I am seeing more employers hire candidates who have the experience that they are looking for regardless of education level.

Author: Transen