Whether you’re a graduate fresh out of university or perhaps just looking for a career change, you may be questioning if it’s your education or experience that will win you your dream job. This debate has been going on for years but sadly, there may not be a correct answer. Every job description, list of skills, years of experience you need is all relative to the role and sector you desire to work within. However, it is important to recognise that education or experience can equip you with different skills, all helping you win your perfect role.
Going to university gives you a detailed insight into your chosen field of study. You might find out about theorists, hypotheses, or in-depth facts about your line of work, giving you a detailed understanding of the industry you wish to work within. As well as this, studying in an educational setting offers you an abundance of transferable skills that you can implement in your future career, for example, time management, research and analysis and socialisation. All these transferable skills suggest to your employer that you are adaptable, a quick learner and that you can thrive under pressure.
It is important to recognise that many regulated professions require a degree as a standard. Occupations such as doctors, lawyers and engineers require you to take the relevant study at least. Subsequently, if you desire a career in one of these occupations, education is unnegotiable. However, it can be said that despite degree level education is so highly regarded, even the most educated individuals can still be subject to professional negligence claims if they fail to perform in their job.
Alternatively, if you cannot access education, then experience is just as valuable. You can gain significant experience by working your way up within a company, doing a placement, or shadowing an employee. Here you can get a true insight into what it may be like to work within your desired sector. You can learn from industry professionals and upskill, helping you to become a well-rounded employee. Arguably, work experience is more advantageous than education as you cannot learn hands-on experience from a book. Another perk of experience is earning potential. If you work hard within your company, the opportunity for progression could arise – meaning you could gain more responsibility and earn more money. You may earn more than those in full-time education. This is because you will spend your time earning and progressing, whilst others progress educationally but get into significant debt.