Which do you feel is more credible - experience or credentials?
A person has over 20 years experience in a particular like tuning up cars or doing property assessments. Maybe it is making wooden chairs or pottery. However, they have no credentials other than experience. There is vice versa too. A person has credentials, but not extensive practical experience. Which do you feel is more credible?
That was a really nice question. Both walk hand in hand but I still feel credentials are more important than experience. Because, with credentials a person can reach heights of success quickly though with less experience. A person with experience but no credentials will have to strive hard and wait for long to be successful. My opinion is a person who has credential is more credible.
I'd opt for experience in most situations. For example, around twenty years ago I was helping a lady from a central European country to obtain work here in Australia. She was simply a qualified nurse. However, in the war zone in which she'd lived she had to perform emergency surgery of many types, including those resulting from military action. This lady had fixed up the wounded and this even included amputations of limbs. She was in the thick of it and there were no doctors around.
Would I prefer her to operate on me in that sort of emergency rather than someone who had very recently qualified as a medical doctor? Knew all the theory but had never practiced?
I reckon I would.
To me, experience would count.
It really comes down to what the occupation is.
Not all credentials are equal when it comes to quality of job performance skills and know how.
It's not uncommon for example for groups to create a set of standards or criteria simply for the purpose of keeping numbers of people down who want to pursue the profession and in other instances it may be a meaningless badge of honor that convinces the unknowing public that it means more than it actually does.
Not long ago someone posted a question regarding wedding photographers. They wanted to know if it would cause people to hire them if they had the credential Certified Professional Photographer.
In my opinion a photographer's portfolio, reputation, and references eclipses any designation they may have on their business card.
Another example is the CISP designation for inside sales reps which stands for "Certified Inside Sales Professional". In order for such designations to carry weight they have to be well known to the public and respected industry wide.
Right now there are things like Disc Jockey and Standup Comedy schools that offer certifications. They may give the students more confidence knowing they "went to school" for it but the professionals laugh at them for wasting their money.
Anything that involves medical, legal, and financial should definitely have standards and credentials along with anything that effects safety standards such as building codes, automobiles, and the like.
Having said that if my neighbor has 20 years experience tuning up cars I would not be oppose to having him/her look at my car. How many of us actually check out a mechanic's credentials?
Anyone can print out a form and put it in a frame!
If someone wants to braid hair I don't think they need to prove they have a certificate to braid hair. It's a form of protectionism for the most part. They don't want anyone to be able to hang a shingle in their window. What's next certified fast food worker?
Perhaps one should throw caution to the wind; I believe experience can trump credentials. However, one may indeed require the relatively useless credential to begin to accumulate the invaluable experience. Thus, they may not be as independent as one may envision.
In a time of war I would want to be flanked or "foxholed" with the most experienced and not give a "flying fiendo" what credential or rank they had attained.
These days here credentials are sought even from street cleaning contractors to empty bins (trash cans across the Pond) or sweep the streets. Might be a bit of exaggeration but it's heading that way.
Trouble with practical jobs is somebody needs proof of skills, that apprenticeships have been completed and that intermediate skills updates have been acquired. Cars change radically these days. We've got an exclusion zone around London for diesel engines over a particular age. Tests have to be made, MoT certificates made out.
Every back street car workshop has copies posted of their employees' skill levels, even when they work for someone they know. it's almost like wallpaper in places. It's not necessarily for the employer, it's the customer who feels reassured by the paperwork.
It may not be as critical for a chair-maker or potter, but when trade inspectors drop in for a friendly chat (as they do) the certificates come in handy to persuade them quality and safety standards are followed. I'd say if I know a craftsman personally experience counts. However... Crunch time nears when it's not a close acquaintance who has to judge the work. We live in a big, wide world where the contractor might not even live in the same city. Credentials count 90% of the time. That's why we have trading standards and quality assurance officers in town halls.
Pretty much, the line up of answers here is quite well balanced. Both credentials and experience may be needed in some applications, but credentials without experience will not cut it in any that I can think of right now, however, experience without credentials can gain the day and even trump credentials in some cases.
I want to see both in job candidates. I worked for a psychologist who lost his license for several months because of lack of training -- He had been grandfathered into a PhD from a masters degree plus several years of work experience and given the PhD certificate (the state board no longer does this). However, he was not taught all of the assessment and treatment protocols, ethics and patient privacy items required by law and had no official clinical supervision; hence the loss of license through his bad procedures.
A relative of mine took 30+ years on the job to earn a promotion in an engineering field, because he lacked credentials and part of the training. There was no apprenticeship program, because it was not a trade, and he would not return to school to finish; college degree and higher mathematics were required. He'd done well at the level one step below, but could not do the work required for promotion that the additional schooling and credential & license would have permitted.
I feel that some workers carry on at the job with good results for what they know, but they don't realize what additional skills and knowledge exist in their jobs. The employer should direct these workers to continuing education and in-house training as professional development.
Very good point about employers encouraging those who have done well to a point and need credentials to go further in their careers. Who better than an employer to know whether an employee has the will and capability to go forward?
Yes, exactly as you say! I advise resume clients to ask about professional development on the date of hire at a new job and at each employee review. That sometimes helps.
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