What's more important these days, a good education or work experience?
With so many college graduates having little experience and so few jobs available, how will they fare? I still say getting the degree is most important.
I always thought that you had to have a good education to get a good work experience. What I learned from others, and through my own experience, is that poor education leads to poor work experience.
In today's economy it's best to have both!
Ideally while the student was going to school they accepted an internship or worked for the type of company they hope to establish a career with.
Another factor one must keep in mind is not all degrees or schools are viewed equally in the eyes of an employer. Someone with a business degree from Harvard is more likely to be offered a job than someone with the same degree from University of Phoenix.
Last but not least are the various intangibles such as being good or likeable in interview situations. At the end of the day people hire people they like and believe would be a good fit with the team they have in place.
The days of simply having a 4 year degree which automatically guaranteed you a high paying job, private parking spot, and your own secretary are long gone. It's not uncommon to see graduates waiting on tables in Chili's with a 100k+ in student loan debt. Aside from getting a degree from a respected institution it's also important to get a degree in discipline that is "in demand".
Ultimately one's personal drive, intellect, ambition, determination, and persistence will determine how successful they become financially whether they have a degree or not.
This explains why Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Michael Dell, Richard Branson, Ted Turner, Larry Ellison, Mark Zuckerberg, and many others are (multi-billionaires) without having a college degree.
It depends upon the circumstances. Normally, good education is of more importance at most workplaces. But, work experience is also seen for many jobs. A combination of good education with relative work experience in the particular field is mostly welcome at all times.
There are exceptions also. Some of them require experience as the main requirement than good education, say, for less skilled jobs. Here experience produces much efficiency than education.
So, it is a matter of situation that tells whether good education is important or experience is more important.
Personally, I say that "work experience" far outweighs a "good education."
As an example, when I was discharged from the US Army after serving five years and advancing to the rank of Captain, I was hired by one of the largest life-and-health-insurance companies in the US as an entry-level claim examiner.
At the time, I had never attended college; whereas, almost all of my counterparts had college degrees, and some of them even had advanced degrees. .
Well, because of such things as the strong organizational skills, goal orientation and managing-by-objectives techniques that were instilled into me in the military, I had a huge advantage over every one of my co-workers and, as a result, I surpassed them all and even became the "boss" of many of them.
But, that was back in the early 1970s, which was a point in time when "work experience" was far more valuable than what was learned in college classrooms and from books.
Unfortunately, beginning somewhere around the late 1970s or early 1980s, a brand-new school of thought took over from the previous one. An attitude swept the country that consisted of what is learned in classrooms and from books is far superior to hands-on experience alone.
And, as a result, the quality of the US workforce has been spiraling downward ever since.
Great points about how the value of solid experience has changed the workforce. Priorities certainly have changed. The degree holds more weight and does give needed credibility than experience alone. Thanks for answering.
Janis, you are very welcome and thank you for your supportive and thoughtful response.
I think both a good education and a good work experience are important in the long run. However, a good education is usually a predecessor of a good work experience. By getting one's degree first, he or she can then get better work experience. Once the person has good work experience, he or she needs to continually re-evaluate what kind of work experience or continuing education he or she should be adding to his or her resume. As appropriate options in both work experience and education are sought, one can eventually reach their dream job.
The need for work experience also backs why it's important to have good lab experience in degree programs whenever possible!
I like your point about continually adding work experience and education to enhance the degree. Practicums and internships, i.,e., good lab experiences, are important, too. Thanks for your answer.
Both because if you've experience you are well confident and kind of professional in your field and as well the degree is your profile so you can introduce yourself that what's your field and on which level you are able to complete your tasks.
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