education or experience

Is Experience Worth More Than An Education?

Is experience more important than education? It’s a question we continue to debate and think about then and now. Has the meaning of an education and experience change? Deciding which is it has become difficult to answer since various variables can lean us one way or the other, but it’s not to say one is right from the other.  

As a child, we’ve been told getting an education is critical to finding a good paying job and finding some stability. For some, it’s a saying which sticks with us well on to our college or university years and into adulthood, while for others it’s a saying that becomes irrelevant since it can no longer apply to their lives. We know it can be a tricky question to ask and answer. But instead of finding a clear concrete answer, we want to take part in the discussion.

Is education important? We first need to consider who we talk to and what we are planning on doing professionally. There are many factors we have to think and account for as when we try to answer this question. For example, if we were to sit down and talk to a self-made entrepreneur, their views of education and experience are entirely different from the traditional thinking of what is to have an education. A self-made entrepreneur sees experience as the priority where you learn on the job while gaining the work experience you can’t get from a learning institution giving you more advantage of knowing the industry.

However, if you were to flip perspectives of the situation, a recruiter or employer can view a self-made entrepreneur as a low-cost risk. Why? Well, if you have been working in the industry for more than a couple of years and learned on the job without a formal education, you are seen as committed to working within your industry and require little training (which means low cost on training). You are considered ready for the position than you would be if you had an education and some experience.

Then, you have to think about it from the perspective of the industry and profession you want. For example, technological or medical industries require we have both education and experience. If you work in a tech profession, there is a constant need of being knowledgeable of new technology to be up-to-date with the industry, otherwise what is the use of a past education that will not be current. The same goes for the medical industry; we need to acquire the knowledge to be able to care for others but also gain the experience to treat patients. They go hand in hand; you can’t do one without the other. There are some professions which require both education and experience, and even employers might seek both qualifications on an applicant. I think it depends on what trade you want and the industry you enter.

For the most part, having both the education and experience at the same time grants you more opportunities outside getting a position, but becoming aware of the type of environment you will be entering, what will be expected of you, and seeing how work is measured. Finding programs that will grant you access to both an education and hands-on experience can be beneficial to opening your prospects of employment and giving you the boost you need after graduating from your program. What are some of your takes on education and experience? What has worked for you? Tell us in the comments below.

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