Education or Work Experience – Which Should Be Your Focus?

In the past few years, the costs of getting quality education have increased significantly all around the world. With the COVID-19, things have gotten a lot worse. While it is still possible to find useful courses and increase your qualifications, a lot of employers still prefer to recruit applicants on the basis of their work experience. Contact our experts for finance assignment help provider. It raises the question – What is more important? Education or work experience?

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Why Pursue a College Degree?

Amidst the debate of education vs work experience, you may find the idea of pursuing a college degree unnecessary. However, the statistics suggest otherwise. According to the data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), people with a bachelor’s degree who were at least 25 years old had a total unemployment rate of 2.2%. On the other hand, people with only a high school diploma had a total unemployment rate of 3.7%.

Moreover, people with a bachelor’s degree get average weekly earnings of $1,248, while people with only a high school diploma earn only $746 per week on average. Additionally, employers are willing to pay a starting salary somewhere between 11-30% higher for applicants with a bachelor’s degree. If you are looking for accounting homework help then we are here to help you.

The Other Side of the Story

In some organizations, if you can prove that you are able to perform a particular task – it is enough to get you the job, even if you do not have a relevant degree. In recent times, a lot of corporate giants have changed their mindset about requiring degrees. These leading companies include Apple, Google, Netflix, Tesla, Penguin Random House, IBM, Hilton, and the Bank of America. In fact, nearly 50% of Apple’s US workforce includes people without four-year college degrees.

There are plenty of high-paying jobs and fast-growing career options that no longer require a degree. Take the examples of product management, computer programming, and other tech-related jobs. In fact, there are several non-tech jobs that do not require a degree – such as online advertising executives, social media managers, pharmacy technicians, virtual assistance, customer service representatives, payroll clerks and more.

According to a study by Harvard Business School, 37% of employers rank experience as the most important attribute in an applicant, not education qualifications. When it is hard to find a suitable candidate for a job, employers are more likely to overlook the lack of a degree as long as the candidate has sufficient experience in the job. In large enterprises, 44% of the time, experience is valued more highly than a degree.

Is It Possible to Advance Your Education and Work Experience Simultaneously?

Even though work experience is being valued highly by employers in recent years, you should not simply neglect your education. There are actually a number of options that allow you to advance your education and work experience simultaneously. Some of those alternatives to traditional degree courses are mentioned below:

  1. Community College:

There are employers who accept two-year degrees from a community college if a candidate can showcase that he/she has relevant work experience. You may still need to complete internships to gather additional experience. The only advantage of this option is that you do not need to spend nearly as much time (or funds) on your education in such a program. In fact, several states have programs in place to make community colleges more affordable to students.

  1. Apprenticeships:

Apprenticeships are basically on-the-job learning where you have the option to earn as well. Employers often agree to train and pay people who are willing to learn a job or trace. A majority of the apprenticeships require a high school diploma to enter. Also, only a limited number of career fields offer an apprenticeship. However, in certain trades, an apprenticeship can fill the void between not having a degree and not having the necessary experience. Also, you get nationally recognized credentials at the end of apprenticeships, allowing you to find employment.

  1. Virtual learning and upskilling:

The trend of online learning was already quite popular before the pandemic hit the world. A lot of people rely on certifications and degrees through virtual learning experiences. In fact, you can now earn a bachelor’s degree online by attending an online college, where you enjoy a flexible schedule and lower tuition fees.

Moreover, there are plenty of online platforms, such as Coursera, Udemy, edX, etc., where you can gain new skills at a lower fee without having to go through a traditional degree program. You can access over 100,000 online courses under the guidance of experts at Udemy. In fact, you can find several courses on LinkedIn as well.

There are also a lot of companies that offer their very own certification programs. Take Google, for instance. It offers programs in DevOps engineering, cloud architecture, security engineering and more. You can also find useful courses on social media marketing, digital advertising, and Inbound Marketing at HubSpot.

  1. Getting an in-house mentor:

If you are determined to join a particular company but do not have the right education or work experience for the dream job, you can start your journey at the company with a different role. Over time, you learn about the company and establish connections with co-workers, and find a mentor who can give you valuable insights about your dream job. That person can help you direct your career journey, offer you useful advice along the way. He/she can also suggest to you which education options may be better for your situation or how to gain the right experience and skills to take your career forward.

Final thoughts

You may find it very motivational that a lot of leaders and entrepreneurs in today’s date had dropped out of their colleges. But the fact is that most of them had the necessary knowledge and/or experience to make things work in their favor. So, instead of relying only on your education or work experience, try to get the right balance of both things when you prepare to apply for a job in the professional world.

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