Education Vs Experience

Education Vs Experience: Which is better for your business?

When hiring for your business it may come down to choosing between a qualified candidate, and one with hands on work experience.

According to recent research, it was said that 57% of workers are in a current job that is not related to their degree. This sparks the question of whether education is more important than work experience. The recent rise in higher education fees means candidates are increasingly moving away from university degrees and entering the world of work earlier.

When hiring, it may come down to choosing between a qualified candidate, and one with industry experience, but is one more beneficial than the other? Both prepare candidates for their career by nurturing different skill sets. Education may offer the more technical skills, whilst experience can provide transferable business skills, gained in a working environment. Qualified candidates will have a proven academic record. As a business you can expect them to apply their technical skills, and as a result, trust them with higher levels of responsibility.

Someone with experience but no formal degree could be favoured for certain jobs, but they may struggle to advance professionally. On the other hand, a college grad with the best education and book smarts may be completely at sea when it comes to dealing with real-world work situations with no prior industry experience, and struggle to land that first job.

Those who have had work experience are likely to have a better understanding of how a business runs. Having previous experience in the industry also means candidates will have built an understanding of the market, main competitors and the overall knowledge on how to work within an organisation.

Research revealed that 71.9% of who have studied a degree felt that it would have been beneficial if their university had included more business and office-based skills and work experience opportunities, as this would help to bridge the gap between education and work transitioning.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the study revealed that 92.9% of those currently working within the retail sector admit that they do not use their degree education in their role, as roles such as these often require skills that can be taught through on-the-job training. However there are industries in which higher education or a degree is compulsory.

In more flexible industries, degrees are less sought after, and a candidate with previous experience in a similar role will probably be more beneficial to your business.

Both candidates are an asset to an organisation. It will ultimately come down to your business and the industry you’re in and who you feel will be a better fit for the role.

The truth of the matter is that it’s not so much about education vs. experience, but education and experience. They’re not mutually exclusive, but actually go hand-in-hand in charting out a person’s career growth.