Education, Experience and Employment

Posted on 01.05.2009

College is a stepping stone that most of us use – some to pass four years as they decide what to do with their lives, and others in the pursuit of an education that will help them secure the job they’ve always wanted. Most of us are in the same boat – we don’t find work relevant to the majors we study in college, unless we go to med school or law school where our chosen vocation is apparent. There are some who settle for work that pays well, and others who wait to secure employment that they truly enjoy; some who wish to work in the field they’ve majored in, and others who stumble onto their passion by accident. 

In today’s work environment, how important is education in helping you secure employment that you feel worthy of your talents? Or is it enough that you have relevant work experience? Let’s consider the two scenarios briefly:

When experience trumps education:

If you’ve decided that four years of undergraduate study is enough and you’re ready to face the work scene, then you’re the kind who values experience over education. Among the pros of this situation:

    * You get a head start over those who prefer to continue with their education for two or more years.
    * You start earning immediately and are able to pay back your student loans sooner.
    * You don’t have to spend more towards further education.
    * You don’t have to experience the uncertainty that’s associated with job hunting.
    * You don’t have to worry about the state of the economy in a couple of years’ time when you’ll finish your graduate degree.

When education scores over experience:

Although work experience does have its plus points, there are times when it pays to continue your education and wait to enter the working world. This is when:

    * You tend to get a better and higher paying job if you’re qualified enough.
    * You finish your education in one go rather than waiting a few years to go back to school to enhance your career prospects at a later stage.
    * You learn more about the subject and are more knowledgeable as a result.

As you can see, both situations have their own pros and cons, so it’s up to you to decide which option best suits your needs and circumstances. There are some employers who allow you to continue your education even as you work for them, so if you’re looking to kill two birds with one stone, this is the best option for you.