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Education or Experience?

What matters most to an employer- Education or Experience?

Consider this scenario: Sam and John applied for the same job. Both are interviewed well, but Sam has experience of 10 years and doesn’t have any college degree, and John is just passed out of the college with no experience. Who will get the job? The reply would be – It depends!

Here are several factors to consider when one has to choose between experience and education:


Not all education or experience is considered identical. Degree from the best college in your field will open the door mainly for its reputation; degree from a less reputed college won’t assist you closely as much. Did you complete your degree while working for full time? This provides you a reputation of a dedicated hard worker who is eager to make sacrifices- a reputation that assists you when you sit down for an interview.

Reputation is as important in terms of experience also. Simply working 45 hours a week for 10 years is not going to help in winning any point. What did you add to the bottom line of the company? Did you win awards, innovate, promote and bring in better business? So reputation matters in both education and experience.

Field of career

 There are a few careers where education trumps experience and vice versa. For instance, in the field of high technology, a recent college pass out who studies the latest development will surely get an edge over the one who is experienced in this field. Likewise in sales, having an excellent track record of providing the company with benefits will surely outweigh any degree.

Policy of the company

Let’ say Sam with 10 years experience applies for a job in the company. He is working currently to get a promotion he is qualified for. The bad news for Sam is that the job still goes to John who is a fresher with nil experience. Some of the companies may grant to substitute experience with the college education. But some have very tough policies, requiring a degree of college and no substitutions. Sam may be the most worthy candidate, but he stuck to the job at which he is currently working unless he completes his education. For certain industries such as healthcare and education, education is vital to qualify for important certification.


So what you can do if you don’t have experience or education? If your CV lacks in credits of education and you are not able to do a full four-year course, taking classes in your field displays that you are thinking forward and want to invest in your career. Skills of technology are always in trend and various colleges provide online classes.

For graduates of college, interning provides a great chance to achieve that experience and exhibits that you are likely to invest for your career.

So, between experience and education, there is no evident winner. If you are in search for a job, find better ways to boost the part you are lacking and surely you will beat both Sam and John!