Work experience or academic qualification?What do you think, work experience should be emphasised or educational qualification in different professional sectors? If you think that there is...

Work experience or academic qualification?

What do you think, work experience should be emphasised or educational qualification in different professional sectors? If you think that there is something more which is essential, please, write down your opinion. You are most welcome!

Expert Answers
scarletpimpernel eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In most professional arenas, experience should be emphasized because most candidates applying for specific professional positions will have similar academic qualifications.  Experience demonstrates what kind of work ethic a person has, if that person is able to translate his or book knowledge to being an effective employee, and what kind of coworker the applicant has been with others.

A good example of this is of my mom who is a nurse.  She has been employed as an RN for 38 years.  My mom earned an associates degree in nursing when it was common for hospitals to have their own nursing schools.  Now most young nurses have earned a bachelor's degree in nursing, but that 4-year degree cannot replace the years of experience my mom has gained in all fields of nursing.  I think that most patients would prefer to have my mom help deliver their baby (she works in labor and delivery) because she has delivered hundreds of other babies than a person who might have a master's degree in nursing but who is new to the field.

lfawley eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I think that it depends on the career, but no matter what career field you go into, education is important. A well-rounded education (liberal arts, general education) can be an asset to any profession. When you have an understanding of history, literature, math, science, and the arts, you can apply them in many settings. Also, an education is not something that is limited to learning about subject matter. In college, you learn how to research in order to find information (this can be applied to any subject), you learn how to manage your time, and you learn how to associate with a wide range of people. All of these are crucial skills. That said, it is also important to get hands on experience. In short, I think that people should do both - find opportunities to work or volunteer in the fireld that interest them and also obtain a diverse, well-rounded education.

leabc eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I think that academic background is essential when looking for professional entry level positions, but as the years progress the work experience would most likely outweigh the education.  As 'scarlet' pointed out, a nurse with 38 years of experience would be more welcomed by most patients than one fresh out of school.  A teacher with 20 years experience knows their curriculum and classroom management, while a young teacher may have fresh ideas but little control of the students.

One area where this might be disputed is in areas that require technical expertise - the computer industry is constantly changing.  It might be wiser for an employer to hire a newly trained technician than one who has not kept up with training but has many years on the job.

besure77 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I agree that both are very important. Work experience should be considered but so should education. I think this is where the interview is very important. An interview gives the employer an opportunity to examine the individuals personality as well. A person may have a lot of work experience and a great education but have the personality of a potato. A person with a great education, great personality, but little work experience may get the job over the other person based on their personality.

brettd eNotes educator| Certified Educator

If you talk to most employers, you find that they spend very little time looking at your academic background and a lot of time looking at your experience.  It's difficult to break in to certain fields when you're brand new because you have no track record.

There are exceptions.  Academic training is certainly important in medicine and engineering, to name a couple.  In medicine if I were a doctor, I couldn't practice if I wasn't Board certified, which is an academic exercise.

mstultz72 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

You need work experience first, I think, especially if you are going for a graduate degree or MBA.  MBAs especially are not worth the investment and time if there is nothing on the resume after the undergrad degree is complete.

If an employer sees that you've gone from undergrad to grad without work experience (summer work, internship, consulting, even volunteering), then it sends a red flag that either you're not qualified to get a job or too lazy to look for one.


booksnmore eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I've found that a balance has been necessary. In my current work, my experience was the carrot that led me to this particular employer; however, they would not have been allowed to hire me unless I'd obtained a high enough degree. Universities cannot allow me to teach without a Master's degree. A co-worker actually had similar (more, actually) experience but was not employable because she didn't have a graduate degree. Probably unfair, but definitely a factor in my field.

bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I believe both work experience and a strong academic background are important, but I believe work experience to be a greater necessity and emphasis. I have many friends who have succeeded in their professional fields without the benefit of a college diploma; most began their employment in lower levels and worked their way up. In most fields, the experience gained at the various levels can't really be found from new graduates with only scholastic training.

amy-lepore eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Work experience is very important, but academic background also proves certain things about you.  Did you take all easy classes your senior year?  Then that might say that you are a slacker and look for ways to skate.  Did you take AP, IB, Dual Enrollment and honors classes throughout your high school career?  Then that speaks highly of your work ethic, your ability to handle stress well, and your problem-solving abilities.

dano7744 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Both !!! But what job are we talking about? It depends on the field. A plumber who digs ditches and crawls under houses to fix the leaky pipe needs more experience but an accountant must have the educational background to perform as a number cruncher. Also, let us be honest, we all know people who have advanced degrees but can't tie their own shoes.

Doug Stuva eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In general, if you are applying for a job, work experience should be emphasized.  If you are applying for entrance into graduate school, education should be emphasized. 

An exception might be if you are applying for an academic job.  In that case, you might want to emphasize education. 

ako6777 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I agree that both are important but experience should be emphasised.  You can have a PhD, but if you lack experience in real world application the degree is useless.  You have to know how to apply what you have learned in the educational setting before it can be considered valuable.

lrwilliams eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I feel that in most situations work experience is most important. Everything we learn through the education and preparation for our careers is important but until you learn how to apply through work experience we aren't sure what to do with the knowledge.

ali001 | Student

i recon it would be acadmic experience because acadmic experients comes before work experients