It is an eternal debate within the professional sphere: Should someone keen to advance up the career ladder participate in continued education, or is real-world experience more likely to provide professional success?
The most accurate answer to this question is and forever will be: It depends. Read on to learn whether you should return to school or dig deeper into your work.
When Experience Matters
There is a good reason every job posting requests far more experience than the typical candidate is likely to have: Employees with real-world experience are more likely to be productive sooner, thanks to practical knowledge and understanding of the systems and processes required in their role. For organizations, training is expensive. Training tools cost money, and employees cannot operate at their highest level of performance while a newbie requires their time and attention. A candidate that boasts applicable experience will reach their peak performance in less time, and they are more likely to make high-value contributions that benefit the entire organization at a quicker rate.
However, experience does not develop overnight. It can take years for workers to accrue the skills and knowledge that make them excel at their jobs, which is why it typically takes three years or more with a company before you are likely to have a chance at a promotion. It can be frustrating to wait to garner the experience to impress your superiors, so you might naturally wonder whether education will help your career advance.
The education can be the best option to help you get access to an entry level job in the field of your choice. However, the prospective employers would look forward to have someone who is capable of handling the tasks rather speedily and efficiently. This can be achieved only through the best possible on the job training. The lack of experience can cause both the employer and employee a considerable loss both in terms of money and time.
Employers would be looking forward to their employees having a very realistic experience in terms of the realistic expectations. The experience that you gain through the job can be helpful in understanding your field in a better manner and thus equips you with the best soft skills needed for the job.
When Education Matters
Education often provides the foundation from which experience can grow. Though technically neither a high school diploma nor a college degree is strictly necessary for many occupations, employers tend to look for job candidates with certain education credentials that tend to indicate that a worker has a certain level of knowledge and skill.
Yet, once you are qualified for an entry-level position, you might wonder whether it is worthwhile to remain in (or return to) school as a means of improving your career opportunities. In truth, every level of worker can benefit from continuing to engage with education, especially through short courses online that provide useful information from the world’s top experts. Many short online education opportunities do not compel a worker to choose between remaining in their position and improving their education credentials, which makes them an excellent option for high-level professionals looking for beneficial insights.
Education definitely matters a lot. A proper education will provide you access to a better pay and a better stability in terms of the job. It has been observed that higher levels of education will ensure that you have a possibility of earning more and having a lesser amount of unemployment.
Do Employers Prefer Experience or Education?
The exact fact of whether employers look for education or experience will be dependent on the type of the job and the preferences of the hiring persons. Surveys have proved that most of the employers look for higher education. However, the experience does play a major role in improving the possibility of promotions.
The education alone can help you get into a good job and a great pay. However, if you want to succeed in life and enjoy a great degree of success quality in your career, it is always important to have a good experience. Some professional jobs may require you to have a higher education, while a few others want you to have a good experience.
Experience Can Be Rebranded as “Education” Too
The concept of education has changed to a considerable extent in recent times. The teachers are no longer destined to be considered to be providers of educations and children are no longer just the receivers. The concept has been changing consistently and there has been consistent chances for the optimum development.
It can be one of the excellent options for enjoying a perfect knowledge about yourself. There are times when people have realized after completing their education that this is what they are looking to get access to, or were planning to be involved in. The experience is what would help you have access to a great degree of self-knowledge. The self-awareness that you would be able to get through the experience should be something that can make it a truly exciting experience ever. Having worked on the actual job, you would be able to learn much about your strengths and weaknesses on the job. It will also help you gain enough knowledge in terms of the areas that you can improve upon. A mere education without the experience will not be able to help you opt for the self-realization. If you are really passionate about your job or anything that you want to do, getting a little experience is always the prime option.
However, some workers might consider pursuing more intensive education, like master or doctorate degree programs, as a means of boosting themselves up their career ladders. Research on income potential amongst workers demonstrates that those with more advanced degrees tend to earn more in starting salary than their non-degreed peers. Over the course of a career, this extra income can add up to substantial sums — but only if you do not need to take on student debt to achieve your advanced degree. Professionals with student loans might need to devote a significant portion of their extra income to paying their debt.
Education is like an experience fast-track; it allows you to accumulate a wealth of knowledge and skill in a short amount of time, but the costs of this path are not insignificant. Generally, it is advisable to invest in an additional degree if you are young or if you are transitioning into a field in which you have little to no experience and need a way to prove your value. Even then, you should try to keep your loans to a minimum and get back into the working world as soon as possible.
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Why Both Are Essential for Career Success
For most career ladders, you will need a combination of education and experience to see success. Before you embark on your career path, you should try to invest in education that provides the knowledge and skill you would need to perform in an entry-level position. Then, once you begin your career, you should commit yourself to gaining as much experience as you can. If possible, you should participate in coaching or mentorship programs in your office, and you should take opportunities to shadow business leaders or learn about operations in neighboring business departments. All the while, you can continue your education with short online courses in related fields.
You do not need to choose between pursuing education and gaining experience to better your career — you can and should have both.