Picture the scenario; you see a role advertised in an area you would like to work in and after lots of studying, hard work and dedication, you have a degree that you think you could apply to this role. However, you are going up against people who have left education without obtaining a University degree, but have gained experience in the working world.
Who is more likely to get the job?
Well, both. These are two of the most important things that employers will take into consideration when looking to hire new staff and the reason they are both important is because employers want to hire people who have a good balanced CV. The combination of both education and experience shows employers that you are a well-rounded individual.
Let’s take a look at both areas in a bit more detail.
It goes without saying that having the matching work experience when applying for a job shows employers that you will have an understanding of what they will be expecting you to do along with the relevant skills needed.
Having this experience will simply make you stand out from the crowd, especially if you have had a chance to build up on your skills and expertise over a number of years.
But what happens if you want to change your career path? How do you gain the relevant experience in order to be hired? Getting hired in a job is extremely difficult when you don’t have any initial experience, and getting experience in an area relevant to the job you want to do is even harder.
Don’t panic though! There are plenty of ways to gain skills that will contribute to your chosen career. Firstly, think about doing a short internship, there are 1000s of opportunities out there to work in businesses in all sectors and completing an internship in the right sector is also probably the most effective way of making your CV stand out to employers.
If you can’t manage to get an internship, then next route is to try and get experience in a job with transferable skills such as communication skills, commercial awareness and teamwork. These skills will certainly help when convincing a prospective employer that you’re right for the job, plus, it will display your eagerness by having gone the extra mile to make yourself more employable.
You’ve worked hard throughout school, dedicated yourself to your studies and have finally left university with a degree. But is your degree going to guarantee you entry into a job, or is it a non-specific degree that could apply to a number of roles?
What you need to ask yourself is this; does my chosen career path require me to have a degree?
You don’t want to go to university simply because you want to experience the lifestyle like your friends, you have to make sure that the £27,000 you pay in fees is going to be worth it in the long run. Otherwise, you’ll just end up with one very expensive certificate.
Nevertheless, it can be money well spent and the first step to determining whether or not this is the case is making sure that your choice of degree is right by researching the course thoroughly beforehand. The next important step is adding value to your CV whilst in university to make sure you stand out. This can be achieved by taking part in extra-curricular activities which universities are offering in order to help their students more employable.
Work experience or qualifications?
Qualifications are important and will certainly help you to get the job of your dreams, but more often than not work, experience must coincide with that qualification or you could find yourself unemployed after university ends. Employers are now looking for candidates who have gone the extra mile in order to differentiate from the crowd of people with university degrees.
If you can gain a mixture of both experience and qualifications, then you’re on the right path to getting the job you want.