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Recruitment advice for SMEs from Swiss Gulf Partners - Education vs Experience

August 14, 2016

The Great Debate.

Can experience make up for the lack of a degree, or does a degree provide something that experience cannot? Is one more valuable than the other?

Is a candidate with three years working in the industry gaining experience in “real world” situations but with no immediately measurable way of proving a level of knowledge, or a candidate who has undertaken three years studying, gaining tested and proven knowledge of a wide range of technical skills but with less time for practical application better?

The tech industry is fast-paced and rapidly advancing. Systems and languages that were in place a few years ago are often out-dated and have been upgraded or changed all together. Could it be said that the content of a ten year old degree is now largely unrelated and that the knowledge gained through experience has become more important than the degree itself?

A graduate can tell an interviewer what he/she thinks she can do if hired, while a candidate with experience can demonstrate what he/she has done in previous roles successfully for their employers.

A candidate who has a degree are often associated as having a proven ability to analyse problems, conduct research and produce solutions. Along with a proven ability to learn complex and difficult subject matters which can all make a great hire.

If a company has a policy in place where a degree is mandatory then could they be missing out on a large pool of candidates who have a vast amount of experience?

Many billionaires and successful business people, including Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg, never finished university yet they have prospered and reached unbelievable milestones.

The reality of the experience vs. education debate is that no single argument can cover all the potential situations of job seekers, potential employers and career success.

What are your thoughts on the great debate of “Education vs Experience”? What is your personal experience of this question, did you undertake a degree and find it more beneficial when job searching? Or did you go down the gaining experience route and found that not having degree made no difference and your experience was valued more?

HR & recruitment tips supplied by CREATIVE ZONE client Natalie Mills of Swiss Gulf Partners - A HR Recruitment Company based in Dubai.