In a recent poll, we asked if your education has had an impact on your current job or career path. Our results found that the majority of Movin’ On Up readers don’t feel their education has played a defining role in their career path. In fact, 41% of respondents said that their education hasn’t been a factor, while only 22% percent agreed that “I wouldn’t be where I am today without my degree.” Nearly 20% of readers stated their degree “helped land my first job, but really hasn’t been a factor since.” And, 11% of respondents answered “Other,” with mixed opinions including:
- “It has helped as far as showing potential employers commitment and potential.”
- “You need experience plus a degree.”
- “My undergraduate degree was the stepping stone to my law degree.”
- “Nothing but four pieces of paper on the wall.”
- “My lack of experience has kept me from getting an ideal job.”
Finally, 5% of readers answered “I’m still in school, so we’ll see!”
Education vs Experience
Based on our results, many jobseekers don’t think a typical path of higher education has helped their job search. Furthermore, respondents seem to believe that experience is worth the same as, if not more than, education. But, the statistics on the subject are mixed.
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the unemployment rate for young adults in 2013 was 29.2% for those who did not complete high school, 17.5% for those whose highest level of education was high school, and 12.2% for those with some college education. For those with a bachelor’s degree or higher, unemployment was 7%.
Yet, in a recent edition of the “America Employed” survey of 115 Express Employment Professionals franchises across the nation, respondents were asked to rate various traits on how important they are when evaluating job applicants based on a scale of one to five. The results showed that education received the lowest amount of points at 2.67. Experience, on the other hand, received a vote of 3.73.
Whether or not education plays the most important role in your likelihood of getting hired, there’s no doubt that taking opportunities to learn and grow in your career is a beneficial piece of the puzzle. And, you don’t necessarily have to follow a typical four-year degree path. In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 14 of the 20 fastest-growing occupations in America require an associate’s degree or less. Career Technical Education provides the skills and training needed for many career, including welding, physical therapy, and mechanics, and is an alternative to a university. If you’re hoping to further your education without following a four-year plan, check out this article for more information.
What do you think is more important – education or experience? Let us know in the comments section below.
Movin’ On Up is brought to you by Express Employment Professionals.