Education or experience? This debate has been going on for a while, but what really is the proper amount of each that people are looking for or which one holds more weight than the other?
We know that in the United States, it is almost ingrained in our mind that from a young age we will graduate high school and go to college. The one thing that has changed is what is done during college.
What once was simply four years of learning, getting good grades and graduating to find a full-time job has now added another bit to the mix which is interning, mentorships and different ways to gain experience.
Now, I am not going to get the whole college experience and why internships are important but am going to look at it from the idea of why have internships become so important and it comes down to the fact that education itself is not enough and that people value experience as well.
I want to touch on what each side gives you that can benefit:
These are basic pro's for both ideas, but the important fact is that experience has come out as a clear competitor to simply education alone. This honestly comes down to supply and demand and we currently have more students coming out of college than twenty or thirty years ago. With that being said, it is not enough to have just a diploma in your hand to be able to prove to others you are good at what you do. You also need to set yourself apart and that's why experience is now that factor.
Ironically, for those who are opening a small business or simply getting a job out of college, one single internship is not enough anymore--as many college curricula's have now added an internship as a graduation requirement and making it more commonplace. Now, two or three internships may be your starting point along with your education--and even that may not be enough.
Simply put, in my eyes you need both, but experience is becoming the more important factor of the two because it truly has now become the factor in which HR departments look at as the way to weed out the person who stands out the most in their giant pile of resumes.
Please note, still get that diploma and work hard. The LA Times stated that on average, a doctoral degree-holder will earn $3.3 million over a lifetime, compared to $2.3 million for a college graduate and $1.3 million for those with a high school diploma. Therefore, neither education or experience can truly live on its own because without one you will not benefit from the other.
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