Experience Versus Qualifications: Two Blades Of A Pair Of Scissors

A Discussion On Experience Versus Qualifications

Today, thousands of people are trying to do the exact same thing. Which means the ones who aren’t keeping up with the pace have a lot to lose. One question that has been plaguing me for a long time is whether education is enough for you to stay ahead of the curve, or having enough experience is what actually matters. With limited education and businesses not doing enough to train their employees, how can anyone think of the term success?

If we consider the current job market, businesses look for fresh recruits who have the potential to fit into the job role instantaneously.

The Significance Of Education

I personally believe that education is the stepping stone for pursuing a corporate career. In the corporate world, every role requires a minimum set of qualifications which aspirants have to possess. The basics of being a team player, such as social skills and networking, participating in extracurricular activities, using analysis and a systematic approach—everything that is covered in your classrooms—are to be applied in real-life situations. Moreover, education is an ongoing process. While applying for a job, this is the X-factor that someone needs to recognize within oneself, build, and showcase. And the question is "How?"

  • Think about referrals
    Aspirants are always required to build their network on several social networking platforms. In fact, they need to start real-work assignments as early as possible. You can take a referral in the form of projects undertaken, by joining a club committed to social causes and welfare or, even from hobbies like photography, writing articles (the published ones), etc. Referrals will step in, giving a clear and positive opinion about your skills being an asset for the organization you are hired.
  • Aim at ongoing learning
    Learning has to be ongoing, i.e. you should never miss an opportunity to learn something new, whether it’s by studying or by doing. Developers and IT professionals are employed based largely on their experience, and that's the reason why you should take up part-time jobs of a junior level so as to implement what you have already learned and bring out your creativity. Don’t forget to showcase those skills in your resume!
  • Be a goal setter and achiever
    Setting goals for yourself is more like challenging your own capabilities. And it’s very important to get out of your comfort zone at regular intervals. Channel your ideas and thoughts into achieving simple short-term achievable goals. By doing this, you will be able to develop problem-solving skills, overcome unnecessary fears, take up new ventures, and think out of the box. After a while, you will be able to present yourself eloquently in your resume or during job interviews.

The Significance Of Experience

Defining experienced employees is simply based on the results they generate and their behavior at work. Other X-factors to consider include:

  • Being proactive
    Experienced professionals are the ones who don’t just excel in their work but also offer results.
  • Presenting a catalytic learning ability
    Leaving your comfort zone and possessing an innovative acumen should be part of your workday. Be goal-centric and align with the company’s goal, absorb what is taught at work, and introduce improvised systems that help offload unnecessary overhead stimulant procedures.
  • Being aware of others’ perception
    Always consider what others think of you, at least be aware of it! This skill helps to minimize animosity and resentment when there is a conflict of ideas.
  • Believing in inclusivity
    Many of you would love to take on work assignments within your abilities and finish them single handed. This, indeed, is the normal expectation from our peers. But you have to rise above normal, try leading a team, try believing in inclusivity.

The Problem: A College Education Doesn’t Necessarily Prepare For A Job

The education-workplace gap may be bridged firstly by understanding the requirements of the workplace and the learners' training and development, and secondly, of course, by changing the academic programs, as this would accommodate the changing requirements of the workplace.

What Should The Approach Be?

The short-term solution which is currently being implemented in order to address the gap in South Africa, for example, is to provide 'work readiness programs'[1]. These programs focus on developing interpersonal skills to facilitate the learners' transition into the working environment. A long-term solution includes an overall review of the education and training provided so that employees achieve the required levels of competency and proficiency to execute critical job duties.


1. Bridging the gap between education and the workplace