It can be difficult to know sometimes if relevant experience or further education is more valued by employers. There’s no easy answer – both are important to a hiring manager, so here’s some advice about what skill set is going to lift you to the top of the job market!
Table of Contents
1. Transferable Skills Are Always Valued
Regardless of what new job you’re interested in, having practical experience in a professional environment will always be positive when people are having to make a hiring decision. It doesn’t matter if it’s in a completely different industry, experience in a work environment gives you transferable skills that you just can’t learn anywhere else.
This is particularly important for people who aren’t interested in any kind of academic study or trade apprenticeship, but really holds even for people who have a specific educational background relevant to the industry they’re going into – transferable skills can be the difference between being hired and not.
Skills like time management, being able to take constructive criticism or communication are always valued, no matter the workplace!
2. Work History is Important
If you hate the job you work in, don’t write it off as a waste of time – there’s no such thing on a resume. Just because it’s not your dream job doesn’t make it irrelevant. Of course, if you feel that it’s an unhealthy work environment that’s a different matter entirely, but otherwise stay for at least six months.
That way when a hiring manager or HR team looks at your resume, they can see that you’re reliable and a good long term investment – lots of short term jobs suggest that while you may have years of experience, even years of practical experience, but may not be the kind of person they want on a career path in their workplace.
3. A College Degree Can Be Crucial
There are some areas where, no matter how much work experience or real-world experience you have, you need a more formal qualification, and sometimes the requirement is a bachelor’s degree or above. This usually means that there’s a higher level of theoretical knowledge needed to complete the job. There are of course always pathways to university, but you may need to attain a particular qualification to be able to work in a field.
If you didn’t get the ATAR you wanted or don’t think you can get straight into a bachelor, consider using a TAFE course as a pathway to university.
4. Go Straight to the Source for Career Advice
Find out a bit more about the industry you’re going into to find out what they value, as every industry is different. For example, a trade like plumbing might require a certification but value experience above all else, whereas, for something like psychology, career progression isn’t possible without more than a four-year degree. Industry qualifications and requirements differ, so find a senior manager or someone responsible for hiring like a HR manager in the field who can tell you what they’d be looking for.
5. Consider A Course That Will Give You Both
Generally, experience and higher education or further education go hand in hand. One of the best ways to get a full-time job is to do a course or a university degree that will give you work placements or work experience. This is often known as a sandwich course.
TAFE courses and apprenticeships are fantastic for this, as they often focus on industry connections and experience, as well as teaching you the theory. Plus, depending on whether you have a high school diploma or other qualification, universities can be difficult to get into, so always have a plan in place, just in case!
No matter who you, the fact is that in today’s market, most jobs require some kind of qualification or training, but that doesn’t mean that life skills aren’t seriously valued. Don’t give up on your job search if you’re missing one or the other, consider doing a short course today and get the best of both worlds!
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