Question of the Month:
Which has been more important to you, your education or your work experience? Why?
Share Your Thoughts! We're sorry, but the comment box for this article has been closed. However, you may view the past discussion amongst your peers to see what they had to say ...
My work experience is more importatant. People and work is much different then theories and book smarts.
Work experience and education specific to our industry are important to me. There is nothing that teaches you how to handle real life situations other that digging in and getting experience. However, it is important to get education to handle the technical side of the business as well. And when the education is optional and the person has the initiative to apply themselves to seek out and successfully take classes and earn designations that says alot about their dedication also!
OK let me try that again so you know I do have some education: Education give's you the tools to succeed, but work gives you the experience to learn what works and what doesn't. You need the experience to be able to teach others the best way to accomplish their goals because you have done it and know that your expectations are realistic, which in turn sets your team up for success.
Education give you the tools to success but work gives you the experience to learn what works and what doesn't. You need the experience to be able to teach others the best way to accomplish their goals because you have done it and know that your expectations are realistic, which in turn sets your team up for success.
Work experience with Education for support. Education is a controlled enviroment, and the world just isn't like that so life and work experience are a person's biggest teachers. However education allows us to improve on our decision making ability and our overall ability to handle the unknown.
For me -- it is both. So many people talk about education as just the facts you learn. To me, even more important than the facts - Education is the discipline of learning. Without that foundation -- learning in later years and getting all I can from experience would not be nearly as powerful as it has been for me. So -- no matter what the course of study - the education process prepares us for the rest of our lives. Those that don't get the benefit of "education" start out behind, and that is a crime.
Work experience is more specific, in depth and enlightening and includes the flaws and imperfections that formal education can not provide. Formal education is complementary to work experience and the best formal education I have had was attended after I had some work experience to elate it to.
My informal education in the workplace has definitely been of more value to me than my formal education. The experience and knowledge that I have gained is utilized everyday. I'm not sure it would help me if seeking other employment, but the work experience is like gold to me.
Without question, the work experience has been far more important. Have you ever had to deal with a "book learned purist" vs. a practical, experienced manager?
My work experience has been a 1000 times more valuable to me. I have learned things through experience that is just not taught during the completion of a formal education. While formal education allows the opporunity to expand general knowledge and interests, my work experience has been priceless. As a trainer and former manager, much of what I need to effectively perform my job I learned from hands-on job experience. I didn't obtain my Bachelor's degree until I was 40, only completing it to appease the leaders of my organization. However, it provided minimal value and lots of extra debt.
Would you trust someone that has only read about how to build a house or someone who has actually build a house? While, in my opinion the combination of experience and education is the best, I would always bet on the person with actual experience.
I believe my work experience has been more important to me because it is also educational!
My education was good but the real learning started with the job. I found my classes covered a broad area but seem vague compared to the real lessons learned on the job. Real life situations and applying what you know as well as reasoning out solutions from previous experiences far surpasses the education one gets in a classroonm setting. I feel I have grown prfessionally as well as personally due to my job experiences
As a trainer, I cannot separate education from work experience. I could not be a trainer without the education. Continually learning improves my work experiences resulting in improved experiences for the people I train.
Actually both. However, my work experience has been greatly important to me; meaning that you can not get everything out of a book. It has helped me in implementing more effectively what I have learned from school. However, now that I am actively furthering my education it is just as important that I stay competitive. In the economic climate that we live in today you must be very diversified and be a master at as many professions and/or skills as possible.
My work experience allowed me to get to a management level that is no longer allowed to be reached without a degree. As such, I went back to school at 40 and received my degree just so I could continue to compete in my industry and move forward. While I don't see that the degree better prepared me for the promotion I got soon after, I can say that it has certainly enhanced the work experience and on-the-job related knowledge I already had.
My education got me the job, my work experience has been instumental in maintaining my KSAs.
Education is a basis but experience is real world. I value my experience most.
My work experience. My degree is in the pure sciences. But through serendipitous circumstances, I have been highly successful in governmental and non-profit finance for 30 years. Along the way I took appropriate classes in accounting, but my experience has been far more valuable. Working with people, dealing with real world situations, and innovating has provided me with skills that ring true on a resume'.
My first thought is why is this an either/or question? Perhaps they are equally important. Why do we need to choose? In my career both are important. One may get you in the door, the other may help you to keep your job on an ongoing basis.
Education. I learned innovative ideas and instructor's provided updated ways to deal with day to day tasks. At work staff who have several years of service tend to hold on to the old ways of doing things and fear change.
The older I get the more I realize if I want to move up or get a better paying job having both the education and the experience helps! So off to college I go!
Without hesitation I would have to say it is my experience. My college background was good for learning discipline, but honestly that could have been learned at my job as well. As an HR professional, I can not tell you how many employees/applicants I have met that have multiple post grad degrees but are as dumb as doornails and suffer from 'educational racism'.
Work experience is way more important. You can take the classes, write the papers, & past the tests; But until you have a boss asking for this, co-workers not doing their part on a project, and requests from other departments, you don't know what the job really is.
My work experience has been the most important. My background has been in based in Quality Assurance relavent to Nuclear Construction and Operation. Since this is a unique area experience has been the most important. I do have a Bachelors Degree and maintain an current ASQ Certification, but when it comes to obtaining new employment the experience is the most helpful but the education does open some doors.
My work experience without a doubt.
Education is wonderful but they cannot teach you how to handle the difficult people or difficult situations that are critical. Expeience is what kicks in and takes over.
I don't think enough employers respect experience as much as education. In my many years in the workforce I have had superiors say to me, "Oh but she/he has a masters degree"...ok but with my experience I can run cirlces around her/him with my eyes closed.
In my younger days I thought that experience was more important since employers trained you on the job skills needed and experience advanced one's career - but now in my older years I have appreciated my education more - it gave me the ability to listen, learn, compromise, inquire and be imaginative in creating solutions. I now see it as the strong foundation from which everything else was built upon and appreciate it more each year as I get older. Experience makes one wise - education makes one who she or he is. In the long term - education is more important.
There is nothing that takes the place of experience. During my "education" phase of my life the background was helpful, but there was not enough real time experience, to prepare me for the world of work. I was fortunate to work with excellent mentors in the early stages of my career. Their insight was invaluable.
They both are important and both have come into play at one time or another for me. In a perfect world you would have the perfect balance of both. But, if I have to choose only one I would say experience. The insight into human nature gained via the day to day situations can't be taught by reading about it. It must be learned through the living of it.
My experience has been much more valuable to me,it has proven in my HR field to be more of a WOW factor than education. With hands on experience, I have moved up our company ladder with a fast pace.
It depends on the work that is being done. I believe you should have work experience over educational experience when working with the public. School is not going to teach you have to be assertive and quick on your feet when high stress situations arise.
would your child be safer in the world alone with street smarts, or book smarts?
If I must choose, it has to be work experience. I have maintained a teachable posture and have sought learning experiences throughout my career paths. I have found that I draw upon all aspects of my work experience to do my job well. My college education was an excellent springboard and provided me with the worldview and maturity to step into the workplace.
Experience - as I am finding out, all the education in the world does not make you "street smart" or make you think logically, that comes from years of learning from the experts and by doing. I have worked with many people that had two or more masters degrees but no common sense or how to treat people in order to be successful.
My education got me in the door, but my work experience let me hit the ground running. Also, with my past work experience came excellent leaders that taught me more than I ever learned from books.
Work experience because it the practical application of education. The trial and error of learning seems to "stick" more than formal education. Formal education, however, leads the way to improving on practical experience.
Manager of Training and Development
Nevada HAND, Inc. / HAND Property Management Company
Education has been more important to me. I don't have a degree but I have many years of experience. My lack of a degree is always in the back of my mind for two reasons:
Professionally, I have to deal with the obstacle that some companies will not even consider hiring someone without a degree, despite any experience that person may have.
Personally, one of my goals is to earn a degree. It is a challenge due to the lack of time and money.
I may be the person that crosses the stage with a walker to accept my diploma, but I will get there one day.
My experience has been much more valuable to me, being able to demonstrate the ability to jump in and provide immediate solutions to unusual problems comes only from years of experience. Real life happens, you constantly learn from it... this can't happen in a classroom. In my career I've seen too many highly educated employees who didnt have enough common sense and practical experience to come in out of the rain!
I have no education beyond trade school. I have 10 year experience as a medical assistance in several practices with many responsiblities. Then I was reimbursement specialist for a hospital medical group for 3 years and now I am a credentialing supervisor for a very large health system for the last 10 years. There is no degree that would have gotten me where I was. My experience in various areas of healthcare is more knowledge then a classroom could have given me. I am glad I choose this path. Of course some feel that I am as far as I can get without a degree. Those folks don't know much,, most likely spend 15 year in school.
I believe it has been a combination of ongoing education and being able to put the knowledge into practice on the job that has been most valuable to me. I also have mentored many HR team members and have had the joy of watching them grow. The most successful are those that are voracious readers and willing to do any job to help the team.
My work experience has been more important to me. I majored in music education and after 4 years of teaching high school choir, I decided it was not for me. I have been working in Finance for many years now and have gotten where I am because of my work experience.
Definitely work experience. Most of what I do as an administrator was learned on the job. Education is important, I think, to give one a "taste" of what administration will be like, but the day-to-day work is definitely learned on the job.
Definitely my work experience, because it adds to my knowledge base and skill sets, ie., my education. Work experience gives you on-hand opportunities for growth and teaches you on a level you may not be able to obtain in a structured class setting.
Work experience by far has provided me with the most learning - how to deal with certain situations, how to read people, how to treat people, when to say "I'm sorry", how to manage my time, how much good comes from giving to others, and learning things about a particular business that can't be taught in school.
About The Manager’s Minute