What Do Employers Value More -- Experience Or Education?
Headline: What Do Employers Value More -- Experience Or Education?
Author: Liz Ryan, Contributor
Date: Mon, 9 Jan 2017 18:45:00 -0500
Hours Ago: 3
I am at a career crossroads. I can get a new job in my field pretty easily (as job searches go) but if I take another job like the one I just left, I will only further pigeonhole myself in the same role I’ve already performed for three different companies.
There were variations in each assignment of course, but if I take another position in the same career path I will really be typecasting myself.
If I decide to make a change, I could go in a management direction instead.
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A management role (which I think I could get because I’ve done a lot of hiring and supervision) would give me a higher-altitude view on my next employer’s organization and would also pay more.
Here’s my question. Do employers typically value experience or education more highly? I don’t have an MBA.
It might be a waste of time going for a management job if they’re only going to look at candidates with MBAs.
If employers value experience more highly than education, I will probably bisect my job search into two parallel paths and focus half my energy on jobs like the one I have now and the other half on management jobs. What are your thoughts?
I like your analytical approach. However, you are at risk of looking at your job search and your career overall as an equation, and it is not an equation.
Presumably you’ve been working for years already. You must know that there is no way to determine “What Employers Want.”
Not only is every organization different, but every hiring manager is different. That’s not all!
Other factors that influence a hiring decision include the hiring manager’s own tastes, his or her manager’s preferences and biases, the organization’s history, its culture, the state of the company and the department and hundreds of other influences.
Hiring and getting hired are simply not x + y = z calculations.
You have to feel your way through a job search, taking steps and evaluating your situation over and over again.
You made an excellent case for stepping away from the kind of work you’re doing now — because taking another job that’s too much like your most recent jobs would only pigeonhole you. You also wouldn’t learn as much as you would in other roles.
Why would you include “jobs like the one I have now” in your job-search strategy at all, in that case?
Why start an ambitious and exhilarating career shift with a backup plan integrated into it — and invest half your time and energy in the backup plan?
If you feel it’s time to change direction — emphasis on the word “feel” rather than “think” — then commit to it. Everybody has to commit to something at some point in order to feel their power.
Actors and artists must commit to their work — and we are all artists!
We commit ourselves to projects, people and to ideas that move us. Commit to yourself, Ray, and don’t hedge your bets.
If you do, you know what will happen. You’ll get a nice job offer very soon for a job just like the job you already have.
Then you’ll say “Well, I guess I’ll take this job. Maybe I’ll try something new down the line.” We can already predict that outcome.
There is no such thing as an overarching “employer preference” between education and experience. Some managers won’t look at anyone without a blue-chip educational history.
They have no interest in meeting you unless you graduated from one of the best universities. Is that the role model you want in a manager?
Some managers couldn’t care less about your education as long as they see that you can do the job. You get to choose which manager to work for, especially since it sounds like you are a marketable candidate.
Why not explore a broader swath of the talent market and take a job working with the people who inspire you the most?
The key to success — financial, emotional and every other kind of success — in this new millennium is to understand that the world is big enough to embrace and exalt your talents.
If you believe in yourself and know your stuff, you will find an organization that will value your and your background.
You don’t have to pursue a job search asking questions like “What do employers want?” or “What do employers value?”
There is no such thing as “employers” as a bloc. You only need one manager to see your brilliance and invite you onto their team.
Your job is to search for that manager and that organization in particular, not worry about fitting your round-peg self into a square hole or vice versa.
Remember this Ray — if they don’t get you, they don’t deserve you!
All the best,