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August 20, 2010

Why Employers Must Look Beyond Professional Qualifications

Why Employers Must Look Beyond Professional Qualifications

Is education more valuable than experience or vice versa when it comes to entering the job market and raising your desirability in the world of employment? The general consensus to this debate is that education is the foundation on which experience must be built. So you need both the right degree and the right kind of exposure if you want to be at the top of employers’ priority lists. But then, the impact of education varies from person to person, even if they have studied in the same schools and colleges and earned the same degrees. Your professional qualifications (be it a degree or a training course in a particular skilled trade or job) may be the same as another, but that does not mean you’re both equally qualified for a particular job.

Employers generally use professional qualifications as the base standard to judge your eligibility for a job, but they stand to benefit only if they look beyond pieces of paper that state you hold such and such a degree or diploma because:

•    The quality of degrees varies from school to school – a degree at Harvard is definitely ranked higher than one at your community college or an online school.

•    People may not have gained much knowledge in earning their degree; while they may have passed their exams and scraped through with decent grades, just the fact that they hold a degree is no reason to believe they are capable enough of doing the job.

•    Professional qualifications are enhanced by internships and other forms of job experience during college years, so employers should seek out graduates who have taken the initiative to test the waters and gain experience while at school, thus proving that they are the right-minded people for the job.

•    Interviews and other screening techniques are needed to identify employees with the best aptitude for the job; employers should be prepared to go beyond standard scripted questions and use their instinct and experience to judge which persons are best suited for the job at hand, irrespective of the degree they hold.

•    Most importantly, it is the ability to gather and use the right information at the right time, without wasting time, effort and money in the process that is crucial to any team. And employers who pay attention to such candidates and strive for their recruitment stand to benefit.

•    Temperament matters too, so potential employees have to be evaluated not just on their professional knowledge but also by their ability to work as part of a team, be an effective leader, and work efficiently and effectively.

If employers start to look beyond educational and professional qualifications during the hiring process and pay attention to the qualities that really matter on the job and in the workplace, they stand to benefit both in the long and short term.

This guest post is contributed by Debbie Owen, she writes on the topic of online doctorate degree. She welcomes your comments at her email id:

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