According to the National Union of Student (NUS) website, it costs an average of £10,000 to study and live in the UK.
Considering the cost of obtaining a college degree and the probability of getting a job on graduation, one would wonder if the time, effort and money invested into a college degree is not a ‘near- waste since the value for a degree is fast diminishing in the face of relevant experience.
Many people have said ‘it depends’ when asked if experience can take the place of a college degree.
While experience in a similar job role is helpful, no two jobs are exactly the same. And even still, no two companies are the same. Unfortunately, many employers lay too much emphasis on experience, from a strong CV.
John Ha in his article: Education vs Experience pointed out that all that a good resume and a track record shows is that a candidate delivered results for their former company with that company’s own culture, rules of working and people. That person could be a total misfit for another organisation.
This having been said, it is important that employers look at a job precisely and objectively before drafting a job and person specifications.
Many jobs that required a university degree twenty years ago may not require one today because the day-day-interactions of people with the environment and modern technology, have given them access to various knowledge and skills outside the walls of a classroom.
In the same vein, certain roles require an ability to solve problems or proffer solutions through a critical analysis of some basic concepts and principles and through intelligent research. In which case, a university degree should take precedence over experience.
Irrespective of your personal preference as an employer, it is important that you brood over some basic concepts to help you make a sound decision. Ask yourself whether the competences required can be obtained through a university degree, a few months or several years of experience. It is worth taking the time to properly analyse the skills, behaviours, attributes and knowledge required to do a job based on your specific needs before drafting the job/person specification.
In this way you stand a good chance of attracting a diverse and robust workforce that would contribute effectively and efficiently to your organisation.