The Great Debate – Education vs. Experience

5 minute read
Education vs Experience

Many students face the dilemma of whether to pursue higher education after graduating or simply apply for a job and get the field experience instead. With the increased emphasis on entrepreneurship and practical real-world exposure, students often deter education. Both these aspects are quintessential in your journey and have certain advantages and disadvantages depending on several factors. Let’s extend the debate of Education vs Experience and assess which one gets the job and whether the experience is more important than academic qualification or not.

Education vs Experience: Which is More Important?

Proof of Training/Education/skills
Get a particular skillset and industrial training altogether
Significant for those early in their careers
Earn and learn at the same time
Makes you responsible and good decision-makers
Equips you with essential career skills like leadership, communication and time management
ConsLearning is Expensive
Learning makes you slightly dependent
Might not equip you with the specific skill set that aligns with your career


“Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself.” – John Dewey

If we trace back in time, we observe that human beings learned several concepts and methods without formal education. People built houses, cured the diseased, did trade and business, etc. without having any background in academics. But with an increase in curiosity, exploration, discoveries, and inventions; we realized the need to arrange and preserve the knowledge in books. With further improvement and increase of information, we now have infinite information and data to process and share with the world. Thus, when it comes to the debate of education vs experience, here are the major perks and importance of education:

  • Formal education provides students with the right knowledge and skillset they need in a particular field and build a successful career in the same.
  • Education has always been considered a basic human right as it familiarises every individual with the fundamental knowledge of basic disciplines of study and then master a certain field they want for their career path.
  • In the contemporary world, an education system in a traditional setting is much more than just learning concepts.
  • While pursuing formal education, students get to learn a wide variety of life skills from interpersonal communication to social skills.
  • Universities across the world have started implementing research-based, practice-focused programs that enhance the student’s capabilities and refine their skills.
  • Students engage in projects that increase their critical thinking abilities and are trained by professionals and experts in a particular field.
  • Formal education also provides a degree as proof of being educated in a subject and saves time and the risk for employees to hire undertrained people.
  • Education doesn’t really spoon-feed students but reduces their effort to hunt for what they need to know for building their desired profession.

However, Education has become increasingly expensive and invests a certain amount of time which some students deem unnecessary which leads to lesser admissions for higher studies.  


What cannot be learnt through education, training, and observation is learnt by experience, and learning through experience is the hardest and the best. For, experience is not inherited; earned. – Doctor Kesi

The world still values the concept of ‘learning by doing’. Many successful careers have emerged from experimenting and experience. For a profession to flourish merely based on this, a person needs to have exceptional talent and motivation along with considerable effort. Owing to the fact that experienced professions require building a scraper from scratch, people in this journey, have better ownership and responsibility of their decisions which makes them great leaders

However, to survive in this rapidly unfolding world, these individuals might require training or skills to be hired. The experience might provide basic details about certain things and concepts but doesn’t guide you through the essential soft-skills that are demanded in a professional environment. These small details reflect on your personality, are noticed by authorities, and highly impact your career growth. With advancements and innovations in the world, technical knowledge in understanding equipment requires up-to-date training to increase and improve a person’s career. 

Is Experience More Important than Academic Qualification?’

The debate of education vs experience poses another conflicting question, i.e. is experience more important than academic qualification?

The answer to this dilemma lies in seeing experience and education as supplementary to each other rather than putting them against one another. To start any entry-level job, you will need a certain basic education, be it graduating from high-school or with a bachelor’s degree, it will vary. Thus, it is only after getting the basic education that you can move towards aiming for work experience and then decide whether your industry requires you to gain a better higher qualification or learn on the job. The main arguments for this debate are:

  • A higher educational qualification offers you a particular skill set which you can further convert into a work skill to thrive in your career.
  • Higher education can help you find the right career to leverage your skills which professional exposure might not always guarantee as you will have to experiment and work on a trial and error based technique.
  • Gaining success in your career through work experience will surely be more valuable in your professional journey than getting a successful academic record through education. The real world will always valuable professional experience over educational qualification.
  • Work experience might not always give you the right skill set you need to thrive in your industry, it can only be mastered with time.
  • Higher educational qualification indicates academic success not professional.

Depending on the person, their aptitude, personality, and environment; the two journeys work differently for everyone. Education can never be looked down upon and experience has its own dominance.  Your decisions carry long-term stakes which make it essential for you to have a mentor or an educational counselor to guide you. If you’re confused about your career options, our expert team at Leverage Edu is here to assist you through your journey to excellence!

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