Getting a job is hard and making the choices that lead to a job can be even harder. It is such a competitive market at the moment; rates of unemployment are at record levels especially for school leavers and graduates. Because of this fierce competition you want to be sure you are making the right decisions. One of the most difficult decisions to make is whether to gain more education and training or to get experience. For a lot of people they may not have the choice to gain more education and training simply because these things cost money – however there are some opportunities where you can gain training whilst earning money, such as internships.
Experience is a highly valued quality in any profession; the more practical experience somebody has, the less time has to be spent guiding him or her at the start of a new role. And while a lot of employers will not employ someone without relevant experience it is also true that a lot won’t employ someone without a degree in a related subject. It depends on the employer and of course the profession; an academic career such as banking or science will require a certain level of education, whereas a vocational career such as acting or sport may require nothing more than experience and talent.
The fact is that in this market it is not a question of working out which is best, instead it is a case of working out the ways in which you can do both. If you can afford to, get as much education and training as possible in your chosen field, but don’t stop there! Volunteer or organise some work experience in the time you are not studying. If study is not an option for you and you need to work, try and work in a sector that is relevant to where you want to go. If your dream is to be a film director working as a receptionist in a film production company may be the first step – don’t be afraid to start at the bottom and work your way up. Showing that you have done as much as you can do is the most important factor in all of this because it demonstrates how passionate you are, and passion is what all employers look for.