Commercial experience vs a degree

When hiring, does a degree outplay commercial experience? Discussions about the value of a degree vs hands on experience have been around for a long time, but choosing which has more value is tough.

On one hand, education demonstrates the ability to learn, however commercial experience is also essential, especially in an industry that moves as quickly as the digital market.

There will always be circumstances where experience trumps education, and vice versa. It could completely depend on the needs of the hirer.  For example, some organisations have HR policies in place which mean they can only hire candidates with degree backgrounds.

There’s no right or wrong answer, and in most instances, employers will weigh one against the other equally to find the best person for the job.

Recruitment has changed over the last 20 years and what we’ve noticed is that gone are the days when hirers would only fill positions with degree educated candidates. Now a candidate who demonstrates day-to-day commercial experience and knowledge is just as important as a candidate who has a degree.

There’s an industry saying; it’s not a degree that makes a person successful; it’s how they apply it. So regardless of educational background, an employer will hire the candidate who demonstrates the most motivation, ambition and drive, because that’s what drives a business forward.

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