Educational Experience: Demonstrate Why Yours Matters

January 27, 2014 at 10:00 PM by Jordan Taylor

grad1It shouldn't be relative, but it is: the value of your education depends on the perception of a given employer, recruiter, or hiring manager. Recent trends in tech talent recruitment have led employers to consider hiring self-taught candidates with no formal education. This is partly due to data that shows no predictive correlations between a student’s Alma mater and job performance. Aline Lerner outlined this paradigm shift in “Lessons from a year’s worth of hiring data.”

Tech companies are beginning to universally rely on quantitative evaluations of a prospective candidate’s work samples, potential as a cultural fit, previous work experience, and overall problem-solving skills.

None of this means that your education doesn't count. You worked hard—so show potential employers how and why it counts.

If you have vocational training, or a tech certificate, you can potentially stand out from others with associates or bachelor’s degrees.

Here’s a great infographic, 4 Reasons Your Career-Specific Training Makes You the Best Hire to help you get started:

Hire Education

Original Source:

Main takeaways:

  • Regardless of your degree type, start by thoroughly researching the industry that matches your career-specific education experience. Then think about how you can promote your educational background to effectively alter an interviewer’s perspective of you.
  • Employers truly do value experience over academic pedigree. Notice that when it comes to science and technology, experience is valued nearly twofold over education. This is where you have to demonstrate that your vocational degree sets you apart from another candidate with a bachelor’s degree. Make sure to highlight how your specific training translates into the everyday processes and activities of the position you’re interviewing for.
  • If you don’t have a tech certificate or vocational training—you can still demonstrate how your education experience will impact the company. Employers are looking for qualities like responsibility and personal development and how they relate to quantifiable contributions. Leverage your educational experience by discussing how it will help you contribute to the position and company at large. Demonstrate how your ambition and curiosity led to your success in college—and then tie this directly to the development and improvement of your potential role. Point toward specific instances where your problem-solving skills made relative contributions to your college department—and how it will do the same for the company.

This post is one in a series on education. Stay tuned for articles that deal with university recruiting tactics for sourcers and recruiters; Entelo’s solutions to finding and hiring top college grads; and advice for recent grads ready for the job hunt.
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