Degree vs. Experience: Finding Exceptional Talent Beyond Academic Credentials

Elon Musk once said “I hate when people confuse education with intelligence, you can have a bachelor’s degree and still be an idiot.” At CA Global, we have access to hundreds of thousands of resumes, one more decorated than the other. So how do we pinpoint the exceptional talent for our clients? We look deeper than just the key requirements, we look for more than just a degree, we look for characteristics such as emotional intelligence, hard work ethic, empathy, ambition and more. We look for hints in the resume that prove good character as well as an experienced individual. Just anyone can get a degree but not everyone has the skills required to succeed. Experience is invaluable when it comes to executive roles and high end positions. It is important to not confuse intelligence with education, experience with a degree. In this blog we will dissect “degree” vs “experience” and unpack which is most necessary for a candidate to be suitable for our clients’ needs.


Defining our Key Concepts:

1. Degree

When referring to a Degree we mean an accredited certificate that a candidate may carry after studying at a higher institution.

2. Experience

Here we refer to work and life experience. This is the kind of knowledge and skills one acquires on the job through time.


Pros of having a Degree:

– It is more than just a piece of paper. A degree grants a person confidence of their worth and abilities. This is essential when job hunting in a competitive market.  .

– A Degree is the first step up the career success ladder. It’s not just a boost of confidence but a basis for a career path.

– Even today, when people like Elon Musk necessitate experience over institutionalized education, a degree earns social respect and a good reputation. Even Musk would respectfully hire Harvard graduates over just anybody.

– Those who possess a degree are more likely to be valued more by future employees and earn a higher salary than an equally experienced competitor with no degree.

– The process of acquiring a degree reflects hard work ethic and determination. It shows the recruiter or future employer that you were able to show commitment for 3 or 4 years to achieving a specific goal.

– Lastly, a degree allows for networking opportunities. Whether it is at the university while attaining the degree or afterwards, that piece of paper connects you to others who share a similar education path.


Why Experience and Skill are More Valuable Than a Degree:

– If you have a degree, it does not mean you have experience in the field, nor does it mean you are skilled enough to take on a role unsupervised. It merely means you studied enough to meet the passing requirements.

– No amount of experience can be numbered on a piece of paper. It is something you gain through time on the job and through life itself. It is something you learn from making mistakes. It is something you gain with practice and no one can take that away from you or evaluate you on it. It is groomed within you and practiced on the job.

– A degree will most likely earn you the interview and maybe the job but experience and skills are what will make you keep the job and grow in it, stepping up the ladder of career success.

– Without the skill you will not love your job. If you know the basics but don’t have the detailed skills needed, you will never become topic authority in what you do and you will never feel good at what you do. It is only when we become experts in our roles that we fall in love with the job.


What Kind of Skills do Employers and Recruiters of Today Want to See in Candidates?

Based on our 17 years of recruitment experience, candidates with the bellow skills proved to be long term successful placements that contributed to our clients’ growth:

  • Attention to detail
  • Team player
  • Driven
  • Computer Literate
  • Adaptability
  • Time management
  • Communication and social skills



At CA Global, we pay attention to the details of a resume that prove the candidate is more than just a decorated individual. We value experience and skill over education certificates as they are the tools that will drive financial and professional success in an individual. Growth and education should not stop at your graduation. Continue to take on new experiences and grab every window of opportunity so that you can truly stand out from the rest in todays competitive job market.

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