Vocational or Formal Training – What Do Employers Prefer?

November 5, 2018

When most potential employees apply for a position in a company, they tend to fall into two categories. One is those that have received their training through a formal education route such as University or college. The other group is those that have gained their training through previous work experience and practical work-based placements.

However, though it may be dependent on the role you are applying for, sometimes a degree on its own without the addition of actual work or industry experience can possibly become a hindrance. Yet, there are many ways to ensure that if you opt for the further education route, you don’t price yourself out of the job market altogether.

Enhance Where You Study

If you can afford to and feel confident enough to so, look at those places further afield where you can take the course you’re after. This could mean that you 美国留学, however, by being able to mention this on your CV you immediately draw an employer’s attention.

Making a move out of your comfort zone and halfway across the world to take up your studies shows great strength of character and can be emphasized on your CV and resume in so many fantastic instances. It tells potential employers that you aren’t afraid of change, you’re highly motivated and a self-starter, and willing to do what it takes to get where you need to go.

Where you study not only says something about you but can be used to your advantage when it comes to writing it up on your application form and discussing it throughout your interview – and it will undoubtedly set you apart from those candidates who continue to study near to their hometown!

Get Some Work Experience Under Your Belt

When you enter college or university, you will have many hours where you won’t be expected to attend lectures or study sessions. If so, put these sessions to good use and pick up a paid position that will add something of real value and depth to your CV.

It doesn’t matter whether it’s only one day a week or even an hour a night – if you can find a role which gets you into the workplace and gives you some insight into what it’s like when you do see yourself having to work Monday to Friday 9 till 5pm! Working exposes you to other people, other methods, and different ways of performing roles that you may have missed out on by bypassing this route and going straight for an interview with no proper experience to add to your resume. Ultimately, it allows you to start at the very bottom of the ladder early on, meaning you won’t be beginning again when you do land your full-time role after your studies end.

Alternatively, if you really can’t quite find a job to fit in with your studying, look at your university or college and even ask for some work experience in the relevant departments. An employer will be more interested in seeing what you gained and learned from your work placements, as opposed to what you took home in pay at the end of every month!


  • Tom

    November 5, 2018

    Good piece Linda, and a subject that I think many people like to brush aside.

    • Smith

      November 6, 2018

      They do, Tom. I think it’s because you have those companies who will not look at potential candidates without a degree and those that need to see vocational qualifications rather than a certificate.

      • Nicole

        November 6, 2018

        It can depend on the industry, but I think neither one should be dismissed, and each candidate taken on what they can offer. That’s not how it actually happens though, unfortunately.

        • Taylor

          November 7, 2018

          Years ago, I would have been the one to say degrees meant more. Now, I’m not so sure.

          • Dwight

            November 8, 2018

            We demand both qualifications and relevant experience. Very rarely will we take on a graduate that has an all-singing and all-dancing degree – but has not worked a day in their lives!

          • Antonio

            November 9, 2018

            That’s the problem right there, Dwight. These kids believe education is the be all and end all and don’t bother getting a job while they study.

          • Linda Macy

            November 9, 2018

            I hear you all on this. The universities and colleges need to emphasize that both working and learning are as important as the other.

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