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Experience trumps education in career advancement stakes
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Experience trumps education in career advancement stakes

Experience plays a more important role in career development than formal education, according to the latest survey results from recruitment experts .

Experience plays a more important role in career development than formal education, according to the latest survey results from recruitment experts .

PLAYING YOUR CARDS RIGHT: Experts say experience can be more valueable than education when it comes to assisting your career advancement.
According to the Kelly Global Workforce Index, which obtained the views of 4,334 Australians, 86 per cent of Australian employees believe experience trumps education, with just 12 per cent citing education as the key driver behind their career development. Despite this, however, 95 per cent of respondents rated upgrading qualifications and skills as either extremely important or important to career progression.

"Employers are not dismissing formal education but are becoming more interested in experience when making recruitment decisions and evaluating employees for career progression," said the managing director of Kelly Services Australia, Karen Colfer.

"While formal education forms the base of a career, as employees progress in their career life-cycle and gain real world skills and experience, the emphasis on formal education reduces proportionally."

In addition, almost two-thirds (64 per cent) of respondents said that when looking for a job, the best indicator of their talent to a prospective employer is experience, followed by job interview performance at 22 per cent, references at 10 per cent, and education at 4 per cent.

"Experience is currently outweighing ongoing formal education when evaluating candidates," said Colfer. "In a perfect world, candidates would have both ongoing formal education and experience but in reality this is not always the case."

The survey also confirmed the belief that the concept of a career-for-life has vanished, with 51 per cent of respondents expecting to switch careers within the next five years. The main reason, for 30 per cent of respondents, is the need for improved work-life balance, followed by changing personal interests (28 per cent) and the need for a higher income (20 per cent).

"For an earlier generation, a change of career would have been something of a crisis but today it is seen as a reflection of shifts in demand for different skills and occupations, as well as changing personal interests on the part of employees," said Colfer.

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