Is It Necessary to Attend a University to be an Expert in Your Field of Work?

In today’s job market, many employers want employees to have several years of experience, and a bachelor’s degree in a certain field of study, so they can do the job efficiently. In many cases, this may hold true, but there are some cases, where the experience you get on the job, conforms to real life situations, instead of what a textbook tells you to do.
In order to be an engineer, a nurse, a computer programmer, a psychologist/therapist/doctor, or even a college professor, having a Bachelor’s, masters, or even a Doctorate degree is essential. However, as a professional writer, I have found many jobs where the employee required a bachelor’s degree, in the field of communications, or journalism, but I still felt that I was qualified to do the job, based on my experience. I have a friend with a Master’s degree in English, but in order to get a job as an Adjunct professor, she has to have so many years of experience. I also read an article in Reader’s Digest, a couple of years ago, that talked about the lack of jobs for military veterans, who have the skills to qualified for high profile jobs, but the employers want these veterans to get a degree in the skills, for which they received training, during their tour of duty.
To further try to answer this question, let’s take a look at what a well know expert has to say on the subject. According to George D. Kuh, working while in college, is a viable way to gain required work experience in your chosen field of study, so that you will have the education and qualifications necessary to apply for and land the job you want, while making money along the way. However, another real world answer to this question, is that a degree that you earned in a field such as technology or engineering, 20 years ago, won’t qualify you for the jobs in those fields, by today’s standards, because these fields have changed drastically in that length of time. You must work in these fields and educate yourself as to the new trends, to remain qualified in your chosen line of work.
I make these statements, to say that the answer to this question, is six in one hand, and half a dozen in the other. This simply means, that in some cases, it’s necessary to have a degree, but if you don’t have experience in your chosen line of work, you won’t get the job you’ve always wanted. However, it’s hard to gain work experience, if a company won’t hire you, due to your lack of experience. So the question that I asked a lot of people is this, how can a person fresh out of college, get a job in today’s economy?


4 thoughts on “Is It Necessary to Attend a University to be an Expert in Your Field of Work?”

  1. There are companies who will hire recent graduates into entry level positions (we have done this a couple of times). We have also hired interns, to let college students gain some real world experience. There’s no easy answer. I started out in a job I hated. I worked there for one year and then applied for a job that I really liked.

    • You have a point there. However, there are jobs that I’ve applied for but didn’t qualify for, because the employers wanted a bachelors degree in literature communications and journalism or some other field like that. On the other hand, there are jobs that I’ve gotten based on my experience. Therefore there are no easy answers to that question, but I thought it was an interesting question to think about.

      • It is an interesting question, and the situation may change in the future, as younger people start to move higher in organizations. I was taught, as were most of my peers, that education and experience are essential. That attitude is changing slowly. Too late for me, but…


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