Why skills are more important than a degree

Discover why skills are more important than a degree and how this affects the workforce. Moreover, find out how this thing impacts you directly. Let’s get started!

That’s right that education has become the defining factor while seeking a job in almost every sector. This is because of the common notion that hiring managers only look at the educational qualifications of a candidate to determine their suitability for a job.

However, it does not take long to realize that the key factors, when it comes to a job, do not happen to be education or degree. Instead, skills are the main factor in making an individual fit a particular job.

Identifying the personality and goals

The education is often seen as a barometer when it comes to determining the suitability of a person for a particular job. The education and degree can provide a lot of insight into an individual – whether he or she is a hard worker or not. However, one of the most important requirements for a candidate seeking a job is to possess a strong set of skills. This is an essential element if they are to overcome several challenges that they may face in day-to-day tasks. This is where education steps down the ladder and does not provide enough insight into a person.

It is a commonly held belief that people who do not perform well in degrees are not smart enough, but this may not be entirely true. The educational system across the world is primarily oriented towards making students skilled at a specific task, which may not necessarily have much of a value in daily life. Hence, the tests’ scores do not actually reflect the true smartness of a person. Just imagine, even though a person roughly spins around 1800 hours in a classroom to receive a bachelor’s degree, close to 4% of the graduates become unemployed. The rates of unemployment and underemployment have actually doubled in the last decade.

Common skills required for an individual

An individual needs to possess a strong array of skills to be successful at their job. They include the ability to communicate, manage time, manage a team, work as a team, and so forth. It is not sufficient to have just one skill in particular and struggle with others. For example, the educational qualifications of a person will be able to indicate the level of communication skills, but may not show the ability to work within a team or to manage a team.

The skills that appear attractive to a hiring manager are the following:

  • Critical thinking
  • Problem-solving
  • Communication
  • Social skills

If an individual is not able to communicate their task with a team or if they are not able to manage their subordinates, a countless number of educational degrees will not be of much use in this regard. In fact, most of the hiring managers are looking towards the skill set of an individual if they are playing for mid-level to high-level positions within a company.

The educational qualification of a person becomes useful while opting for an entry-level job, as a wide range of skill sets are not required in this instance. However, no one will be happy to see out of the rest of their career in an entry-level position. To progress the ladder of success, they need to have roles that require higher responsibilities since only they would be getting the big bucks.

Skills not described by education

Skills Not Described by Education
Photo: Kaboompics, Pixabay

If a person is about to enter into the workforce at a much later stage of their life, it is highly likely that they will possess a strong set of experience after having been through several jobs earlier. In this instance, it is better to quote skills rather than education in the resume. Even if it means that the person has gone through a large number of part-time jobs, they hold a much better value than education and skills later on in life. Internships, military experience, skills, side hustles and habits will be able to show a lot more information than even multiple degrees.

One of the few areas where degrees make a difference is if a person has not gone with the traditional form of education. In such a case, a person may feel that their degree will be able to contribute much more to the value of a resume, which would also be quite different and stand out from the crowd. There is also a psychological hint being given to the hiring manager when the candidate is highlighting the skills rather than the education. This seems that the candidate subconsciously believes that they are suitable for the job.

Speaking on this topic, being a fantastic paper writer or copywriter in your free time gives you a tremendous advantage, and can help you build a powerful career or side hustle which will inevitably grow your skills in that area.

Difference between important and focus on a degree

Two young students discussing important things during studying process at cafeteria.
Photo: Zinkevych, Bigstock

The role of the degree has become much lower in recent years. This is maybe down to jobs becoming fluid and degrees have been unable to change at the same pace recently.

However, this process may not be a bad thing in any regard.

The hiring manager will be able to deduce from degrees of a candidate that he or she is quite a serious person, who follows a strict regime and confines to orders. A degree also shows that a candidate has a goal and works hard towards achieving it. This is one of the primary reasons behind degree being the prerequisite for joining a workforce. Once the first stage has been passed, the importance of the degree drives down rapidly.


What’s the bottom line? The first real job becomes the next university, as it is vital for a candidate to develop as many skills as possible. Henceforth, a degree will hold lesser value, and skills acquired in each job will be taking a more prominent role in the resume. It is essential not to get too stressed by the prospect of a poor degree in the resume.

A candidate can always show their competence in plenty of areas like communication and problem-solving. In fact, these are more attractive for a company looking to hire a candidate for the next couple of decades. The entry-level jobs are not a huge resistance towards the career of an individual, as the expiry date for such roles is only around a couple of years. Hence, it is time to start focusing on skills rather than degrees.

Charles Ebert
Charles Ebert
Charles is a career mentor, motivational speaker & human resources consultant with over 10 years of experience in HR sector. Apart from career mentoring, he loves photography and football. Find him on Linkedin , Twitter , Facebook & Google+ .
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