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Old 10-15-2008, 09:51 AM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
90,316 posts, read 119,957,684 times
Reputation: 35920

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Quote:
Originally Posted by MidwesternBookWorm View Post
One crucial bit of data that's missing from the original question is what field is involved.

There are some heavily tech or science oriented fields in which the the candidate with the best academic record would have a distinct advantage. This would be particularly true if the job did not require a lot of interaction or team work with others in the group; it wouldn't matter if the candidate had no people skills or experience working well with others, because the only criteria would be their knowledge and ability to work independently.

For other fields, where up-to-date technical knowledge is not as crucial, the B student with real-life experience in the work world would have the edge. That person is likelier to have learned how to work effectively with colleagues of varying backgrounds and skill sets, and probably has better people skills in handling challenging clients or co-workers.

In general, I tend to lean more in favor of candidates with experience over those with only a degree on their resume, but that's because of the nature of the position for which I usually hire.
Of course technical people have to have "people" skills as well. Otherwise, no one would be able to share their results, or use them to benefit the group as a whole.

When I have been involved in hiring, I/we have always looked for people who could do the job and benefit our organization. How they got their education was not even considered. I can see some applicants bringing it up, so you know about it, but the employer won't usually ask. A new grad is essentially a blank slate, regardless of work experience delivering pizzas, working at a day care center, etc. Yes, these jobs teach work ethic (sometimes), but they don't teach nursing, engineering, computer science, etc. Even these "internships" that are so the rage today don't teach the higher level stuff that a graduate has to do. I mean, if you can do them with two years education, what are you doing?
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Old 10-17-2008, 02:46 AM
 
1,530 posts, read 3,771,470 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Refugee56 View Post
If you were an employer what candidate would you be more impressed with: (these are real people)

Candidate #1: Graduated with honors in three years but taking 18 credit hours per semester and summer school, but never worked while in college

Candidate #2 Graduated with a "b" Average but worked full time at a grocery store as a cashier full time but took six years to graduate.

All other aspects of their backgrounds are the same (communication skills, appearance, poise, etc.)
My experience has been that #1 gets the better deal over a lifetime.

Get the degree out of the way early and rise to a Sr. Level at the earliest age possible. Don't waste time flipping burgers.

I took 11 years to get a technical degree in my field while working full time in that same field. I failed to rise to the level of Management before contracting firms became the norm. Now it's near impossible to cross over and I'm considered "obsolete" (at age 46).

Guys that got their MBA's or Ph.D's out of the way first, started at a higher level on day one at the job than I did and got further faster.

So let me say it LOUDLY. GET THE DEGREE OUT OF THE WAY FIRST AND USE THE TIME IN YOUR FIELD, NOT BAGGING GROCERIES.

I can't emphasize this enough. I'm speaking from experience. The fortune 500's on my resume include United Technologies, GTE, Citicorp, IBM, FedEx, and a few others. Some direct, some contract. Trust me, I'm telling it to you straight.

Further, if you are not getting a degree in something that bays mondo bucks to you as an employee... consider the independant professional degrees like Medicine.
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Old 10-17-2008, 03:00 AM
 
Location: southern california
61,290 posts, read 86,943,991 times
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impressing is not the goal. its trusting that is the goal.
door number 2 if the attitude was good.
employment is 85% attitude and 15% credentials.
many many do not grasp this.
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Old 10-17-2008, 06:41 AM
 
9,855 posts, read 15,134,002 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Huckleberry3911948 View Post
impressing is not the goal. its trusting that is the goal.
door number 2 if the attitude was good.
employment is 85% attitude and 15% credentials.
many many do not grasp this.
well...depending on the credentials...

I work as a programmer right now, and regardless of your attitude, if I don't know how to write code, I wouldn't have a job.
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Old 10-17-2008, 11:41 AM
 
Location: DC
3,301 posts, read 11,660,003 times
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My grades, courses, and research projects got me my job. They could care less that I catered, babysat, or worked at a grocery store. At best it just gave me an extra name to check on for my background check.

It does depend on your field, but for anything technical it doesn't matter that you held a part-time job for 10 years, unless it's directly related.
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Old 10-19-2008, 08:07 PM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
90,316 posts, read 119,957,684 times
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Most nursing programs, to give one example, require full-time attendance, at least once you get into the clinical part of it.
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Old 10-26-2008, 02:25 AM
 
6 posts, read 14,747 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Refugee56 View Post
If you were an employer what candidate would you be more impressed with: (these are real people)

Candidate #1: Graduated with honors in three years but taking 18 credit hours per semester and summer school, but never worked while in college

Candidate #2 Graduated with a "b" Average but worked full time at a grocery store as a cashier full time but took six years to graduate.

All other aspects of their backgrounds are the same (communication skills, appearance, poise, etc.)
Candidate #2 because work experience is important. I have done nothing but school (including summers) + teeny bit of unrelated work and ended up as unemployed and burnt out. (Brief personal history: I graduated last year, took time off to travel, had a temp job abroad for a program, and been job seeking since July).
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Old 10-28-2008, 05:19 PM
 
4,796 posts, read 15,273,414 times
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Candidate #2.....not only is experience important, but so is maturity. Working full time to put oneself through school is to be commended. Learning "people skills" at work is just as important as a degree. I've found the "older" graduate to be much more grounded and less flighty than a grad that isn't even of legal age to buy a beer.

And to whomever is shouting out "GET THE DEGREE OUT OF THE WAY"....doesn't have a grasp of the real world. Wouldn't it be nice if a college education could be that simple?

Who in their right mind would WANT the grueling schedule and stress of working AND going to school if they had a way to pay for school by some other means? It takes discipline, drive, guts and determination to take the harder longer route when they could just drop out and never finish at all.

Even students with a free ride can crash and burn, and those are the real losers.
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Old 10-28-2008, 06:17 PM
 
274 posts, read 603,831 times
Reputation: 89
How does working as a cashier provide "experience" for a completely different career?

And what about working 2 jobs over the summer?
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Old 10-28-2008, 09:35 PM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
90,316 posts, read 119,957,684 times
Reputation: 35920
Quote:
Originally Posted by wCat View Post
Candidate #2.....not only is experience important, but so is maturity. Working full time to put oneself through school is to be commended. Learning "people skills" at work is just as important as a degree. I've found the "older" graduate to be much more grounded and less flighty than a grad that isn't even of legal age to buy a beer.

And to whomever is shouting out "GET THE DEGREE OUT OF THE WAY"....doesn't have a grasp of the real world. Wouldn't it be nice if a college education could be that simple?

Who in their right mind would WANT the grueling schedule and stress of working AND going to school if they had a way to pay for school by some other means? It takes discipline, drive, guts and determination to take the harder longer route when they could just drop out and never finish at all.

Even students with a free ride can crash and burn, and those are the real losers.
Maturity doesn't necessarily come from working in college. I agree with AngelEye and I bet most employers would too. Since this is supposedly a true story, maybe the OP can tell us what happened.
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