If you’re like me, you’re always looking for a better job, because those that are easy to get usually aren’t that great. The idea of ‘experience’ is an issue that has continued to baffle me as I continue to scour multiple job posting websites. There are very few, almost no companies that will consider applicants with little or no experience in the desired field. And this of course creates a bit of a conundrum for young people attempting to break into the work force: you can’t get a good job without having relevant experience, and you can’t get experience without first getting a job. Of course there are certain ways around this particular catch 22. One is internships. Many students are even required to complete a certain number of internship hours in order to graduate with their intended major. Unfortunately, there are a lot of college students who simply cannot afford to spend their time working for free, because they are already working most of the time that they are not in class at some low paying, hourly job. And most students who graduate with very technical, specific degrees also do not have this problem. When they finish school, they have a very clear cut skill set that is suited for a few particular career paths, and this skill set they’ve learned in the past two or four years serves as a substitute for experience. Then there are the rest of us who decided to major in anthropology, english or art history, never had a well defined picture of what exactly we wanted to do after graduating, and now are either still trying to figure out what they can do, are working in some line that has nothing to do with what they studied, or are resorting to grad school because there seem to be no other options.
Many of the job postings I’ve seen lately require 1-2 years of related experience. Comparatively, that’s not exactly a lot of experience. Clearly this type of posting is looking for a young person rather than a mature, highly experienced individual. Why? Because they don’t have to be paid as much. But let’s say I had 1 year of relevant experience and am hired for a job with such a requirement. What are the chances that the work that I did for a year was exactly the same as the work I’ve been hired for now? Very low. No matter what, the person you hire is going to have to be trained to do the tasks you require the way that you require them to be done. So as long as your applicant is fairly intelligent and shows that they can pick things up quickly, it doesn’t seem to me that experience would make all that much of a difference. In my mind, someone with 1-2 years experience, and some one with a college degree, maybe even with a Magna or Suma Cum Laude distinction to further verify their apptitude, are fairly equal because they would most likely take the same amount of time to train.