Your college degree is important, but it needs to be bolstered with plenty of work experience.
According to a new survey by FTI Consulting, on behalf of Northeastern University, 60% of the general public feels someone with no college degree but some work experience would fare better in the workforce than a person who has a diploma but no work on their resume. And 62% of business leaders with hiring responsibilities agree.
A 1,000-person poll, conducted in August, asked respondents about the value of soft skills, U.S. competitiveness and the role of higher education in workforce preparation. The findings were compared with those from a July survey of 263 hiring managers.
Though business leaders agreed with a broad swath of the population on the value of work experience, they’re not in sync when it comes to the value of work, study or travel abroad. While 58% of respondents from the general pool agreed that students with a global perspective and some overseas exposure are more successful employees, just 39% of business leaders feel the same.
Both groups agreed that book smarts alone won’t make someone a successful employee, but differed when establishing “the elements of what it means to be well-rounded,” says Jocelyn Landau, director of strategic communication and research at FTI.