Let's get straight to the point here. You need a bit of both to get anywhere in life! So really it's Experience + Education. Don't get hung up on what's more important, instead, focus on how you can get the right mix of both.
Growing up, I myself have heard a lot of advice and I have been told many different things when it comes to how to be successful. Most of this advice was coming from older individuals, teachers, family, as well as industry professionals. I'll tell you one thing for certain: everyone has their own opinion on how to be successful or land a dream career.
But don't get overwhelmed!
This only means that there are many different ways to achieve what you want! So this leads me to my first big point:
There's no cookie cutter answer to success.
But there are things you can do to improve your chances!
One of the things you can do is get a degree and hopefully land an awesome job. Nice!
But remember that it's possible that you go and get that degree and still not have a job for 6 months ... to a year ... or longer.
We should obviously try to avoid this situation, so here's some advice on what you can do when it comes to looking into a post-secondary education:
- Ask yourself what you enjoy doing and what you are good at, then write it down
- Look up jobs that match your skills, attributes, and personality (Here, try an aptitude test)
- Research the job market for different needs in various industries and specifically find careers that are in demand in your area or city
- Make a top 3 list of career paths or jobs you think you would like to do (Some jobs only require a 6 month certificate!)
- Find a related college program or degree path that will lead you on a career path. Base these on: affordability of program, how much time you can commit to education, and your desire to go on that career path
Regarding step #4, we need to stop thinking that all the good jobs come from a four year degree or a masters. I will be very honest and say I know many people with degrees and not all of them are in the jobs that they want. Don't ever let someone tell you that a college diploma or a certificate is a lesser or unimportant education. If you can start getting paid after one year of school, that's awesome. Just do you and find something that you love which someone will pay you for. That's the goal!
P.S. I don't get paid to say this or advertise, but because I trust in a structured college education so much, I would personally direct any Winnipeggers to Red River College. I've finished a certificate program there and have almost finished a diploma program as well. I have had very good experiences with both. There are so many program options for people to choose from and almost all can be finished within two years. Probably their best selling point is that the graduate employment rate consistently reaches over 94%. Tell me that isn't amazing.
And hey, if this post gets popular, maybe they should pay me *wink.
Okay, so we talked about education. Let's figure out this whole "experience" thing. You definitely need work experience to be considered a good candidate for any job. Here are my best tips for getting this experience in different ways:
- Volunteer your time at a place that could give you relevant work experience related to your field or industry (Ex. Medical field = Hospital, Teaching/Education = Schools)
- Work a paid job of any kind (McDonalds is a great place to start a career path, and don't let anyone knock you for making money, working hard, and getting some experience)
- Finish a short certificate or diploma program and work in your desired industry before going into a full time degree or masters program
As an example for option #3, you could finish a short program and become a health care aide, make some money, gain experience, and go back to school to become a nurse.
I've personally tried this route and I like it for various reasons. First of all, you're getting an education without a 4 - 8 year commitment. Secondly, you can work after the short program and get paid quickly, so student loans don't weigh too hard on you in the long run. Another thing to note is that you have a chance to see what it's like in a certain industry. If you don't like the industry after the first trial run, then you've saved yourself a lifetime of doing a job that you don't like!
Honestly, getting educated while staying sane is quite a doozy in our generation, and that's not just me being a soft millennial...
Tuition is at a high and our career paths are confusing. I can only hope that this little blog post can give you some good advice that could lead you down the right path for yourself.
Of course, besides all we talked about, you could always start your own business, but I think that's a whole other topic on it's own!
Leave a comment on your experience, or tips regarding this and share this post on your social media feeds for someone who might need a little bit more help!!
Until next time,Josh
Founder & Passion Blogger
Great Leopard Apparel