Job vs Education

Studying vs Working? What Is Better for You?

5 mins read


  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of furthering your education before applying for a job?
  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of getting a job after basic graduation?

Although this is a very debatable topic, through this article, we will try and give an unbiased view from both angles that will help you make a wiser decision.

After completing your graduation, you are often confronted with the thought- higher education or job, which one should you go in for?

Though one particular answer may not be the right one for everyone, it depends on your priorities that define the answer. Let us look at both the cases and then try and conclude a possible definite answer.

While some would argue that educational qualification is directly proportional to the level of job you get, others would say that education has least to do with your job. It is only the experience you have that ultimately matters.

Higher Education Before a Job

Students throwing their graduation capsThe following points are put forth for those who argue that higher education is more important than getting a job.

1. Higher Education Is Closely Related to Higher Incomes

Here the argument stands that the higher the education, the higher the income.

A survey conducted by the National Centre for Education Statistics stated that for 25- to 34-year-olds who worked full time, year-round, higher educational attainment was associated with higher median earnings; this pattern was consistent from 2000 through 2018.

For example, in 2018, the median earnings of those with a master’s or higher degree were $65,000, some 19 percent higher than those with a bachelor’s degree ($54,700).

In the same year, the median earnings of those with a bachelor’s degree were 57 percent higher than the earnings of high school completers ($34,900), and the median earnings of high school completers were 25 percent higher than the earnings of those who did not complete high school ($27,900).

This pattern of higher incomes associated with higher levels of educational attainment also held for both males and females and for those who were White, Black, Hispanic, and Asian.

According to a research article published in May 2020 by The U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, states that Education leads to higher wages and lower unemployment.

The data collected showed that those possessing a doctoral degree earned more than a person holding a professional degree who earned more than a master’s degree holder and so on.

2. Great Performance Leads to Better Academic Qualifications

Great scores in high school or graduate level can allow you to apply for scholarships and other financial aid.

3. Better Education Leads to Lower Rates of Unemployment

Education most definitely leads to employment. Without education, employees will not be in a position to fill vacancies with skilled manpower.

Therefore, the more education, the fewer chances of unemployment.

4. Higher Education Is Important for Careers Initially

In the argument working Vs. Studying, the ones supporting studying state that the higher your education is, the better chances of a great start in your career.

They argue that getting a  job in the first place is a tough task. People get jobs based on their qualifications.

Keeping a job and climbing up the corporate ladder may depend on your output and your experience, but getting the job in the first place depends on your level of education.

The more you study, the better you are prepared for the future. Research conducted by the Association of American colleges and Universities states 80% of employers believe that it is important to have a college education.

When it comes to answering the question of higher education or job, some people say that higher education prepares you for the skills required in the future. Many times theory teaches you what your experience can not.

5. Eliminates Training Period

Many argue that when it comes to Studying Vs. Working, people who study and then apply for a job can be absorbed on the job without spending much time on training for the job.

This saves the employer the time and effort of training.

Why Opt for A Job?

Happy EmployeeOn the other hand, many are of the opinion that taking up a job and gaining experience is much more necessary than pursuing a higher degree.

They argue that when it comes to deciding between a job or higher education, one must definitely opt for a job.

1. Internships Completed While Studying Count as Work Experience

Those who are for working more than studying say that internships, projects, and assignments completed during the college days are also considered as work experiences.

Employers look at all these work experiences before hiring a prospective professional. Apart from degrees of education, employers look at work experience while studying.

In an article published in The Chronicle of Higher Education and written by George D Kuh, he states that experience can be the best teacher.

He further states that “research suggests that working during college is related to acquiring such employer-preferred skills as teamwork and time management.”

2. Degrees Have Nothing to Do with The Level of Output

The best example is that of Steve Job, Co-founder of Apple inc. Apparently, Steve Jobs had not finished any formal degree of education.

In fact, he dropped out of college after one semester, and his highest qualification was high school.  Therefore, it is evident that the level of education has nothing to do with your capabilities.

3. A Degree Lapses with Time

Many argue that degrees attained almost 20 to 30 years ago are irrelevant today because of the fast-changing technology.

It is the work experience that matters today. They state that in the debate Working vs. Studying, it is advisable to always choose to work because work experience is what will get your career soaring.

4. Loss of Time

Every year spent furthering your education is a year of experience lost. Some believe that you can further your education at any point in time, even while working, through certificate courses and online channels.

Spending a lot of time on higher education instead of working will result in a lot of time waste.

5. While Working Your Earn Money

The best part about starting to work early is that you earn a good amount of money. Higher studies involve expenses for courses and other expenses.

However, starting to work means you get to earn good money early on.

The bottom line when it comes to choosing between higher education or a job is that a mix of both would be ideal.

A good degree that shows employers you have the educational qualifications and a few internships completed while studying will make a perfect balance.

While looking for a job, employers look at both educational qualifications and work experience.

Educational qualifications let the employer know that you have the skill and technical know-how to perform.

In contrast work experience eliminates the time and money, an employer may have to spend on training a candidate.


In conclusion, we can say that working Vs. studying both have their pros and cons. Determining what suits you is more important.

Sometimes financial constraints can drive one to take the decision to work rather than to study further. Or an economic slowdown can make a student study further rather than look for a job.

So whatever you choose to do definitely depends on the circumstances you are in. Ultimately, both education and work experience go hand in hand when it comes to brighter career prospects.

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