Business

Can experience substitute for a degree?

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Q. I have been working for 15 years in one profession but only have an associate’s degree. I was transferred to North Carolina for a job several years back and am trying to return to Massachusetts. Do you think employers would be willing to take my years of experience in lieu of a bachelor’s degree?

A. You raise a common question in the world of career management: experience vs. education. Usually experience, and relevant experience, wins out. But some industries still have expectations, and even requirements, around degrees. In education and higher education, degrees matter, so a bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, or even higher may be required. Some industries, such as manufacturing, retail, and construction, prefer degrees, but related work experience often trumps the degree.

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