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Getting a Degree from University is the Best Way to Guarantee a Job, or Getting Experience Instead?

Write about the following topic:

Some people think that getting a degree from university is the best way to guarantee a good job, others believe that it would be better to go straight into work and get experience instead.

Discuss both views and give your opinion.


Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge and experiences.


You should write at least 250 words.


IELTS Task 2 Band 9 Sample Essay based on the question prompt "Some people think that getting a degree from university is the best way to guarantee a good job, others believe that it would be better to go straight into work and get experience instead.  Discuss both views and give your opinion."


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Sample Essay 1

In the contemporary job market, a dichotomy exists between the valuation of academic degrees and hands-on experience. Some argue that a university degree is paramount for securing prestigious employment, while others advocate for immediate immersion in the workplace to gain practical experience. This essay contends that both pathways have merit, depending on individual career objectives, with a slight inclination towards the value of experience.


University education provides a comprehensive foundation, equipping students with theoretical knowledge and critical thinking skills. For instance, careers in medicine and engineering unequivocally require a degree for foundational knowledge and safety reasons. However, the academic path is not solely about acquiring knowledge; it also fosters a sense of discipline, time management, and the ability to research and analyze complex issues. These transferrable skills are highly valued in any professional setting, illustrating that university education is not merely a means to an end but a significant contributor to personal and professional development.


Conversely, diving directly into the workforce offers immediate practical experience and the opportunity to develop soft skills such as communication, teamwork, and problem-solving in real-world contexts. Many successful entrepreneurs and tech innovators, for example, have eschewed formal education in favor of practical experience, which propelled them to the forefront of their industries. This route can also lead to earlier financial independence and the possibility of climbing the career ladder through merit and experience rather than academic qualifications. Therefore, while the path might be unconventional, it can lead to substantial professional success and fulfillment.


In summary, the value of university education and direct work experience varies based on personal goals and industry demands. A degree can unlock specific career paths and expand intellectual horizons, whereas practical experience offers swift skill application and problem-solving. A tailored combination of both may serve as the ideal strategy for achieving professional excellence.

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Sample Essay 2

The debate between the benefits of academic qualifications and the advantages of entering the workforce directly is perennial. This essay posits that while formal education furnishes individuals with critical foundational knowledge, hands-on experience offers invaluable practical insights, suggesting a harmonious blend of both approaches may be most beneficial.


Educational institutions are not merely factories of information; they are crucibles where critical thinking and analytical skills are honed. For example, the rigors of a law degree are indispensable for anyone aiming to practice in legal fields, demonstrating how certain professions necessitate academic credentials. Beyond vocational training, university life instills resilience and adaptability, skills imperative in navigating the complexities of modern workplaces. Furthermore, the collaborative projects and internships offer real-world insights within a controlled environment. However, this traditional pathway is not without its drawbacks, including the significant financial burden and the time invested, which could delay entry into the workforce, potentially making it less appealing to those wary of accruing debt.


On the other hand, diving into work immediately after secondary education can offer a head start in career progression and financial independence. This route enables individuals to cultivate soft skills such as leadership, teamwork, and time management in real-time, skills that are often underdeveloped in academic settings. Engaging in the workforce early also allows for the exploration of various career paths without the commitment of a degree. The story of tech moguls who forewent formal education in favor of entrepreneurial pursuits illustrates that success is not solely the province of the degree-holders, championing the value of innovation and practical experience. Nonetheless, this approach may limit opportunities in fields where professional qualifications are mandatory, potentially hindering long-term career advancement in certain sectors.


In summary, both academic qualifications and direct work experience offer unique advantages towards career development. Ideally, a tailored blend of the two aligns best with achieving professional success, enhancing employability, and ensuring comprehensive personal growth for today's dynamic job landscape.


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Sample Essay 3

The question of whether getting a degree from university is the best way to guarantee a good job or whether it is more advantageous to go straight into work and get experience instead has been a subject of considerable debate. The crux of the discussion lies in the merits of theoretical knowledge acquired through a university education versus the practical skills and insights obtained from direct work experience. This essay will critically explore these contrasting perspectives, while also acknowledging the benefits of early workforce entry, such as hands-on learning and early professional networking.


Proponents of higher education purport that a university degree is a gatekeeper to a prosperous career. They argue that academic qualifications equip students with a comprehensive understanding of their chosen field, building a solid foundation of theoretical knowledge. For example, professionals in fields such as medicine, law, or engineering are requisite to have a thorough academic grounding to ensure competence in their practice. Moreover, a university degree often serves as a prerequisite for numerous high-paying jobs. Consequently, it's contended that attaining a degree can propel one’s career trajectory and increase their earning potential.


Conversely, advocates for immediate entry into the workforce posit that real-world experience is indispensable. They believe that hands-on experience garnered from an early start in the workforce can bestow practical skills and knowledge that academia often falls short of delivering. For instance, a budding entrepreneur may gain more valuable insights from directly diving into the business world than spending years studying business theories. Additionally, this route enables individuals to establish professional networks, gain early financial independence, and avoid substantial student debt. However, it is essential to understand that different career paths necessitate different types of preparation. Therefore, while some professions indeed demand formal education, others are more suited to learning 'on the job'.


In summary, the argument between the value of university degrees and the importance of hands-on experience is complex and multifaceted. Each pathway offers its unique benefits and setbacks. Thus, it is critical to assess individual needs and career goals before making such a consequential decision. Therefore, there isn't a 'one-size-fits-all' answer, but rather a broad spectrum of paths leading to fulfilling careers.


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Sample Essay 4

It is a widely held view that a formal university degree is the key to securing a promising career. Conversely, some argue that gaining immediate work experience outweighs the benefits of tertiary education. I am of the conviction that the relevance of a degree or practical experience largely depends on the specific profession in question.


Primarily, numerous professional roles necessitate specialized knowledge that can only be acquired through academic study. Occupations such as physicians, engineers, legal practitioners, or educators require a comprehensive understanding of theoretical principles in their respective fields. For example, aspiring surgeons must grasp intricate concepts of anatomy, physiology, and biochemistry before they can confidently and safely perform operations. Likewise, engineers must delve deep into abstract principles of physics and mathematics to design structures or systems. Thus, in such research-intensive fields, the role of formal education is indisputable.


Contrastingly, vocational professions tend to value hands-on experience and training over academic credentials. Professions like electricians, carpenters, or plumbers demand a significant amount of practical skill, honed over time in real-world environments. Similarly, in the dynamic landscape of digital marketing or entrepreneurship, direct industry exposure and acquired skills often trump a formal degree. To illustrate, many hospitality establishments, not only in Australia but also globally, prioritize candidates with substantial experience over those with hospitality degrees. Here, skills acquired in the trenches of work are deemed more valuable than academic qualifications.


However, a growing number of professions today, such as architecture or industrial design, necessitate a balance of both formal education and hands-on experience. Additionally, in the era of remote and digital work, it is conceivable that the lines between academic and practical knowledge will continue to blur, making an integrated approach even more pertinent.


In conclusion, while certain careers demand the rigorous academic training provided by universities, others place a higher premium on practical skills and industry experience. Ultimately, the debate between formal education and practical experience is not a matter of superiority, but one of suitability to a given professional context.


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