Real-World Experience: Why it Matters

College students hear it over and over again – to get a job when you graduate, you need to have some real-world experience under your belt. While it may feel repetitive, the sentiment rings true, Experience matters to employers.. One study found that approximately 79 percent of employers expect real-world experience and education from college graduates when they evaluate potential hires.
But why do employers want applicants with real-world experience? Here are three reasons: 
1. Some things can’t be learned in a traditional classroom setting.
Not to knock lectures or textbooks, but for some , experience is the best teacher. That’s why it’s important to practice your skills, both through hands-on classroom activities that simulate the workplace as well as off-campus opportunities, like internships and job shadowing.
2. Your soft skills need to be on-point.
Employers are looking for young individuals who will fit into their company right away. That’s why soft skills – teamwork, managerial skills, work discipline, etc. – need to be developed before you take the plunge into your job search. Participating in work experience programs like interning at a business, delving into class projects that emulate workplace scenarios, and even working at your part-time job all present opportunities to gain this experience.
3. Employers want proof that you’re career-ready.
Having experience in your field of interest shows potential employers that you’re ready to meet – and hopefully exceed – their expectations. The connections you make along the way (e.g. your supervisor from a past internship) can also serve as great references so that employers know you’re not all talk.
So you want more real-world experience. Now what?
While Bryant & Stratton College’s Career LifePrep program integrates workplace skills and practice into each program’s curriculum, you should also seek opportunities outside of the classroom. The Career Services Center offers a ton of helpful resources for students. You can also turn to the Web – there are many websites that list internship opportunities based on career field, location and more. The most important thing is to get out there – the real world is waiting.

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