Managing Director of Hays in Asia.
Avoid being overqualified and under-experienced when entering the Hong Kong job market
Regardless of whether you have a degree, a double degree or an apprenticeship, jobseekers need a solid foundation to enter the workforce.
Employers are looking for entry-level employees who have the skills and experience to hit the ground running and add value to their organisation.
University degrees are required for most jobs these days but, to avoid becoming overqualified and under-experienced, there is a balance to strike between academic achievements and work experience.
There are a number of professions where having a degree is paramount, such as those in accountancy and finance, legal, technology, engineering and the life sciences. Employers in these industries look for basic academic qualifications to ensure you have the required technical skills and knowledge.
However, experience is also heavily weighted. University graduates with part-time work experience have a definite advantage once they enter the market.
This is why apprenticeships can be a good option, especially in industries such as construction, where they equip candidates with the necessary hard skills.
Such programmes can also help those that pursue postgraduate degrees before entering the workforce or too early on in their career. Both situations can hinder their employability, as they may be overqualified academically and yet lacking in commercial experience. Those considering an MBA, for example, need a certain amount of work experience to qualify.
Apprenticeships, or similar industry-specific programmes, usually combine theory with on-the-job training to provide a clear career entry point.
This article appeared in the Classified Post print edition as Striking the balance.