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So what skills, qualities and knowledge are prospective employers looking for in an employee? Do graduates have the advantage? Or is workplace experience a more valuable quality than a degree?

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In the increasingly globalised workplace of today, employers are expecting more and more from their employees. Graduates, recently qualified in the fields of business and finance, are competing against other candidates with, often, years of experience. So what skills, qualities and knowledge are prospective employers looking for in an employee? Do graduates have the advantage? Or is workplace experience a more valuable quality than a degree? The learning process, with regard to business, can be divided into two areas: knowledge gained from scholarly learning; and knowledge or skills gained from working in a particular field. This was defined by Stephen Fox (1997) as development and education, although overlapping, one should not become a substitute for the other. A recent job advertisement on S1 jobs.com stated: "Overall a keen interest in recruitment and a client/candidate focussed individual. We are looking for graduates from any degree discipline that are very ambitious and are driven by success. They must have strong communication skills and enjoy working in a fast paced environment. Whether you are a recent graduate with no relevant experience or a graduate with 12-18 months experience, we want to hear from you. Training will last between 3-6 months depending on the individual." ...read more.


You will need to have a business related degree and 1 years London market experience. This is an excellent opportunity to develop your career within insurance. During this process you will face many challenging situations requiring high levels of intuition, intelligence, tenacity and innovation. Many employers feel that education to degree level is not a comprehensive study of requirements within a business field. Lave & Wenger (1991) have three key elements in their critique of formal education: 1. Schooling does not necessarily produce practitioners of some practice; rather it produces people who are able to talk about practice as opposed to belong to a community of practice. 2. Schooling essentially isolates students and teachers from other communities of practice. It can cut off learners because there is no link between theory and practice. 3. Teaching and Learning in Universities are mediated by theoretical learning rather than by experiential learning. Their research implies that the knowledge gathered in the course of daily work can be highly significant for employees, but that educators are largely unaware of it. Therefore, perhaps Education requirements in current Business recruitment should not become a substitute for continuing professional practical development but either be vocational, or a preparatory measure for a career in general. ...read more.


Representation may not be considered to be a part of the process of learning, yet it is clear that, at times, the process of representing learning is actually part of learning (Eisner 1982, 1991). "Mediated Learning" is a term used by Laurillard (1991) to describe a situation in which a student learns about something from a teacher rather than from experiencing the matter directly. She argues that this is different from experiential learning and can be useful because it uses processes such as argument, exposition, interpretation and reflection. Employers could then view such Mediated Learning as preferential in some cases. Ausubel and Robinson (1969) propose that there is no clear distinction between mediated and non-mediated learning. Thus, employers, for optimum effectiveness in the recruiting process, must judge each employment situation's needs, and the candidate suited to fulfilling them, individually. Ross Paul (2000) believes that the most recent view of the University as a tool for economic growth attempts to "bring together the primary intellectual and entrepreneurial forces that have traditionally been separated". In conclusion, one could argue that the obvious benefits incurred through both types of learning could be of equal importance to employers and, therefore, the combination of the key elements of both these strategies may make for the most efficient and industry adaptable applicants. ...read more.

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