IT Career Guide


Tech Education: College vs Yellow Tail Tech

One of the biggest debates as old as the existence of quality education itself: Does tech education or hands-on experience matter more when applying to jobs? Is it the degree you got that can help you jump into the workforce or is it the experience you gathered in the past that gets you that position you want?

We have to establish what we know: tech education definitely helps you get a grip and adjust faster to the stage of getting experience, and experience definitely makes you a more attractive candidate when applying for jobs. Both are fundamental to the process, but at times, experience has the higher ground.

At Yellow Tail Tech, a lot of our students who enter and finish the program are already people who have degrees. What our programs offer, though, is the experience and ability to go through hands-on IT learning experience that colleges and universities may not be able to offer.

Experience and Tech Education

There are many arguments between what matters more: tech education or work experience, and most of them vary. However, the primary arguments raised are what you will likely hear, especially if you’re looking to get a job in the IT industry. Some of the points that will commonly be raised are:

Work experience makes you prepared and already equipped with the skills needed for particular jobs, but the lack of a higher education may mean that the area you lack in is the technical skills needed for advancements, resourcefulness, and quick thinking.

Higher Education

Higher education may only prove one thing: you excel academically, but in real life, hands-on situations, you may not be able to thrive. Experience wins this argument because the fact that you have something to offer in terms of experiences, prospective employers think that you can be an asset to the company.

And the argument that comes up when finding the balance in between is that getting a degree is the beginning point that shows you have the technical skills employers usually look for, and in turn, can get you a position for on-the-job training.

What we can gather from these three arguments is that both areas have their pros, cons, and in-betweens. However, things run differently in the IT industry at times because of the difference between the situations that college offers and what real life situations can give you.

Why Education Matters?


The value of a college degree matters greatly in a lot of aspects. However, sometimes, people rethink going into college and plan to opt for getting work experience first, mostly because of the costs that come with a higher level of education.

Pursuing four-year degrees is what we expect to go into after graduating high school, and there are pros and cons to it. People with degrees are seen to be more likely candidates to be chosen for certain positions, and there are employers who are willing to pay higher salaries for people with a degree.

Another example of a pro that comes with choosing education is that those who have degrees who were at least 25 years old actually has a low unemployment rate going at 2.2%. These two facts regarding the data are one of the best examples as to why getting that degree would be more worth it than setting it aside.

Yet, most people will argue that there are jobs that do not require a degree at all. Especially with jobs that require more hands-on experience, and even in the IT industry, you might be better off getting certifications and work experience to give your resume a better chance at being chosen.

Why Experience Matters

Although not advertised as much, some employers might agree with the argument that possessing college degrees will guarantee you a position at a company or organization. There are times where a degree is the most important qualification needed, but otherwise, certain organizations will prefer work experience more.


There are some organizations where you just need to prove that you can and know how to do the work well enough to provide you a sure position. Companies such as Google, Tesla, Apple, and start-ups have started to forego the prioritization of degrees and instead, focus on the experience a person has.

A large selection of high-paying jobs, especially in the IT industry, do not require you to have a degree. The reason behind this is because these organizations value your hands-on skills and real-life experience more, finding the qualities in your experience a much valuable factor rather than what university got you your degree or if you have a degree at all.

In the IT field especially, non-degreed professionals do not suffer the same negative comments as other fields may have because no educational track can really certify you as fully-equipped with the skills to become a programmer or system administrator. Especially with Linux or Amazon Web Services (AWS), your certifications and non-academic skills matter most.

This is where the Lnx For Jobs & Cloud for Jobs 2.0 come in, like what we offer at Yellow Tail Tech.

A Degree is Good, But Hands-On Experience Takes You to Higher Places

If you have the time, effort, and means to get a college degree, then missing out on that opportunity could cause you a lacking future. However, for those who have the option to choose which one to prioritize – experience or education – it might be better to opt for the former.

Studying in college or a university is great. However, with Yellow Tail Tech and what you learn and experience from our offered programs, it helps you shape yourself into a person who can become a highly-paid IT professional.

This is because the market wants more than a degree and a title. It will be helpful to remember that in an industry like IT, the knowledge you gather and the certifications that you obtain throughout the whole experience is more valuable in building a successful career.

This is exactly what we want to help you with at Yellow Tail Tech. Through our two programs, Lnx For Jobs and Cloud For Jobs 2.0, you get all the knowledge on all angles and worlds that will make companies want you. Whether it’s learning, hands-on experience, certifications, internships, and proper career-building; we’ve got everything you need.

Get to know what we can offer you. Book a 10-minute intro call with our Enrollment Advisor. Find out if you want a strong breakthrough in the IT industry. 

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Silvana Zapanta

Sil brings a wealth of experience to her writing and editing projects. After nearly a decade guiding college students in research and communication, she shifted her focus to freelance writing and editing. Her passion for education continues through volunteer work, where she empowers others by teaching research and writing skills.

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