Does College Count As Experience? Our Complete Answer

Every student, particularly graduates, is concerned a lot about finding a post-graduate job. In fact, many students only concentrate on academics in college or university, rather than working part-time or gaining more practical experience. Many ask “does college count as experience?“. In today’s article, Jobandedu will dig down the answer and walk in employers’ shoes to see what they think about the college experience.

“Does College Count As Experience?” – From Employers’ Viewpoints

“Experience” is exactly an issue for newbies who seek professional jobs for the first time. In reality, companies and employers are still looking for applicants that have prior experience that matches the current vacancy’s requirements. 

Each employer views and evaluates a candidate’s experience in a practical way. The majority of them are more concerned with their previous job experience than university research programs or internships.

However, some employers are more flexible to include college extracurricular activities that demand job-related qualities from students to handle as ‘relevant experience’. For example, event organizers can sharpen their organization, teamwork, and leadership skills. Almost every skill needs those precious skills.

What To Put On Resume If No Or Little Experience?

Does College Count As Experience? - How To Show Off Your Strengths Effectively When Applying For A Job?
Please impress your employers with your most suitable skills. Sources:

Fresh graduates often worry when they hit the sending button without previous working experience. “How can I compete with few-years-of-working-experience candidates?”, one might ask.

Fortunately, they have chances, even advantages when applying from a “fresh mindset”. Thus, presenting strategic strengths is the key. Let’s start from:

How To Add Internship In Resume For Freshers

Does College Count As Experience? - Is College Time Counted As A Valued Experience For The Workplace?
Internship experience can be a valuable weapon in your resume. Source:

If you do an internship before graduation, salute! The internship experience during college is one of the greatest weapons you can arm for your resume because it can demonstrate your authentic work. Most employers still consider the internship’s performance as a good indicator for future work performance in their firms. Moreover, the internship can help shorten your time to get acquainted with the next working place since most working places share a certain number of similar working rules.

Additionally, practical lessons and skills gained through the internship will help candidates avoid baby mistakes that freshers often face. Not many employers want to have “too fresh” candidates since they are quite “liabilities” than “assets” at this stage.

An externship or job shadowing also supports your application in the same manner. You learn by observation in this case.

What if you do not have an impressive internship. Don’t worry; here are a few things you can add to your resume:

Relevant Cousework

The good news is that college still provides students with a solid background such as office software skills, communication, and other technical skills. These hard skills mark a firm foundation for a professional career. Definitely, you can focus on these points in your resume to make employers feel certain of your capabilities to catch up with the job fast.

If the role you’re applying for is linked to one or more of the many subjects you already studied at a university or college, please mention it briefly in your CV. For example, your Photoshop course definitely helps when you apply for a designer position.

And don’t forget:

Extracurricular Activities

Extracurricular activities will help you develop your soft skills, and sometimes it makes the employer appreciate your kindness and virtue. Some extracurricular activities that can be mentioned are:

  • Charity activities
  • Events and activities of the school, associations and student groups
  • Music, art and talent contests
  • Sporting competitions

In your job application, you should clearly and accurately present your appropriate activities and competitions to emphasize your strengths, and prove you have significant potential to grow fast in the job. Honestly, growth potential and the willingness to develop yourself professionally might be your greatest advantage compared to “old fellows”. Actually, some young companies often look for fresh candidates so they have a big motivation to speed up their learning curves and can present fresh ideas for companies to innovate.

Specifically, you should emphasize only aspects that relate to the applied job from your activities. Remarkably, a college sporting activity can increase your chance when applying for a technical position with a teamwork spirit, a “go-extra-miles” and a growth mindset.

Nevertheless, there is a limit on how far you should go. If you see that your activities are not suitable in any angle, don’t include them. The increased possibility is close to zero in this case. Why wasting time for you and the employer anyway?

Does College Count As Experience?
Does college count as experience? Yes, if you know how to strategically emphasize college experience.

Unrelated Work Experience On Resume

Many of you may wonder: “Why are you putting irrelevant work in your resume?”. It’s simple: if your previous work demonstrates your suitable expertise and skills, it is where you can pinpoint your relevance.

For example, a part-time job in a shop can also help you understand what counts as sales experience, which is pretty valuable in any career. Every company needs to sell something anyway.

It would be beneficial if you put this at the bottom of your resume. Even if you have many part-time jobs, you can stress 1-2 most important ones.

Even if these jobs are seemingly irrelevant to the current vacancy, the employer still considers your previous achievements seriously. We need to emphasize one thing you should never forget when applying for a job: “Don’t be put off by requests. Simply use it, confidently demonstrate your skills, and let the recruiter determine whether or not you can proceed. Please do not withdraw from the race until it begins.”

Does College Count As Experience – Our Final Words

Does college count as experience? Yes as long as you keep the job requirements in mind when referring to your qualities tapered from college time. Most importantly, be confident with what you have. The opportunity will come if you try hard enough; then grasp, and fight for it. I wish you success and find the job you adore.

Other career advice never fail to grasp your attention:

It’s Okay Not To Be Okay: What Can’t I Do Anything Right

” If You Were an Animal What Would You Be ” – How to Answer


Ellie - a go-getter in the content creating industry.  Since 2016, she has been actively engaged in writing and career guidance. Simply put, Ellie realized that what truly drives her is advising and coaching people on the path to self-discovery. She currently works with JobandEdu as a researcher and writer. Ellie's articles serve as advice columns for people at a crossroads in their careers or who can't make up their minds. She guides them through determining a pathway, job hunting, overcoming hurdles at work, and the multiple tip-top tools on the go. She also regularly shares her perspectives on topics piquing her curiosity or providing her with actionable insights.