Experience may be more important than a qualification when it comes to landing a job as a new survey finds 46% professionals believe it helped secure their current role.
Almost half of Irish graduates wish they chose a different college course, and the vast majority believe their course did not prepare them for the working world, the survey also found.
Examining the connection between third level education and career choice, 46% of the 545 professionals surveyed are currently employed in jobs unrelated to their qualifications.
Just 13% of those who took part in the survey believed their college qualification was “instrumental” in landing their role.
More than one in five of those taking part in the survey said they would not recommend their course to someone looking to pursue a similar career.
A further 54% of respondents also said they would like to return to college in the future to pursue a different career.
Almost three-quarters of the professionals surveyed, 73%, think their course did not sufficiently prepare them for the working world.
Almost one third, 31%, of those surveyed believed their course was too theoretical.
A further four in 10 believed that while their course was helpful, it did not prepare them for the demands of a day-to-day job.
Most of those surveyed, 85%, believe more emphasis should be placed on people skills.
The survey revealed a number of surprising findings, according to Joanne Foley of Matrix Recruitment, who carried out the study in June this year.
“Many of our survey respondents felt that third-level courses should cover things such as emotional intelligence, communication skills, organisational psychology and project and time management skills,” Ms Foley said.
However, the findings should not undermine the importance of a qualification, particularly for professions like law, accounting, HR and medicine, she added. “With 41% of respondents ranking their qualification alongside experience when it came to landing their current role, a combination of the two really is the best option for job candidates.”
Those who took part in the survey are currently working across different industries including finance, IT and manufacturing.