Is Experience as Important As Qualifications?

YES!

I believe that experience is just as if not even more important than qualifications in succeeding in a sporting environment and forging a career. Qualifications are still crucial and provide you knowledge and create a foundation to build upon however ‘It is skills and experiences that can make you a desired applicant and supplement your qualifications’ (jobs.ac.uk).

Most of this experience is gained through volunteering. A survey showed 90% of employers said that volunteering can have a positive effect on career progression (v, 2008). Personally speaking I believe that experience and volunteering has already had a positive effect upon me. In my first year at university I volunteered at two clubs doing performance analysis and learning the basics. This is important and is a path many in this career have taken, “In talking to Performance Analysts the world over, most of them at one stage have had to work for free or have started at a very low level before getting into analysis” (Thevideoanalyst.com). Due to already having some of the relevant skills and experience needed for a performance analyst when I came to work at Bolton Wanderers Academy in July I could start productive work straight away rather than going and learning the basics I learnt in first year. Since starting I have progressed and now voluntarily work as the clubs Under 18’s performance analyst, I now work one day a week at the first team training ground and too have assisted the first teams scouting department.

All of this has proved to be invaluable experience and not something that any qualifications could have given me in such a short space of time. I believe that this experience has allowed me to firstly become better as a performance analyst which is the aim of why I started volunteering and is my chosen career route and secondly it has strengthened my CV massively. Whist it is also important to have qualifications to back this up on a CV this experience will hopefully make mine stand out to employers, showing a high level of commitment through volunteering and finally and most importantly that I’ve got the skills to perform the role needed.

References

http://thevideoanalyst.com/how-to-get-a-performance-analysis-job/

http://www.jobs.ac.uk/careers-advice/interview-tips/1337/what-are-employers-looking-for-skills-and-qualifications

v. (2008) Youth volunteering: Attitudes and perc

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