Are Qualifications For Jobs Now Irrelevant? What The Current Buoyant Market Expects

Matthew Owen

Jul 21, 2022

Are Qualifications For Jobs Now Irrelevant? What The Current Buoyant Market Expects


We’ve talked quite a bit about the growing importance of soft skills, which leads us to the question: are qualifications for jobs now irrelevant?

In this blog, we’ve gathered thoughts from our team on what they’ve witnessed in the current buoyant recruitment market, looking at the importance of qualifications, experience and soft skills.

The need for qualifications

Qualifications have become, or are becoming, obsolete in some roles. Sometimes it can depend on the position – our clients in the start-up world appear to prefer senior roles (such as head of level and above) to have qualifications.

According to our team, it’s impossible to call all qualifications for jobs irrelevant. Some would be required in certain specialisms, for instance if there are regulations or legal aspects to a role – like CPC is crucial for anyone running a transport operation.

Although it’s not always necessary to have qualifications, they do make a candidate look better on paper, and therefore they’re more likely to be taken forward. Whilst experience is sufficient, we generally find that we’ll only have one or two without the relevant qualifications in the shortlist.

The rising demand for soft skills

We’ve noticed soft skills are being looked at more favourably by most companies – in fact, they’ve never been in such high demand. Of course, this is likely down to the scarcity of talent in the market; businesses who’ve previously prioritised degrees are now compromising. The right experience is harder to come by too – so soft skills and attitude are becoming much more important.

Yet although these are crucial in every job role, some of our consultants have discovered that a qualification can be just as crucial to complete certain tasks.

The call for experience

Our team found that employers are valuing experience over qualifications, and for some this has always been the case. One of our clients said that five years’ experience is equivalent to a degree, but we’d say that experience holds more value in this case. Where this experience lies can have an impact too, for example if a candidate has worked for a direct competitor, then clients can be more relaxed about qualifications.

Experience is usually enough to get a foot in the door with most interviews, as it means people can hit the ground running – but it does depend on the type of role.

The increasing requirement for training

Businesses are realising that they need to look for transferable skills and a learning mindset. Whilst this was happening already; the pandemic accelerated this trend. This is due to a major talent bleed for heavily impacted industries like aviation and hospitality. Busy sectors saw they could snap up highly competent people and train them to gain the relevant expertise.

Likewise, we have clients who are happy for candidates to acquire qualifications whilst working, as their experience and time served is more valuable to the company. One of our team noted how some candidates can lack experience, but this shouldn’t rule them out if they can be trained up.

Are you an employer? Succeed with Cast UK

Whilst we’d argue that qualifications for jobs are certainly not irrelevant, ultimately, it depends on the business and the industry. It could even come down to the hiring manager – after all, an increasing number are seeking individuals who are a better cultural add, because this is more difficult to find.

If you need support sourcing candidates with the right combination of qualifications, experience and soft skills, Cast UK can help. Our variety of Recruitment Solutions are built to meet your specific needs – whatever they may be. Call us today on 0333 121 3345 or email

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