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Skills vs Qualifications: Staying Relevant for Career Success

Skills vs Qualifications: Staying Relevant for Career Success

This is the age of continuous learning, gone are the days when one degree used to be sufficient to earn a livelihood for life. It applies to every industry and company as each one is using technology to improve profit margins, and technology keeps evolving and changing. The skills that you learned today while pursuing a qualification may become obsolete tomorrow. So, the need of the hour is staying relevant.

Now, the question arises: what is more important – qualification or skill to stay relevant? Nowadays, students pursue fancy universities to obtain qualifications, often overlooking the importance of being skilful. It’s worth mentioning that people with skills are in higher demand. And guess what! The internet has made it incredibly easy for all of us to upgrade ourselves with skills through short courses offered by online portals, such as UpGrad.

Qualifications may secure a job, but skills are crucial for sustaining it or advancing within the organisational hierarchy. An engineering graduate with several years of experience, aspiring to manage entire projects, pursued a six-month professional certificate course in project management through platforms like Coursera. It’s plausible that an engineer, proficient in technical aspects and adept with machinery, might lack the skills required for comprehensive project management.

Whenever we apply for a job, the prospective employer enquires about our skills and qualifications. These things are integral parts of a resume, and we should be familiar with the differences between the two. It applies even to those who are navigating through the complex path of immigration. They are connected but there are subtle differences, and understanding them can impact your immigration and career journey significantly. An aspiring immigrant with two degrees may pursue a certificate course that gives them skills to improve immigration prospects.

Qualification for Today, Skills for Tomorrow

Two computer science degree holders were hired by a company, and a few years later one got promoted because he acquired an additional skill while working (for example, learning a new programming language currently in demand). This is a common occurrence in companies across the globe.

Qualifications are the specific requirements that make a person eligible for a job role. In the process of attaining a qualification, one acquires the expertise and technical knowledge that convince the prospective employer that you are suitable for a position. Putting it in another way, a qualification is a formal document that is issued by a recognised institution. It verifies that a particular person has the knowledge and expertise to work in a given area. 

Skills, on the other hand, will keep you operational on the job, meaning they will keep you employable. If you have attained a degree through fake means, then in all likelihood you will not have the traits that are taught there, meaning you do not have the skills that justify the qualification you are showing. 

Here is another example to differentiate the two, someone pursued an MCA a decade back when artificial intelligence and machine learning were not there. To stay competitive on the job, the person pursued a post-graduate programme in Machine Learning and AI from upGrad. Acquiring this skill added value to the person’s job profile.

How do Skill and Qualification Affect Immigration?

How easily and quickly your immigration application will move forward will depend on the skills that you have and how much is its demand in a given country. Qualification is the first checkpoint that you have the skills and that you are worthy enough to be considered. Some countries conduct skill assessments before accepting your immigration application. A positive skill assessment is required on the part of the applicant to be eligible to apply.

Focus on Both for Maximum Advantage

To be an ideal candidate for immigration, you should strive to acquire both the skills and qualifications. Some countries do not consider your experience in a field unless you have the requisite qualifications to be on that job. Those who have both skills and qualifications can apply for a broader range of immigration programmes.

A good qualification shows that you are committed to learning and that you have the required knowledge base to perform all the duties on a job. A combination of both skill and qualification creates a compelling application. It is worth mentioning here that it also facilitates faster integration into the system, with minimal to no expenditure by the employer.

It is not the number of years of experience but what counts is as to how much valuable each year was. Search for skills that are considered valuable in the country you want to immigrate to, you can seek assistance from immigration consultants in Gurgaon to expedite your search. 


Any country that you want to immigrate to is essentially looking for value in you. Qualifications and skills are an easy and direct way to judge how valuable you will be to a country or organisation. This acquisition cannot be done overnight and preparation needs to start early in life. Consult overseas education consultants in Gurgaon to help you structure your life in the best way.

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