Linking College Education to Career Success: A Personal Insight

Nilda Melissa Diaz, CPRW
By Nilda Melissa Diaz, CPRW, Career Advice Expert Last Updated: January 12, 2023

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Hiring managers ask a number of interview questions- and there are some that are quite commonly asked. One that actually gets asked frequently is “how has your education prepared you for your career?” Other forms of this inquiry might include “has your school work incorporated real-world applications?” and “what connections have you made between your education and the real world?”

When a hiring manager presents you with such a question- they are not looking to know about your grades or specific courses you took. Instead- they are seeking to find out whether or not you have made any connections between your studies and the work world. They want to know if you have chosen to involve yourself in certain interactions and projects that have helped to shape you as an employee and that have made you driven to reach your goals. Additionally- the interviewer seeks to see if you realize and value the practical connections between things learned in college and how you can utilize them in the workforce.


Are you wondering how to answer this question adequately? The solution is preparation. Preparing a good answer will help you to come off as confident- motivated and educated when the question is asked.

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How to Answer the 'How Has Your Education Prepared You Your Career' Interview Question

Discuss relevant activities

In order to answer this question- you can talk about any academic activities you have done that you felt really prepared you to work. For instance- you can talk about specific projects you've had that really tied to real world examples. Additionally- mention other things such as case studies that taught you about specific topics or situations. If you have had any projects that relate specifically to the job you are interviewing for- now's the time to talk about them. Making your answer relevant is essential. To get all the details of the job duties- read the job description.

Talk about skills learned

College professors usually have a reason for teaching a certain way- and sometimes the purpose is to teach you specific skills that they know will be beneficial in the work world. Consider the skills and abilities required for the job you applied for- and then consider the important life skills you gained from your college education. If you had a professor that made you think extensively- they were likely developing your critical-thinking skills and problem-solving abilities. Talk about how that class honed in on your skills and how you have applied them to your jobs thus far. Go on to mention how your valuable education has provided you with the expertise necessary to excel at the particular position. Interview questions like this require in-depth answers.

Internships and experience

There's nothing more valuable than the experience you gain from completing internships in college. Internships can really teach you about your field and about real-life workplace skills as well. You may have learned how to deal with certain situations you probably didn't encounter in the classroom. You may have also learned great people and team work skills by working on team projects. Whatever it is that your internship provided you with- this is a great time to talk about it. Remember to make it relevant to this specific job. Give examples of situations you encountered during your educational internships that have made you better able to handle situations in your past jobs. By doing this- you can show the hiring manager just how important your education has been in preparing you for the position.

Sample 'How Has Your Education Prepared You for Your Career' Interview Answers

1. My college education has exceptionally prepared me for a smooth transition from school to work by providing me with the skills necessary to succeed. On my first internship- I honed in on my marketing skills by developing useful strategies with a team. This experience has also helped to develop my communication skills- as I was required to work with others to create solutions. I feel that the experience I gained was truly valuable- as it has prepared me for my successful marketing career thus far. During my education- I additionally became fluent in Spanish and French- allowing me to communicate with a broader variety of people.

2. In college- I feel that I was well prepared for real-life situations and jobs. Difficult courses have taught me exceptional critical-thinking skills and that the answers will not always be in front of my face. Through courses like this- I have learned how to solve complex problems and that high-quality results take hard work. Many of my internships have also given me the opportunity to experience situations first hand and taught me how to come up with the best solutions.

Knowing how to answer interview questions is the key to providing good answers. Now that you know what employers want to learn about you when they ask you about your education- you will be well equipped to provide an exceptional answer and really excel at your interview.

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