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What's the Value of Work Experience?

$180 billion dollars! That’s the estimated salary value of work experience earned in 2017 by the entire Massachusetts work force of more than 3.6 million individuals.

The salary value of education, in sharp contrast, was much lower. Education created an estimated $22 billion.

Work experience created more income than dividends, interest and rental income did ($93 billion), more than social security and public assistance transfers did ($65 billion), and of course, more than what the state’s workers would earn if employers paid them as if they had just started at the entry level ($104 billion).

These are the fascinating, first-time-ever measures developed by New Jobs for Massachusetts, my pro-job growth non-profit, in its newly released analysis measuring the comparative value of work experience.

pharmacist with shelf stock

Most Massachusetts jobs, like pharmacist, require

a blend of education and work experience.

Since no studies of the value of work experience have been published, New Jobs created the first estimate for Massachusetts, using nine respected sources of income statistics, demographics, and academic analyses of the requirements employers seek and pay for when hiring talent.

The most powerful finding is that for workers with 30 months of experience or more, work experience is eight times more effective at generating salary than education is.

For the commonwealth’s educated, hardworking and experienced work force, the career path upward becomes clear: 1) gain broad experience in your field, 2) seek accomplishments in project operations and management, and 3) demonstrate measurable achievements across corporate functions (such as production, sales, finance) and along distribution channels (from suppliers, to wholesale customers, to retailers and end users), and in service.