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work experience abroad: does it ever beat a degree? 

The summer is over and while all your friends have gone off to university with the promise of having the time of their lives, you are now working, taking a gap year or suffering from general confusing about what to do with your life – or maybe you are still at school wanting to escape from the academic world with frequent day dreams about life outside the classroom. The question is: What sort of jobs can you do without a degree? Does field experience ever beat the glorious bachelor degree? Well, it certainly can. Work experience from abroad puts you a step ahead of your competitors and it has a huge impact on the rest of your life. Seeing the world is never a waste of time. 

Journalism and Media

Image courtesy of Frontier Fiji Journalism

For many years there was no such thing as a Journalism degree. In fact, the only way to achieve your goal of becoming a reporter was to gain experience and learn the skills on the job. Although many journalists today have degrees – either directly related to their field or in other areas – experience still beats academic achievement. The only way to become a success is by practicing over and over again and what better way to do it than travelling around the world and write? You could do an internship abroad and try what it’s like to work for a news paper in Fiji or find stories in Kenya? The media industry is global and fasts paced, so keep up with the current trends and get a lot of experience. Who knows? You could beat all the graduates and land yourself in a paid job.  


Image courtesy of Madagascar Childcare Project

Taking care of other people’s children is tough and experience is a must. Most parents would much rather leave their precious with someone who have experience taking care of children rather than one who only have the qualification on paper.

Work with animals

Image courtesy of Costa Rica Animla Rescue Project

Animal lovers are everywhere to be found, but some may decide to take their interest further and pursue a career as an animal care worker or something similar. Working in an animal rescue centre requires experience and by volunteering at home or abroad you stand a better chance of securing a paid position later on. Although university is not required, some employees might want you to have a qualification while others offer it on the job. However, getting experience should be on the top of your list and what better way than to fly off to an exotic destination and volunteer at an animal rescue centre? There you get to experience what it’s like working with animals and gain valuable skills.  Source:

Nature and wildlife

Image courtesy of Madagascar Wildlife Conservation Adventure

Can you really get a job in environmental work such as conservation without going to university? Well, let’s take a look. If you wish to conduct research and conservation work, it’s often vital to have a degree biology, marine biology, conservation, zoology or similar. However, if you are not too keen on the actual research there are plenty of jobs on offer. With the right amount of experience you could become a wildlife educator and talk about animals all day long! Or pick up a camera and do wildlife photography. Another option would be to work with horses, especially if you are keen on working with things such as horse therapy. Travel around the world, volunteer and gain experience in order to find out which job appeals the most to you. 

Construction work

Image courtesy of Brazil Favela Restoration and Construction Project

Fancy constructing eco-friendly buildings in Israel or help out endangered communities in Brazil? If you want to gain a bit of expertise in construction work there is certainly a lot on offer and the best thing is that it’s all about field experience! You can do a qualification when you are ready or get paid to learn at your job – but not see a bit of the world first?   

Creative industries

Image courtesy of Tanzania Music Production and Education

We all know how it goes. Breaking into the creative industries can be a tough one and it doesn’t matter how good your degree is – if you don’t have any experience nobody will take a second look at you. Get your foot in the door with a music production and education internship in Tanzania – a different way to see the world! Or explore your abilities with a camera on one of Frontier’s photography projects.

Teaching English around the world

Image courtesy of Costa Rica Teaching Project

Although teaching often requires both a degree and training, it’s a bit different when it comes to English teachers. By volunteering abroad you have the chance to get a TEFL qualification in English teaching while being on a project in another country. This gives you the necessary skills to teach English around the world and some places it even pays quite well – so if you are up for teaching and enjoy passing on knowledge, this could be a winner!

- By Caroline Edwards 

So let’s get started, shall we? It’s time to add experience as well as memories to your life story – a task that never truly ends. Jump on the boat and never look back, explore natural landscapes and challenge yourself to see things from a new perspective. Gain experience from one of Frontier’s many volunteer projects and work towards landing your dream job! We offer plenty of qualifications in anything from teaching to wildlife conservation, so don’t worry if you decided to skip university – knowledge comes in all forms, shapes and sizes. Time to grab it!

Frontier runs conservationdevelopmentteaching and adventure travel projects in over 50 countries worldwide - so join us and explore the world!

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