Industry Experience: Meaning, Benefits, Development & More

Like most people, you probably have some experience in at least one industry. Maybe you’ve worked in a grocery store, as a maid, or as a cashier. 

Perhaps you’ve been a construction worker, a doctor, or an accountant. And chances are that if you’ve ever worked in an industry, you’ve also had some experience writing about it.

Industry experience can come in many forms. People can use it as a grounding for success in their chosen fields or as stepping stones on their journey to becoming who they want to be.

In either case, it’s an indispensable tool for anyone looking to get ahead. In this article, you’ll understand what industry experience means.

What is Industry Experience?

Industry experience is the knowledge and skills you acquire while working in a specific field or profession. 

It’s the education you didn’t always go to school for and all the hands-on learning that happens during your working years.  

In addition to understanding how different industries work, this experience allows you to develop transferable skills that will be beneficial to find a new job.

Practical actions within any given field are often learned through hands-on experiences. Therefore, gaining as much workplace exposure as possible is crucial before deciding which route to follow.

SEE: Here’s a beginners guide to hands-on learning

Why Do You Need Industry Experience? 

1. Experience in an industry is valuable when it comes to job searching

When it comes to job searching, experience in an industry can be incredibly valuable. Experience in a particular field will give you great insight into what it’s like working in that genre or niche. 

Plus, employees are more likely to stick around if their employer values growth and development. Knowledge of the ins and outs of a given profession enhances one’s chances of landing a job, no matter their experience level. 

Additionally, there’s always something new (or at least additional training opportunities) available in any industry. 

2. Get insights that are difficult to find from a non-industry perspective

To get the insights that are difficult to find from a non-industry perspective, you need to have some industry experience. 

When looking at something from an entirely new angle, you may be able to see things that would generally go unnoticed. 

For example, when you work in manufacturing and want insight into what’s happening with products before they reach consumers. 

Talking with those who don’t deal directly with customers can provide valuable information. 

By understanding how different parts of the process come together, it’s easier to observe rather than guesswork when analyzing issues or making improvements

SEE: Learn how to go about questionnaire for branding

3. Gain skills and knowledge that are difficult or impossible to learn from textbooks 

You might think that there’s no way experience can give you the skills and knowledge you need to succeed in a career. 

After all, how could something like working on an assembly line ever teach someone about calculus? 

When you work in a real-world situation, you can see and do things for yourself that are impossible to duplicate inside a classroom setting. 

If you only relied on books for your education, you would not gain critical thinking skills and knowledge about problem-solving techniques.

With industry experience under your belt, you are better prepared than most when it comes time for job hunting.

SEE: Understand the types, identification, and development of skill set

4. You need industry experience to be an expert and gain credibility 

One thing that separates experts is their unique access to information and experience. 

Only those inside the industry can truly understand how it works, what problems exist, and what solutions will work best. 

And because expertise involves sharing your knowledge effectively with others, having practical experience in an industry is essential if you want people to take you seriously. 

It doesn’t matter if you’re not aiming to become a full-time expert. Sharing your thoughts or insights through article writing or speaking engagements can significantly impact others.

SEE: Learn more about what area of expertise means

5. Industry experience will teach you how to work effectively in a team

Industry experience will teach you how to work effectively in a team. The skills you learn while working in an industry setting will help you succeed when joining or starting a new project. 

Working cooperatively with others is critical for success on any project, and the experience you gain while working in an industry setting will help simplify this process. 

Being able to handle difficult situations calmly and efficiently is also important, which can be learned through experience in the workplace.

SEE: Understand the definition and benefits of teamwork skills

What Jobs Require Industry Experience?

There are a lot of jobs out there that require industry experience before you can even apply for them. 

As a result, most employers look at your resume to see if you have any experience in the field they’re seeking applicants for.

The following are types of jobs that require industry experience

  • Engineering or manufacturing
  • Technician or home services
  • Research scientist
  • Jobs requiring licensing
  • Some government jobs
  • Jobs involving specific software or tools

While most jobs in the industry require some experience, there are a few exceptions. 

To pursue a career in a field, you must know what types of jobs accept candidates without any prior work experience and which ones don’t. 

Doing your research can ensure that you’re applying for positions that best fit your education and skills.

SEE: Find out why some entry-level jobs require experience

How Do You Get Industry Experience?

industry experience image- lmshero

1. Decide on your desired industry

The first and most crucial step in getting the industry experience you need is determining what kind of work environment appeals to you. 

Choosing an occupation that aligns with your interests and passions will give you the best chance for success no matter which industry you decide to pursue. 

Don’t be afraid or intimidated by making a choice – all it takes is research into your desired field, followed by hard work and dedication.

SEE: Explore practical tips to become hardworking

2. Look for internships or job shadowing programs

There are a few reasons why it is important for students to look into getting involved in internships, volunteering programs, or job shadowing programs. 

The first and most obvious reason is that internships allow students to get real-world experience in an industry of their choice. 

You will gain knowledge about how businesses function and build relationships with key industry players through this experience.

By getting involved in internships or job shadowing programs early on in your career, you’ll be better equipped to land plum roles.

It also increases your chances for success within that particular industry and across all industries.

SEE: Here’s why job shadowing is one of the best ways to learn from professionals

3. Network with people in your field and attend events and meetups

Networking is one of the most important things you can do when starting your career. 

It improves your skills and knowledge and allows you to meet people from all corners of the industry who can help guide and mentor you. 

When you attend events and network with other professionals, you make valuable connections that could lead to future professional development or even a new job.  

You’re also getting first-hand experience on what’s happening inside certain companies or industries. 

This invaluable insight is something that won’t come cheaply or easily – so make sure spending time meeting others in your field is at the top of your priority list.

SEE: Explore networking skills and why they are important

What is the Nexus Between Industry Experience and Transferable Skills?

If you’ve got industry experience, whether it be in customer service or software development, your skills are very likely transferable to another field. 

That’s because most jobs in the workforce today rely on a combination of professional and technical skills. 

Every company is looking for employees who can do more than just their assigned task. They want professionals who can cross boundaries and think out of the box.

Therefore, sharing that information can make all the difference in getting hired. If you have specific knowledge or expertise that could help employers fill a gap in their staff

After you start your new job, you can use what you’ve learned from previous jobs to give yourself an advantage over others.

So go ahead – put down roots where ever life takes you next and bring your experience gained within industry contexts to bear on solving problems outside of work.

Industry Experience + Transferable Skills = Success

SEE: Here’s a definitive guide to transferable skills

FAQs

How do you demonstrate industry knowledge?

Some common ways of demonstrating industry knowledge are attending events, networking with other professionals, or participating in online forums and groups.

When do you need industry experience?

If you’re looking to get ahead in your career, you must have some industry experience. 

What’s the best way to highlight your industry experience in your resume?

Some people prefer to list specific positions they have held, while others focus more on their involvement in the industry.

Make sure it is friendly and inviting for potential employers to read whichever way you choose.

Final Thoughts 

After reading this article, you now have valuable insight into the industry’s experience and opportunities. Industry experience can be a valuable asset for anyone looking to enter the workforce. 

By gaining hands-on experience in an industry, you can learn how things work and develop skills that will help you succeed in the eyes of employers. 

Whether your goal is to find a full-time job or pursue a career change, industry experience is essential.

With so many choices available today, it is important to consider all of your options before making a decision. 

Keep in mind that not every industry will be right for you – but by gaining some knowledge about the different industries, you can make the best possible choice. 

You should also read about life experiences and how to make the best of them.

Thanks for reading.