If you take college courses while you’re still in high school, you may still be able to get some hands on work experience. For instance, one of the most popular jobs for high school graduates these days is working in a call center. While this might sound like a bad thing to some, in fact many call center agents make good money because they are actually good with people, have good communication skills, and are good at taking phone calls. They are highly skilled in their work, and they like getting to interact with people, so coursework does count toward experience no matter how extensive it is.
Does coursework count as experience? Well, the short answer is no. However, the long answer is a bit more complicated. Although most employers won’t ask you specifically what your coursework has taught you, most will look closely at your GPA in order to make sure you’ve done well.
This isn’t to say that every time you take an advanced course, it counts against you. It’s usually pretty clear what the requirements are for the job, and it’s up to you whether or not you think that taking legal classes while in college is going to help you land the job. If you have a very solid course record, though, don’t rule it out just because you want to build a legal education.
Even if you were forced to take some legal courses during college, you shouldn’t feel bad about that. As long as you can show potential employers that you’ve gone through an advanced level of legal study, you should be fine. However, if your entire educational record deals with only copyediting and proofreading documents, don’t expect to get into much of a conversation about your work history. Employers aren’t going to be impressed by your extensive knowledge of grammar, punctuation, and other formalities. They’ll instead be interested in your ability to produce work in a timely manner.
Does coursework factor into employment? It depends on the position. Many positions these days require prior legal experience, even if it’s not directly related to the job position. For example, a writing specialist who writes legal documents may have to do some work with a legal firm’s team of editors. Legal editors are likely to have more experience than your average secretary, and they’ll usually be required to do much more.
The good news is that many of the positions that do require experience actually do count as experience, whether you’ve actually worked them or not. For example, any position in a government office or law firm will almost always require some level of legal experience. Also, most sales positions at restaurants, retail stores, and similar companies do count as experience, provided that you’ve worked there for several years. If you’ve ever worked as a kid or a teenager in a retail store or a coffee shop, then some form of experience is going to be needed. While you may not feel “earned” or “deserving” to have experience working in those places, it’s important to keep in mind that these types of companies are often much more stable, with better pay, than places like Little League and K-Mart.
Even if you’ve never done any type of manual labor or other sort of manual labor job, you can still find plenty of opportunities on the Internet. There are often online typing jobs (many of which pay very well) and web designing opportunities. Many of the jobs that are out there right now don’t require any type of college education, but they do require computer skills and the ability to follow directions. Even if you haven’t worked in this type of environment before, you can still get educated and learn the necessary skills to succeed.