My work experience before my Master’s degree does not count. Or does it?

“I am 34 years old, I finished my Master’s 6 months ago and I have only 6 months of experience after my Master’s. Yet, I have more than 4 years’ experience before that (NGOs, international companies, universities, freelance consultant).

“When development job vacancies pop-up, they require work experience AFTER a Master’s. I end up thinking that everything I’ve done before is worthless. This requirement of post-master’s experience obliges me to keep applying only for internships (this seems to be the only option for people with “technically” no experience after a Master’s) and I seriously doubt how useful it is to have 10 internships and traineeships in my CV (meaning I am not yet worthy of a real job, even after several working years).”


  1. hey Malaika, looking forward to your thoughts on this! =)


  2. There’s no difference between the experience before and AFTER your Master’s. Both are good!
    If a job asks for experience after your Master’s, it’s because they think you need the training from your Master’s in order to make that experience really count – in order to have truly learnt from it.

    You can work around this thinking by demonstrating consecutively increasing levels of responsibility and impact in your work experience, and leaving your Master’s degree as simply one line in the education section of your CV.

    – Malaika


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