What matters most when it comes to landing the best job – experience or education?Each side has worthy arguments, but there’s no one answer that covers the full scope of situations to which the question applies. Here are three realities to consider when you’re unsure whether work history or academic background will best help you land that dream position. Reality number 1 is it’s not really an either/or situation. It’s best to show you have both the education and experience to perform in your desired field. That might mean taking a slower path through school so you also have time to work. But the two components will complement one another, and boost your chances of landing your dream job. Reality number 2 is there are many variables. For example, a tech degree earned 20 years ago means little today if your work experience and continued education haven’t kept your knowledge current. And the field matters, as well. A degree from a top school helps when pursuing a career in engineering or similar technical fields, but in a career like sales or marketing, job results count most. And reality number 3 is that the numbers only tell part of the story. Surveys show that the more educated a person is, the less likely he is to be unemployed, and job security is always nice. But it’s more difficult to determine whether experience or education results in higher pay. In fact, earnings increase with higher levels of education only to a point. On average, a doctoral degree earns its owner a smaller paycheck than a professional degree, but a bigger paycheck than a bachelor’s or master’s degree.