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Home  > Article

What do employers mean by "the equivalent"?

By Erisa Ojimba, Certified Compensation Professional Salary.com

When an employer uses the term "equivalent," it means they will consider any job-related experience that provides the necessary knowledge, skill, and abilities to perform the functions of the advertised position proficiently.

Q. What exactly is meant by the word equivalent in the phrase "four-year degree or equivalent"?

A. When an employer uses the term equivalent, it typically means they will consider any job-related experience that will provide the candidate the necessary knowledge, skill, and abilities (abbreviated "KSA") to be able to perform the functions of the advertised position proficiently. A formal education with a four-year degree can be sufficient to provide a candidate with necessary KSAs. Or, a high school diploma and four years of experience in a particular job can also help a candidate develop sufficient KSAs. A company is simply looking for someone who has the KSAs, whether from an informal background or through a formal avenue, to perform the functions of a job successfully.

The same logic applies when an employer says it will consider "two years of equivalent experience." In this case, the employer is looking for either a formal education or job experience that gives you the knowledge, skills, and abilities.

Good luck.



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