A couple things immediately come to mind. The first is a well-known study from Harvard many years ago (anybody know it?) that says that only 10% of what you learn comes from books and classrooms. The other 90% comes from observing others (20%) and from doing things (70%). So while learning things from books and classes is definitely beneficial, it’s theoretical learning. Actual work experience is a much more practical way to build your knowledge and develop your understanding of processes, learn methods for doing things, and get to know what something is really about. There’s even an expression for this, on-the-job learning.
The second is, I always tell candidates that things like degrees, certificates, and qualifications may get you the interview. But when it comes to getting hired by top employers, they will not get you the job. What allows you to capture attractive opportunities is the quality and impressiveness of your work experience. Especially, the capabilities you demonstrate and achievements you can talk about to others.
So if you’re a university student, balance out your classroom learning with internships, student organizations and activities, volunteer work, company-sponsored competitions, etc. It’s all good! These will give you much more to talk about to impress employers in your job interviews than just what you learned from your books and classes.
By the way, here’s an article I wrote not long ago about the impact of work experience vs. education on your career success. <Your University Degree Isn’t Helping You？ What Will, And How To Develop It!>