According to a recent Accountemps survey, 91 percent of polled chief financial officers believe entry-level accounting and finance job applicants out of college need real-world experience.

Specifically, when asked how important work experience is, the majority (65 percent) said that it's at least "somewhat important." An additional 26 percent noted it to be "very important" while just 9 percent of respondents found it to be unimportant.

"It's the age-old catch-22 – it's hard to land a job without experience or gain experience without a job," said Max Messmer, chairman of Accountemps. "One advantage for students is the availability of internships and temporary work in their fields, which can provide a taste of the working world, help them build their resumes and expand their networks."

Contacting a staffing firm for a job as a temporary worker is a good way to obtain work expedience, as well as meet prospective employers and learn about different companies.

However, contrary data was found in an earlier study by Ohio State University (OSU) associate professor Stephanie Wilk and two colleagues. They found that previous experience carried over from former jobs sometimes led to lower performance at new positions, OSU's research blog reports.

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