Answered by Tom, Hiring Expert at VF Corporation, on Friday, September 15, 2017
For sure, both are valued more than your "in class" experience. Most employers will be more interested in what you did outside of the classroom vs. in it. We want to know how you have applied what you are learning / have learned and there are things that simply can't be learned in a class room, only on a job or through some co-curricular activity. As to whether a hands-on job or co-curricular activity is better than the other, there is no blanket answer there, depending on the individual circumstances and the quality of each possible experience, once could be better or could be worse. They key again, is get as much experience outside of the classroom as you can, it does not matter if it is in your chosen field or not, all experience is good experience and it will be much easier to experiment / try different things now than later in your career.