It's really outdated advice that is bad advice in the modern world, but it still lingers. You hear the "your degree is proof of capability and adaptability and employers will willing to take you on for that alone" line a lot, especially with advanced degrees. The market is saturated though. Who is ever going to take a chance with someone with no direct experience but nice credentials when there are 10 people with direct experience and the credentials also applying? My lab was hiring recently and the make-or-break point was applicants coming prepackaged with the skill set we wanted to train them with even for entry level spots. We entertained the idea of hiring an appealing, energetic untrained applicant, but whaddyaknow a skilled one at the same level came along right after.