“Education background” and “educational background” are phrases used to describe a person’s academic history and academic accomplishments.

The documents listed under education background and educational background include high school diploma, college and university transcripts, various certifications, and degrees.

Typically, the academic history is listed down in the order of completion, from the most recent to the oldest. 

Both “education background” and” educational background” are correct. However, they are used in different contexts. Education background is used as a category title. Moreover, both the terms education and background are nouns.

Conversely, educational background is used when distinguishing the type of background being described.

For example, “cultural background and educational background.” Comparing the two, educational background is more popular, particularly in composing resumes.

Differences between education background and educational background

Foremost, education is a noun; therefore, the phrase education background is best used as a title for a category in documents such as a resume and curriculum vitae (CV).

For example, in a sentence, “People with high education backgrounds are more employable.”

In contrast, educational is an adjective that is used to describe the noun ‘background.’ Thus, the phrase educational background is more specific about the type of background under reference.

For example, “Your educational background…” and “Your cultural background….” 

Another difference is that “education background” can be interpreted to mean ‘background in education.’

Sentence examples include “She has an education background” and “Her background in education….”

In these sentences, the meaning of education is altered from ‘receiving knowledge’ to ‘teaching and distributing knowledge.’

This means that the lady in question has acquired knowledge of teaching. Conversely, the specificity of the phrase ‘educational background’ ensures that the meaning does not change.

Thus, there is a reduced risk of misinterpretation and confusion when using “educational background” in a sentence compared to “education background”.

Similarities between education background and educational background

Both the phrases educational background and educational background have the same definition. They refer to academic accomplishments, academic certifications, skills acquired, and experience gained.

Likewise, “education background” and “educational background” are grammatically correct; thus, their use is permitted.

People can use either term when listing their academic qualifications, provided they are used in the proper context. 

Additionally, “education background” and “educational background” are quite similar as they can be used interchangeably.

Sentence examples include “Her education background is quite impressive” and “Her educational background is quite impressive.”

Both phrases are quantifiable. By adding “s” at the end of the noun ‘background’, we can make the plural of the phrases.

For example, “The employees’ education backgrounds…” and “Your educational backgrounds….”

One major difference is that education background can also refer to ‘background in education,’ thus taking on a different meaning.

To avoid miscommunication, it is best to use educational background, unless when compiling a title of your academic achievements. 

Final thoughts

Determining the difference between the two similar phrases, ‘education background’ and ‘educational background’, is quite challenging, especially for non-native English speakers.

An internet search reveals that educational background is the more popular phrase. However, both “education background” and “educational background” are grammatically correct. Moreover, the distinction between the two is simple. 

Education background is the combination of two nouns to form a title phrase. Conversely, educational background combines an adjective and a noun to create a descriptive noun.

Compared to “education background”, “educational background” is more specific as it describes the exact type of background the author is referring to.

In some cases, “education background” and “educational background” can be used interchangeably.

Although both these words share a similar meaning, the formal and informal list of education accomplishments and history, they have some dissimilarities.

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