Yes and no.

Whether the requirement for actual work experience in the respective field is going to be a deal-breaker will completely depend on the employer, and most likely the job role that you are trying to apply for. Most employers will have an understanding of the field and will know whether it would have been practical, or possibly even, to gain work experience in that job role before attaining your degree.

However, many industries have volunteer programs, internships, and student jobs and while they are not always paid positions, prospective employers will take into account the experience that could have been gained at ground level, and how that pertains to their job role on offer.

To the employer, their main objective is hiring a candidate that has transferable skills, which are not always taught during the course of a degree. They want to know if you know how to implement the specific skills and knowledge you have learned and this is why a carefully worded and thought out resume listing your experience and skills, that could be beneficial to their company, will be very helpful.

To this extent, when you are applying for entry-level positions that require experience, having general work experience, or showing that you were willing to take on part-time jobs while studying, will show a recruiter that you have the drive and ambition to learn new skills and as the position is entry-level, you have a good chance of succeeding with your recently attained a degree.

Mid-level or senior positions may be harder to get recruited for as this is where a degree AND relevant work experience could be the deal-breaker between you and another candidate. Be realistic when setting goals and understand that the corporate ladder needs to be climbed from the bottom up.