Does Your GPA Matter?

High school grade point average (GPA) really matters when trying to attend higher education institutions. But how about when you’re fresh out of college and try to get into your first job? Just how much future employers value your hard-earned college grades? Are those sleepless nights reviewing for mind-blowing exams and those long hours spent at the library going straight to the garbage bin?

Yes, it matters

First, maintaining a high GPA can be crucial to your academic success. Performing poorly could result in academic probation, or worse, it could cost you your scholarship. Second, keeping an impressive GPA is vital to students whose dream is to attend top graduate schools such as Yale law school (3.9 average GPA), Harvard medical school (3.8 GPA), or Stanford business school (3.6).

Third, when you graduate from college, your GPA also matters to future employers to evaluate what you can contribute to the company. GPA is really important in case you have no work experience (even if it’s only a part-time job) while in college. Some fields also place high importance on GPA. If you’re into investment banking or a field requiring a Master’s or PhD degree, your academic performance in college will really matter.

No, it doesn’t count

GPA is only one of the many factors that employers consider in evaluating job application. A very high GPA alone doesn’t automatically translate into job success. Likewise, a low GPA doesn’t mean that you won’t be invited for an interview, given of course that you have relevant items on the resumé that interest the employer.

Your primary responsibility in college has been to go to class and complete all requirements. Theoretically, your GPA quantitatively measures your academic success and is likely a reflection of your future endeavors. However, there are many other factors aside from GPA that employers take into consideration before they hire you.

Work experience such as meaningful internships or on-the-job trainings in your field as well as part time jobs is also very important. This factor will make the playing field even. As a matter of fact, many companies would be more interested in hiring a candidate with a 3.0 average GPA with a summer or two spent in internship over a candidate with just a 3.9 GPA attached to his or her name.

Given that all other factors are equal, employers would be more inclined to choose the applicant with impressive GPA. This doesn’t mean, however, that an applicant with a so-so GPA can’t get a job with a reputable company. Many employers understand the different circumstances that college students have to go through. While they consider your GPA and your university’s reputation, they also take into account that working while studying and participating in extracurricular activities can affect academic grades.

Tell the truth

Many candidates who have low GPA leave this information off of their resumé. This is not a good decision at all as employers might wonder how mediocre your GPA really is. A career adviser said that if GPA is not stated on a resumé, he assumes the grade is under 3.0. Don’t lie about your grades. Instead, show the employer your academic strengths and skills the company is looking for.




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