Today with the increased pressing to find a job, higher rates of unemployment, competition for best university places due to increased globalization, it is not surprising that more and more students get stressed about their grades. So does college GPA matter? A lot of students think that their GPA results will limit their job prospects. The truth is that for graduates their college GPA is important because very often it is the only thing that demonstrates their intellectual ability as well as measures the number of efforts they have put into their knowledge and education. But what is important to understand is that over time the importance of GPA diminishes and what actually matters is your professional success, the names of the companies you worked for, and the feedback about you as an employee (from your ex-bosses and ex-colleagues).
After You Graduate
Another reason why your first future employer might ask you for your GPA is that it will provide insight into your character, your personal habits as well as what subjects really interest you. By looking at a list of all the subjects that you have studied at school together with the grades, the employer can form an opinion if you are likely to succeed in more “technical” roles or if you have higher emotional and communication competencies.
GPA does matter for recent graduates because it can demonstrate how diligent you were with your college homework (and how well will you with your future assignments at work) and how much effort you are willing to make in order to succeed. If all your grades tend to be low, it might indicate that you were not proactive enough in order to find a solution to given tasks or you have chosen the field of studies that did not interest you or did not suit your potential. And in most cases it is not a good sign for a boss.
If you have different grades for different modules – some are better, some are lower – it will be possible to understand at which subjects you succeeded at college which means that in most cases you have retained good knowledge in these spheres afterwards. Nobody is perfect and it is OK to have subjects where you have lower grades – maybe you didn’t understand them, maybe the teacher was not good, maybe they were boring and you did not put enough effort in. All this means that in other subjects you worked hard and for your potential boss it is an indication that nevertheless you can work hard and you can do a good job. It also means that there were courses at the university which really attracted your attention and that you will be able to specialize in them in the future. If you already have an idea of your future career direction and what are the competencies you need to demonstrate, make sure you have good grades for the crucial subjects. Stack up with textbooks (if you buy used books online, you can save quite a bit of cash) and invest time in your homework — nobody will give you an editorial job if you did poorly in Literary Criticism class.
Another important point that together with GPA your employers will look at your extra-curricular activities. It can be your participation in various university societies, sports activities, internship experiences or your part-time jobs. Therefore, GPA is not the only factor under consideration. What it means for graduates is that you can raise your profile in your recruiter’s eyes by having pursued interesting and useful activities in line with your studies.
Being a captain of a student rugby team, you demonstrate that you have leadership and management qualities, that you have developed a competitive spirit and teamwork competencies. If you h
Importance of GPA for Different Industries
Also, the importance of GPA varies in relation to the student’s career choice. According to NACE’s Jobs Outlook 2012, 100% of accounting recruiters, and more than 90% of electronics and IT recruiters reported screening candidates using GPA. This is linked with the technical nature of these industries and therefore the necessity of basic principles knowledge by the candidates who applied for a job. In the same research, it was indicated that only 40% of various admin recruiters and 37.5% of construction recruiters asked their candidates about their GPA results. Therefore, it is true that certain industries have higher requirements for their candidates: this includes engineering with GPAs minimum of 3.50 and other technical industries like finance, chemistry, accounting, and IT with minimum GPAs of 3.00.
After Your First Job
Once you have started your career and worked for at least one year in a company, the importance of your GPA declines. Your employer will tend to ask more about your responsibilities at work and the projects you have undertaken. At this point, it is more important what your ex-boss thinks about your performance, diligence and how much effort you demonstrated.
With every additional name of the company on your CV the recruiter will be able to predict your area of specialist knowledge which is much more valuable than GPA. Moreover, a lot of subjects that you studied at college outdate with time due to rapid development of technologies. This means that GPA’s initial dominance will outdate as well.
Therefore, after your college results, you have plenty of opportunities to build up a successful profile that will attract the attention of a good recruiter. In order to do that, you need to be proactive, show your best qualities at work, and be interested in what you do!