Does GPA Land You The Job?

I don't think there's anything people hate and love at the same time more than college.

It's a common topic that students my age love to complain about. They'll say things like "I love being a [insert mascot here], but I just hate classes." You have to wonder why people are here if they don't even like learning about the things that pertain to their major.

Other people will boast about taking 6 classes and expect praise for how hard they're working. These "work-a-holics" love occupying themselves with classes for various reasons. Some may include:

  1. They've been led to believe that getting a minor makes them more marketable.
  2. They're trying to avoid real life by distracting themselves with as much study as possible.
  3. They're trying to graduate as fast as possible. (reasonable)

I don't admire this person much if at all.

I think doing well in your studies is important, if you're in a traditional job setting and you want to get hired by a big firm.

For people who want to work at start-ups and smaller companies, what college you went to and your GPA are highly irrelevant. Studies suggest that experiences matter more than academics. And why is that the case?

When a company is hiring you, they're not looking for the "smartest" candidate.

They're looking for the person who can provide value immediately out of the gate, will fit in with the team, and most of all has the desire and skill to actually learn to do the job.

Not much to say here.

Not much to say here.

What we spend hours and hours on in school may have the least importance on our actual chances of employment. If you're aware of the Pareto Principle, then this situation is similar to that. If our end goal was really to have a higher signal of employment, then we should focus our efforts on these experiences rather than in class.

Want to know the best way to ruin someone's life?

At a very young age, place the developing person in an environment where his/her value is judged off of a number that doesn't matter. Make them go through biased tests in order to move on in life. Make them feel guilty and stupid for not being of the same intellectual level as those around them. Give structure to where a student "should" be at any certain age, so that when that student has not reached that level yet, they feel inadequate. Tell them that college is the only way to succeed in life and any other way is "beneath" them.

This is how we raise an insecure, frustrated, and lost generation.

Being in the school environment for nearly all of our young adult lives, we've been tricked into judging the value of our lives on a number that authority figures give us. We care so much doing well in school, but do employers really care about it as much as we do?

Look how terrible this meme is.

Look how terrible this meme is.

It's almost sad that this meme even exists. But that's the way 12+ years of schooling since childhood have made us think. Schooling tricks us into believing that grades matter more than they do.

In the bizaro world of school, eveything seems super important until the moment it’s done/finished/submitted. Then reality - with alternatives and options galore - becomes clearer and you can see how little it really mattered.
— Brad Matthews, Praxis Participant

Of every one I knew that ever graduated from college, they all say the same thing: that they wish they spent less time worried about grades and more time on doing what they wanted to do.

So this finals week, don't worry about your GPA.

Unless you're studying to be a doctor, lawyer, or professor, it doesn't matter as much as you think it does (Side note: Please know you want to be any of these things before you commit to it). The job market values you for what you can do for it, not how much you can impress it with a number.

Study as much as you need to to pass, but otherwise, companies care a lot more about whether you can do the job, not how high you can do the job of an academic.

You have the ability to provide value.

Don't let school trick you into thinking otherwise.