If you are in college then you might be wondering how much your GPA will matter in the real world.
This post will show you a number of reasons that your GPA can be important in the real world as well as a number of cases when it is not.
So, does college GPA matter in the real world? Your GPA will be considered alongside relevant work experience, internships and projects you have completed. A low GPA can be a warning sign for employers and if yours is low you will need to make up for it in the other areas.
There are actually a number of reasons that your GPA can matter and the degree to which it matters will be largely dependent on what you want to do.
Having a high GPA will improve your job prospects
When employers are sorting through resumé they will usually be looking for reasons to reject a candidate rather than employ them. This is because they want to reduce the number of applicants that they need to work through.
One of the ways that an employer will discard a candidate is if their GPA is lower than what the other candidates have. This means that, if you have a low GPA, then it can work against you when looking for a job.
With that being said this will depend largely on the job you are applying to and the amount of experience that you have.
If you are applying to a job with lots of applicants then it will mean that your GPA will need to be higher. If you’re applying to your second or third job after college then it will reduce the weighting that gets placed on your GPA since you should be able to make up for it by showing relevant work experience.
A low GPA will turn off many would be employers
In addition to a low GPA hurting your chances of getting past the initial screening phase, a low GPA could actually close a number of doors for you. This is because a number of employers will care a lot about an applicants GPA.
This is especially the case in finance where they will often want to see that an applicant has a GPA over 3.7. Many hiring managers will also care a lot about an applicants GPA in other industries as well.
This doesn’t mean that a low GPA will completely reduce your chances of getting a good job out of college. However, it does mean that it might reduce the scope of the jobs that you can apply for and the amount that you might get paid. This is why it would be worthwhile for you to do what you can to sort your GPA out, while you can, now.
The importance of your GPA will depend largely on the amount of relevant work experience that you have for the job that you are applying for.
Companies want to know how well an applicant will be able to contribute to their organization and how much training they will need. One of the best ways for a company to figure this out is to look at the types of other jobs that you have had.
If you have worked on similar jobs in the past then it would make it more likely that you would be able to contribute to their company right away. This means that having a lot of relevant work experience will make up for a poor GPA.
However, when you are applying to your first job out of college, you will not likely have a lot of relevant work experience. This means that your GPA will have a higher weighting when applying to your first job.
How much your GPA matters will also be influenced by any internships that you have.
As mentioned above, one of the main things that an employer will want to know is how much relevant experience you have. A good way to show that you have relevant experience is by doing internships in that field.
Being able to show that you have completed a number of internships on your job application will reduce the importance of a high GPA since you will be able to show that you have relevant experience.
This would be especially useful when applying to your first job since you won’t have had the opportunity to work for other employers full time yet.
This means that if your GPA is currently low then one way to make up for it would be to try and land a number of internships in the field that you want to be in before you graduate.
Another way that you can show that you have relevant work experience is by completing projects in the field that you want to work in.
By completing projects related to your field you will be able to show that you can work independently and that you are directly able to apply your knowledge to your field. This tends to be an especially useful thing to do in areas such as computer science where there is little stopping you from developing your own software.
This means that if your GPA is currently low then another way to make up for it would be to complete projects related to the field that you want to be in.
Things to consider
There are a number of factors that will have an impact on the importance of your GPA.
The type of degree that you have
Some majors are less challenging, academically, than others. If you’re studying mathematics or physics then it would make a slightly lower GPA more understandable.
However, even then, having a low GPA can hurt your chances in a number of ways. If other job applicants have a higher GPA in the same field as you then it will reduce your chances of being accepted.
If you want to go to grad school it will matter
If you want to go to grad school then having a high GPA will be important even if your degree is in a challenging major.
In grad school, you will be taking more advanced classes than the ones that you are currently taking. If you are not able to do well in your current classes then it would be a warning sign to graduate admissions committees.
With that being said, even when applying to grad school, it is possible to make up for a low GPA if you can get good letters of recommendation, if you can write papers in your subject field and if you are able to complete a stellar senior year project.
The type of job that you want
When considering how much your GPA will matter in the real world it would be helpful to consider the area that you want to work in.
Financial firms will tend to care a lot about an applicants GPA as well as the college that you went to. Whereas, tech companies will tend to care a lot more about internships and projects that you have completed. However, even tech companies will consider your GPA and the college that you went to.
It’s also important to consider your level of experience.
If you are still in college and you do not have a lot of relevant experience then it will mean that your GPA will matter a lot more. If you are in this situation then it would be worthwhile for you to do what you can to raise it and to try to complete internships and projects in the field that you want to be in.
Whereas, once you have already worked for a number of companies in a particular field then it will reduce the importance of your GPA.
Overall, even though it may be popular for people to say that your GPA does not matter, the truth is there are many cases where it does. If your GPA is currently low then taking measures to improve it will only improve your chances upon graduation especially if you also work on getting relevant work experience in your field.