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Does grades matter?

  1. Jan 2, 2010 #1
    I'm an engineer student doing an undergrad, just wondering how much grades matter once I graduate. I'm not planning on grad school.

    My goal right now is maintaining a 70'ish while trying to intuitively understand the material being taught, getting to know as much colleges prof's and TA's as possible, and doing plenty extra curriculars (working on this). I feel like there's only so much time each day, and if I try to get that illusive 90%+ avg, networking and extra cirric's will definitely suffer.

    If my approach on the issue is incorrect, please reply and explain why you think so. Otherwise, tell me my approach is the most rewarding one, from a career standpoint.

  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 2, 2010 #2
    a) If you're going the career route, you want internships. Most of them have minimum gpa requirements in the 3-3.2 range (B-B+/80-85)
    b) lots of human resource departments ('specially at bigger companies) use gpa as a way to filter out candidates
    c) extra-curriculars don't really matter, as companies only care about how good of an employee you'll be, so the extra-curriculars should be cut if you can only get a C average.
    d) I'm not sure how you can impress professors well enough that they'd make good contacts if you're only scraping a C. The professors I know who've tried to hook students up with jobs only did so for guys who really impressed them.

    Grades matter less for jobs then for grad schools, as you'll probably still find a position somewhere, maybe, with your grades. But they do matter somewhat, and you may want to go back to school later for a masters or what not for promotion reasons.
  4. Jan 3, 2010 #3
    Grades matter for your first job out of school... once you have a little experience, no one cares about your grades at all.

    But unless your extracurricular activities have something to do with research or useful on-the-job skills, I'd spend more time pulling your grades up a notch though.
  5. Jan 7, 2010 #4
    From my experience as an engineer who is about to graduate, extra curricular means nothing unless you are talking about research experience. You have to have over a 3.0 to be competitive. I did'nt think I would want to go to grad school when I started either but I do and no I wish I had a 3.5 or better. For industry though as was previously mentioned, I think employer want a employ who does more than try to get by which is what a C/C+ is.
  6. Jan 7, 2010 #5


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    You abilities and understanding of the concepts of your field are more important once you are employed, but when HR is culling candidates and deciding who will get interviewed, mediocre grades won't let you get your foot in the door. You might make a great engineer, but you'll never know if you're spending the next 5 years in unrelated jobs trying to support yourself. Complete your course requirements with as few extra electives and extracurricular activities as practical so that you can build a decent GPA. Some students struggle for a semester or two, but if your transcript shows that you turned things around and kept posting good grades, you'll be OK.
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