How important is GPA to employers? (Chemistry major)

  1. I'm a first semester junior with a current gpa of 2.77; my organic series last year really hurt me. I believe at the end of this semester I may be able to pull a 2.9 and after the spring a high 2.9, low 3.0. In addition, I plan to engage in undergraduate research. Assuming that I maintain that gpa, will a 2.9/3.00 gpa along with experience in research be enough to find a good job? I'm specializing in analytical and/or physical chemistry.
  2. jcsd
  3. symbolipoint

    symbolipoint 3,077
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

    Your GPA for employment impression purposes is not bad, but you really need something more to give a better selling feature. Your research experience which you expect to have could be very important for this as a possible selling feature. Also, can you describe what you learned from Organic Chemistry which may be attractive for an employer? Maybe you did poorly in the course, but maybe you also learned some very useful/saleable skills. Is your prospective research involved much with Organic Chemistry? Also, in case you earned less than a C in the course, you really should consider repeating it.

    You really need to determine for yourself why you did poorly in Organic Chemistry; should you change major field? is Chemistry already not your major field? were you overloaded with other courses? Were you not focusing hard enough? Was something about it too difficult or confusing?

    A best-guess right now is that if you hope to get a chemistry career, then you want minimum of a C in all of your Chemistry courses.
  4. symbolipoint

    symbolipoint 3,077
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    Gold Member

    yungwun22, here is a more precise thought:
    Would your prospective research rely on your using Gas Chromatography, any other chromatography, extractions, spectroscopy? If so, then this can easily become your saleable experience. You probably did not have enough of such exercises of those in your Organic course, but you may have the opportunity in your research to gain some meaningful skill and experience with some of those. Employers like skills and people who can apply knowledge with those skills.
  5. I plan on going into analytical research probably in HPLC, spectroscopy or mass spec. I got C's in both semesters mostly because of personal problems and I had class overloads. Going into both finals I had A's but I couldn't pull it out on the exams. I'm currently in physical chemistry and inorganic and doing well.
  6. GCT

    GCT 1,769
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    Is this for a BS degree , you are planning employment afterwards? If so , your experience in maintaining and working these instruments is crucial for employment. I have a very good Chemistry g.p.a. ( 3.9 ) and am not even able to have an interview for entry level analytical chemist position because of the experience factor - although I am able to get those in the process chemistry sector. The machines are expensive and employers simply want peace of mind that the person operating them has worked with them before. As long as you have good experience here your g.p.a. is not going to matter for manufacturing jobs and some research jobs - they may be concerned here a bit for example if you are applying for a scientist position.

    It is all about trust.
  7. It is for a BS degree and I hope to find a job after I finish. I dont want go to graduate school, but if I have to the most i will do is a non-thesis master's program. HPLC is likely going to be my topic in undergraduate research. I'm also looking for internships, whatever experience I can get to supplement my garbage gpa.
  8. Employers like to see GPA's over 3. As long as its over a 3.0 most employers could care less what your GPA is. Really the best thing you can do for a future career is get as much experience as you possibly can. I know a lot of guys (including myself) who worked in industry through most of college and were getting $60k+ job offers strait out of college even though they had a mediocre GPA.
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