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How much does GPA matter, be honest!

  1. Jul 13, 2011 #1
    I put my schedule together & wounder how many semesters I should try to earn my B.S. in & weather or not to retake a course that I got a C+ and a B- in high school. The highest GPA I can graduate with would be a 3.91 & the highest GPA I could graduate with would be a 4.00 if I decided to retake chemistry

    So like if I retook chemistry I could have a much higher GPA & if I did the full 8 semesters I would have to average less credit hours a semester & but a higher GPA. My dad has held a job for the past 11 years in the engineering field, has held similar jobs in the past, he said he wasn't asked once what his GPA was, just were he earned his degree, when he earned it, & what degree he earned. He started his career a couple decades ago though when the economy was half ok. I feel like in this economy its so much even more who you know not what you know in getting a job. I was told by the manager at McDonald's when they had the national hiring day "you weren't a qualified applicant" when I called to follow up after the interview

    Grad school isn't really an option for me. I could not afford to go to school longer than four years I would have to pay every single penny with no help from my parents. Even with scholarships, both my parents went to college, I'm white, I'm male, I grew up middle class, I wont' get much. I could probably get a couple grand but I couldn't afford it nor want to even go more in debt after earning my B.S. when I can't even get a job at Mcdonald's and make under 10 grand a year working part time. I will be looking for work after I earn my degree & wounder how much GPA helps, if it even would do me anything. I think my fathers views may be flawed due to the fact that he started his career a very long time ago, but I'm unsure

    Do the actual courses that I take & each individual grade matter? Being in the honors program means you take honors leveled courses & do much more work than the regular course but the grades are weighted the same. The only difference is that on your transcript it shows up as "honors" next to the course. That would look good if I were going to go to grad school, but I'm not hence I wounder if it would be worth the extra work. The more work would mean I would probably have a lower GPA as well. Some hiring manager would most likely not know the difference in work load between a honors leveled course and a regular course and would think I was less intelligent than a person who took the regular courses, did a lot less work, but had a much higher GPA, if I would ever be asked for my transcript to begin with

    I'm hoping someone could share with me and be completely honest on views of GPA and finding employment with BS degree and how much does the actual physical transcript matter? How many times have you been asked for your GPA? What about your transcript? Do you think I should retake chemistry to have a higher GPA? If I got out in 7 semesters I would save 13 grand but have a lower GPA had I done the 8, is it worth it? If GPA really matters I should retake chemistry, crawl into my dorm room, have no social life for four years, do the full 8 semesters, and have a 4.0 but walk away with getting a job.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 13, 2011 #2
    If there is nothing else to go on, and GPA is the only thing we have, it might make a difference. However, including even one summer of relevant experience on your resume changes everything.

    Personally, I have known people with 4.0 GPAs and degrees from very prestigious places but without any common sense. I also know some people who are extremely good at passing tests and getting certificates, but whose judgment is so poor that I refuse to work with them.

    People confuse the degree and the certificate with actually being able to do something. The degree is an entry point and the certification is merely a method to prevent you from causing further harm if you get something horribly wrong.

    The goal is to prove that you can do the work and do it reliably. A GPA doesn't tell me that. Experience does. A GPA is sort of like the SAT scores you got from high school. Other things you did will carry far more weight with the school. Likewise, the GPA for an employer is merely a secondary concern.
  4. Jul 14, 2011 #3
    GPA is crucially important if you want a higher chance getting into prestigious school, especially in this era, where all the top schools are excruciating competitive. Among GPA are your personal background experience related to the major and activities curricular.
  5. Jul 14, 2011 #4
    No one is going to care between a 3.9 and 4.0. If you have already learned the material, you are doing yourself a disservice because you are wasting time that you could be using to learn something new (or to just relax so you don't go crazy).

    If you are going to be looking for work after getting your bachelors, the absolutely most important thing that will help you is real work experience. Try very hard to get an internship or some work-study program.

    It will make a difference if you graduate with a 2.1 instead of a 3.9, but don't worry about anything less than 0.3 difference.

    Among the dozens of companies that I've interviewed for, only one company cared at all about my GPA (DE Shaw if you are interested in which one). That may not be relevant since I have a graduate degree, but it's not a huge factor.

    Seriously bad idea because the classroom is only part of your education. A lot of getting a job and keeping a job involves learning good social skills and if you have no social life then you aren't doing your education any good.

    Something that will really help you get a job is if you walk in the interview and make the interviewer feel good, and you are going to learn that talking to people.
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