Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Engineering I just finished my freshman year at UT majoring in aerospace engineering

  1. Jun 17, 2011 #1
    My gpa was a 2.9. I'm already nervous about finding a job later or getting an internship or getting into grad school. Should I be?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 17, 2011 #2
    Just keep "hitting the books" and you should be fine! Often times, your grades will be better your junior and senior year.
  4. Jun 17, 2011 #3
    It's not what you know but who you know.
  5. Jun 19, 2011 #4
    Schools, for all the propaganda they spew, are not very good at conveying applications of the theory they teach. Engineering theory is best learned in schools, but once that is over, the real learning on the job has to take place. Generally, with a fresh graduate, we do not expect to see useful independence on the job for at least a year, and it may take several years before they will be entrusted to lead a small project.

    By then, the GPA you earned is ancient history. We care that you get the degree, not what your GPA is. I have known some people who got nearly perfect 4.0 GPAs in college and graduate school, who can't figure out how to wire an electric circuit. I wouldn't trust them to change a light bulb, let alone design an airplane.

    Honestly, the only professionals I know that puts any emphasis on GPA scores are attorneys. Look how well that's working for them...
  6. Jun 19, 2011 #5
    In all honesty, it's working like a charm for them.
  7. Jun 19, 2011 #6
    ...except that the reputation of their profession is terrible, and people only resort to discussing things with them as a last resort.

    Lawyers operate on perceptions. Scientists and Engineers have to contend with Mother Nature. Mother Nature doesn't care what your GPA was. If your idea is stupid, no amount of advertising will save you.
  8. Jun 19, 2011 #7
    Indeed it is in a lot of cases, but the reputation of their profession has nothing to do with their hiring practices. The reputation of the profession is terrible due to its nature, there is no real way around that. Plus, the reputation is no indicator of how well they perform their duties.
    Which leads to their clients' unrealistic and untenable expectations, which in turn leads to the deterioration of the reputation when the attorneys are unable to satisfy the clients' wishes. It's like asking of a physicist to defy gravity, and then be angry when he can't.
    I don't know what exactly you meant by that comment, but lawyers certainly don't operate on perceptions. Their approach to resolving things is as "scientific" as that of science, the only difference is that the adjudicator isn't as objective as "Mother Nature". Other than that, I agree that Mother Nature doesn't care what one's GPA is, and I'm not disputing that. The only thing I'm saying is that lawyers aren't an example you can base your argument on.
  9. Jun 20, 2011 #8
    This is all more-or-less true. I would add however that the poster indicated an interest in graduate school, so his or her gpa may be important. Also, gpa is important to many companies for entry level engineering positions. After a few years, as you said, your gpa will fade into the background.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook