Jobs require more than simply GPA

Throughout my college experience, there has been an incredible amount of value placed on getting an education, and within that, attendance, studying and self-discipline. I have applied myself and put forth the effort to do well in classes because it matters and the work I put into my studies will eventually pay off—or so I’ve been told. But really, does it matter?

I have come across many people in the “real world” with “real jobs” that have said what they learned in college didn’t always end up being applicable to their career of choice; the skills they have acquired in their profession were learned once they were already employed.

The point in getting a degree (for the most part) is to prep for a desired career. That’s why we are all here, isn’t it? Most students pay tens of thousands of dollars for a degree in hopes of landing that dream job upon graduation.

Perhaps we are forgetting a huge factor in this equation: the employer—aka, the ones hiring college graduates. Rather than focusing on what the university expects, why not focus on the employer’s opinion, because ultimately, they have the final say on whether you are an adequate applicant or not.

Studies have shown that while, yes, a degree does matter, employers don’t always focus on grade point average or the specific classes an applicant has taken. While these factors are considered, they’re not a necessity.

As a student, grades should matter, but in today’s economy and fierce job market, campus involvement and job-related experience should be emphasized a bit more. What your GPA was and which classes you took will probably be considered when a decision between applicants is close, but involvement and experience are valued more highly than other aspects.

A college degree has simply become a platform to get a job. University curriculum has become outdated and to some extent irrelevant. While some classes can give a basis for fundamentals, that is about it.

What does this mean while we are all in school? I suggest getting involved and joining organizations related to your desired career. Make connections and get career-related experience.

Don’t rely solely on your classes and grades to land a job after graduation. Yes, apply yourself and pay attention in class, but take initiative to learn outside the classroom. That could make all the difference.