It’s the end of the semester and you know what that means…lots of emails from students wanting to know how they can get extra points to improve their grades. Thus, I read this article by Becky Johns titled “Your GPA Doesn’t (Really) Matter” with great interest. As she notes:
While many college students stress over grades, those of us beyond academia and into our professional careers have seen how little it matters in comparison to experience, networking skills and the desire to grow.
Children go through school being taught that a grade is the determining factor in performance. But in the professional world, that’s not how it works. Your bosses won’t tell you which questions will be on the test. You don’t study information to be tested on it once in your job. Your college GPA is a combination of several factors but isn’t really the best indicator of how you’ll perform in the working world. We all know that person with perfect grades who struggles socially or that person who couldn’t care less about school but seems to have no trouble making great things happen in their life. Book smarts and street smarts are very different things.
Take your classes seriously. Do the work. Show up and learn something. Meet your professors. But I’m here to tell you, the GPA you leave college with doesn’t matter.
Becky goes on to say that what will matter is learning how to learn; learning how to take theory and concepts and apply them to real-life situations; developing good time management, presentation, writing, and networking skills; and learning how to both accept and give constructive feedback.
I remember stressing myself out to get a 4.0 in my Ph.D. program and absolutely no one has ever asked me what my GPA was. You can read the entire article here. I'm thinking this might be appropriate to put in my syllabus!