Letter to the Editor: Employers should honor a student’s GPA

In the Nov. 25 issue of The News, an article shed light on what I feel is a very disturbing trend in academia – GPAs, no matter how high, are becoming less influential when searching for postgraduate employment.

I all too often find a reliance on “street smarts” from my employers. While there is a level of truth to the term, real-world experience does not encompass the full value of one’s worth like a GPA. A GPA does more than gauge how a person has done in school. It describes one’s ability to work hard, maintain a focus on certain tasks and his or her value as a results-oriented person.

But unfortunately, that number is becoming less valuable to employers. Besides reading about a Careerbuilder.com survey in the article, which supported this phenomena, I have also seen it firsthand with an employer.

During a casual conversation with a supervisor and a coworker of mine, we were told that GPA, and grades in general, are not as important as I may have thought. This led me to believe that other attributes are considered, such as past work experience, interpersonal skills and ability to learn quickly while on the job.

It’s a catch-22, and it gives me a headache. If you are uneducated, how can you possibly get a good enough job to give you valuable experience? If you are unable to learn the easiest of class concepts, how can one possibly learn while on the job?

If I’m the only one who finds the statement contradictory, perhaps others can agree with me on something else: we students have been shafted!

From elementary school until now, I’ve been told grades are the no. 1 step toward success. You do well in school, and you’ll go in life. Now, it appears that just isn’t true. Now a student can be mediocre in school and still have the same opportunities as those who accomplish much more. It’s ridiculous, and in my mind, unfair to those who worked hard for a successful undergraduate career.

But there is solace in the midst of this problem. The GPA still matters for those seeking higher education in the form of graduate school. I take comfort in knowing this: if students continue to work hard they can open doors for themselves after their stay on Huntington Avenue.

I am confident in saying the results of the Careerbuilder.com survey do not accurately depict the future of employment habits. In my opinion students will now strive to do well for the next step – which is no longer employment, but graduate school.

– Matt Foster is a junior communications major and member of the News staff.

Leave a Reply