Last Updated: December 21, 2017, 3:49 pm

Grades may not have impact some students may think


In some cases, college grades may not be as important as some students think.

On Facebook and around campus, Dixie Sun News polled 100 people about the importance of grades when it comes to starting post-graduation careers.

Students shared their opinions while academic and Career Center advisers offered their professional expertise on the matter.

Twelve percent answered as long as graduates pass all their classes and obtain their degrees, they will still be able to find jobs.

Scott Williamson, a senior history major from Las Vegas, said he believes it’s unrealistic to get straight A’s every semester, and students don’t have to get straight A’s to get a good job.

“Certain places might look at your GPA, but it’s not going to depict the character of your being,” Williamson said. “There’s more to you besides an A, a B or a C.”

Twenty-eight percent answered it’s important to work toward straight A’s, while the remaining 60 percent answered mediocre grades will suffice.

Tony Beatty, a senior communication major from Hurricane, said he cringes whenever he hears someone say, “C’s get degrees.”

“How you do life in anything is how you do life in everything,” Beatty said. “If you take a mediocre approach to your grades, you’ll take a mediocre approach to your career.”

Communication adviser Bryan Jacobs said while some GPA factors like efficiency, deadline performance and meeting expectations could definitely be characteristics employers seek, grades are not what employers mainly scrutinize.

“In terms of employment, grades aren’t as important as students think,” Jacobs said. “There aren’t a lot of employers who do a GPA cutoff. They’re much more concerned about hiring someone who does the job well.”

Jacobs said statistically employers look for people who are compatible personality-wise and who will perform without stirring up trouble, along with the basic job description requirements.

Brad Barry, a professor of English, said through his own personal experience he doesn’t believe interviewers care very much about job applicants’ grades.

“I’ve seen so many students succeed in their post-college careers, despite having less-than-perfect GPA’s,” Barry said.

Barry also said some students worry about not being able to get into great graduate schools because of imperfect grades, but grades are not the only thing schools look at.

“Graduate schools use multiple criteria, only one of which is GPA,” Barry said.

While Jacobs did say some more technical fields like medicine, law or accounting will scrutinize GPA, it’s always important to round all areas of performance, including social skills.

“If you focus on any one area too much, whether it be socialization or straight A’s, you’re going to be in trouble,” Jacobs said. “Balance is a good idea.”

Jacobs also said it’s best to avoid doing the bare minimum just to get a passing grade.

“That opens up all kinds of bad habits and consequences,” Jacobs said. “Coasting in the real world will get you fired.”

Andrew Skaggs, an employer outreach adviser from the Career Center, said while most employers don’t look at transcripts, it’s still important to reach for the highest grades possible.

“Most of the time, if you have mediocre grades, you have mediocre knowledge to perform,” Skaggs said. “We’ve all heard the stories of the kid who went to Harvard and all he did was party, but he still got a great job, but for most of us it doesn’t work out that way.”

Skaggs said he thinks it’s important to strive for high grades in the instance that students go on to a higher education after their first four years of college. He said that some students return to school even when they don’t initially plan to, and their transcripts could definitely impact graduate school success.

“Transcripts are going to follow you for life,” Skaggs said. “They’re not like juvenile records that get expunged once you become an adult.”