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Old 2008-12-18, 22:32   Link #21
Claies
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My class was told by our department dean that a 3.5 is good to aim for - anything above follows the rule of diminishing returns.

Companies probably sort their applications immediately based on university reputation and then GPA if it comes from a fresh graduate. Every time I even approach getting a "C" I scare the crap out of myself. And I have received them.
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Old 2008-12-18, 23:17   Link #22
Epyon9283
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My GPA when I graduated was 3.5. I'm on my 4th job since college and I don't remember anyone asking about my GPA in any interviews I went on. Previous experience was always more important.
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Old 2008-12-19, 09:36   Link #23
mako1138
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For technical fields, I'd say there's two important cases where people look at your GPA: 1) your first job out of college, and 2) if you apply to grad school.

Let's face it, your GPA is a measure of how well you did in college, no matter what excuses you can come up with. If you approach Intel, nVidia, Cisco, etc. with a GPA below 3, they'll look at you funny, and you'll have to give them an especially good reason to interview you. I can only speak directly to EE, but I imagine it's a similar situation for lucrative jobs in other fields.

If you want to go to a top-tier grad school, they're looking for people who can both do independent research and pass the various exams. (And stay in good standing; most programs require you to maintain a 3.0 in grad-level coursework.) Most nationally-known schools set their application cutoff at 3.0, and publish helpful statistics like "the average GPA of the incoming class of Fall 2007 was 3.7". A secondary effect of your GPA is that it might be hard to find people to write you letters of recommendation -- an area of your application that you'd really want to beef up to compensate for the GPA.

In short, having a lower GPA limits your options, depending on your ambitions. If you're content to just get by, then don't worry about the GPA. If you want to go to a top grad school, or snag a high-paying job straight out of college, then you need a good GPA. (Or, I should say, luck and some good connections.)

I lazed my way through undergrad; now I'm hoping to get into a Master's program so I can improve my academic standing, and then apply to a PhD program. My advice is: think about where you want to go, and how you're going to get there.
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Old 2008-12-19, 19:27   Link #24
Irenicus
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A question, then, for you experienced people:

What if, for example, you had, erm, "a problem" in an earlier semester, but improved dramatically for the rest of your undergrad career. Will graduate schools actually look at this trend, or will they just read the one big number and that's it?
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Old 2008-12-19, 20:11   Link #25
karasuma
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GPA gets you into the industry or job you want. From then on, it is all you. If your GPA sucks, you don't even get into the door.
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Old 2008-12-19, 20:13   Link #26
karasuma
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Irenicus View Post
A question, then, for you experienced people:

What if, for example, you had, erm, "a problem" in an earlier semester, but improved dramatically for the rest of your undergrad career. Will graduate schools actually look at this trend, or will they just read the one big number and that's it?
Yes, it will help. Especially if your major's GPA is the one with the good up trend. You need to mention that in your application though. Just in case they miss it.
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Old 2008-12-19, 22:47   Link #27
Kang Seung Jae
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Old 2008-12-21, 11:28   Link #28
xxhatechasexx
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i think the only time you'd have to worry about yoru gpa is if you've got scholarships that require you to maintain a certain gpa, other than that
no need to worry
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Old 2008-12-22, 11:52   Link #29
Tran225
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i think private schools go by GPA alot while regular UC they look @ ur extra activities more
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Old 2008-12-22, 14:08   Link #30
Demongod86
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Here's the thing:

People when employing you care about your work experience.

So the employer you'll be applying to in ten years cares about the employer you got into when you had seven years of experience cared about the employer you got into with four cared about the employer you got into with zero cared about...

your GPA.
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Old 2008-12-22, 14:12   Link #31
Honda Boy Techy
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GPA also matters with Scholarships which I learned the hard way..... cause I lost mine. My GPA was too low my freshman year to keep my STATE Gov scholarship to a community college. Yeah I screwed around and never studied so I wound up with like a 2.5-2.75 or something and lost it. I have since quit screwing around. Last semester I netted a 3.5 which has brought my overall up to 3.167 or something like that. I'm bout to go to the financial aid office to see if they can get my scholarship reinstated.... again. I've tried once and failed but my GPA is higher this time.
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Old 2008-12-22, 23:03   Link #32
kyon.haruhi.suzumiya
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Depending on job. As somebody who works for the church, we do have posts that need academics [and are paid, this is the United Methodist system we're talking about] like accounting.

GPA [actually, we don't use GPA here, we use something else, but whatever] is useful as it's like a first point of reference, but not always. We also put the candidate thru a battery of tests related to the job scope. We have to take both in account. But for big corporations, yes, GPA is first. As I said, GPA [or whatever scoring system] is first point of reference.
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Old 2008-12-23, 02:12   Link #33
theorys
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GPA isn't important at all. What you learn and retain from your teachers IS important. If you aren't able to interpret what you learn("how does this work in daily life?"), and all you do is memorize, you will struggle in real life. If you can study, and interpret, then you will always do well in your classes and on tests. In a recent study, more people will be graduating with a Bachelor's degree than ever before. This means that a Bachelor's degree is worth nothing! There is inflation going on in jobs that are for people with Bachelor's degrees. So what does it come down to: The answer is your own creativity and who you know. That is how the world currently runs. If you are able to make the right friends, you can land a job anywhere.

(I am a Junior with a 4.0 GPA and have the top grades in my classes, I speak from experience. Grades simply reflect what you study, but there is a difference in what you study and what you retain after the semester is over. Also, I've seen many people fail in harder majors, then switch to something else and excel. So don't give up just in case you are not good at one thing.)
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Last edited by theorys; 2008-12-23 at 02:24.
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Old 2008-12-23, 03:16   Link #34
physics223
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I don't have an excellent GPA. My grades actually went on a freefall because of some familial issues I had. I still have issues with my course, but I gradually became better at making the grade than I previously did. Despite a bad sophomore year, though, I'll probably end up with a 3.15 GPA. That's not bad.

It may matter to others, but since I'm going to med school anyway I don't think it matters as much for me.
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Old 2008-12-23, 03:17   Link #35
kyon.haruhi.suzumiya
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Quote:
Originally Posted by physics223 View Post
I don't have an excellent GPA. My grades actually went on a freefall because of some familial issues I had. I still have issues with my course, but I gradually became better at making the grade than I previously did. Despite a bad sophomore year, though, I'll probably end up with a 3.15 GPA. That's not bad.

It may matter to others, but since I'm going to med school anyway I don't think it matters as much for me.
^^ I think GPA 3 is already good for most people. And most corporations. In fact, in Canada, GPA 3 is "Above standards".
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Old 2008-12-30, 00:37   Link #36
ZephyrLeanne
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kyon.haruhi.suzumiya View Post
Depending on job. As somebody who works for the church, we do have posts that need academics [and are paid, this is the United Methodist system we're talking about] like accounting.

GPA [actually, we don't use GPA here, we use something else, but whatever] is useful as it's like a first point of reference, but not always. We also put the candidate thru a battery of tests related to the job scope. We have to take both in account. But for big corporations, yes, GPA is first. As I said, GPA [or whatever scoring system] is first point of reference.
^^ Gah, your side has such things? We tend to take anyone willing, put them thru a standard test and employ the people we want. Usually between 2.0-3.0, never more. Too high, they ask for too high a pay. Too low a GPA and some staff will complain.
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Old 2008-12-30, 22:26   Link #37
Jarnk
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There are plenty of good answers on this thread. Although I hate the 4.0 hunters, GPA is important. Treat it as important. Then, even if it isn't, the hard work of maintaining a good gpa will pay off later.

I have gone through the whole process of undergrad/grad/internships/full-time job. My undergrad gpa was WAY less than stellar. I consequently couldn't get an internship or even an interview at a decent company upon graduating.

The graduate advisor was amazing though and gave me a chance at grad school even though I wasn't even close to the minimum qualifications (although my GRE was really good...a good GRE can mask a borderline GPA). I had a 4.0 the first semester of grad school and I immediately had 2 interviews and offers for quality internship positions. I kept my gpa up over 3.6 and by the end of my Masters I was getting 2 interviews per week.

Once you get an interview, you can wow them and your GPA won't matter, but you better hope you know the right person if you want the interview without a good GPA.
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Old 2008-12-30, 22:33   Link #38
ZephyrLeanne
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jarnk View Post
There are plenty of good answers on this thread. Although I hate the 4.0 hunters, GPA is important. Treat it as important. Then, even if it isn't, the hard work of maintaining a good gpa will pay off later.
You know you love me. I only go for 2 - 3.5.

Quote:
I have gone through the whole process of undergrad/grad/internships/full-time job. My undergrad gpa was WAY less than stellar. I consequently couldn't get an internship or even an interview at a decent company upon graduating.

The graduate advisor was amazing though and gave me a chance at grad school even though I wasn't even close to the minimum qualifications (although my GRE was really good...a good GRE can mask a borderline GPA). I had a 4.0 the first semester of grad school and I immediately had 2 interviews and offers for quality internship positions. I kept my gpa up over 3.6 and by the end of my Masters I was getting 2 interviews per week.
What's a GRE? Never heard of it.

Quote:
Once you get an interview, you can wow them and your GPA won't matter, but you better hope you know the right person if you want the interview without a good GPA.
True.
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Old 2008-12-30, 23:32   Link #39
Jarnk
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShimatheKat View Post
You know you love me. I only go for 2 - 3.5.



What's a GRE? Never heard of it.



True.
GRE - Graduate Record Examination. It is a standardized test that is required by a lot of US Graduate schools.

3.5 is a good number. Every person I knew with a 4.0 were they type that would make sure to get the professors with the easiest grading and constantly complained about their test grade. They would also drop a class and retake it if they didn't have a 4.0 at the drop date. I HATE those people!
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Old 2008-12-30, 23:35   Link #40
ZephyrLeanne
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Originally Posted by Jarnk View Post
3.5 is a good number. Every person I knew with a 4.0 were they type that would make sure to get the professors with the easiest grading and constantly complained about their test grade. They would also drop a class and retake it if they didn't have a 4.0 at the drop date. I HATE those people!
Three letters: W T F.
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