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Do marks in university really matter?

A photo of KingKhan KingKhan
Say I'm going for computer science/engineering, I've no plans to go to grad school and am going to start looking for a job right after I finish my undergrad, do university marks matter? Will job employers ask for them? Do better marks help you find a job faster?
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A photo of inthemaking inthemaking
No, your employers will not see your grades. They only matter for grad/professional school.
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A photo of Anonymous Anonymous
Marks don't matter to employers, only universities. Employers see you either have a degree or you don't. It doesn't matter whether you got 90's or 60's.
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A photo of OscarUK OscarUK
Interesting to see the responses; only because over here an employer will always want to know what class of degree you obtained (even undergrad). Some jobs even specify "degree level, 2:1 or higher" for example.
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A photo of g93 g93
Accounting firms definitely look at marks and the courses you have taken. Many of them sort through their resumes by throwing out all the ones with sub-80 averages. After that threshold marks matter very little, it's all up to the other things on your resume and your interviews.

If you're applying for a highly-coveted job in finance on Bay Street or Wall Street, you're simply not going to come close to being considered with a 60-70 average. There are so many high-quality applicants that they can weed out people with low averages and still have a large enough pool to interview and look for soft skills and all that.

Just a couple examples of where marks do matter.

Also, while it is not common in engineering, some employers do ask for grades. It's not as if you will never be asked.
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A photo of Anonymous Anonymous
Yea it does
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A photo of mynameismattgotmlgo mynameismattgotmlgo
In general, they don't matter to employers. There are exceptions, which are usually very obvious (because they are for jobs that are highly competitive, like the ones g93 mentioned).
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A photo of mechboyy mechboyy

@g93 wrote
Accounting firms definitely look at marks and the courses you have taken. Many of them sort through their resumes by throwing out all the ones with sub-80 averages. After that threshold marks matter very little, it's all up to the other things on your resume and your interviews.

If you're applying for a highly-coveted job in finance on Bay Street or Wall Street, you're simply not going to come close to being considered with a 60-70 average. There are so many high-quality applicants that they can weed out people with low averages and still have a large enough pool to interview and look for soft skills and all that.

Just a couple examples of where marks do matter.

Also, while it is not common in engineering, some employers do ask for grades. It's not as if you will never be asked.



I actually think this is false. Employers place skill and qualities that you posses and what you've accomplished that's relevant to the position over academic ability. A degree is a degree and this is all that matters. You seem to be talking in terms of Waterloo's coop (since youre in AFM) in which case marks do matter for AFMers but I know for engineering coop, marks are near to irrelevant. People with high 80 avrgs can have a hard time finding jobs and that person with a low avrg can surprisingly get a well paying job compared to others with higher averages. Also, in the real world, there is no where on a resume where you can state your cumulative avrg in university. The only thing you can state is "graduated with honours or Cum Claude status or something along those lines. Also, I highly doubt the employer is going to ask for a copy of your university transcript in an interview.

Marks can only take you so far. In the real world, its how you present yourself and what youve done that makes you a well rounded individual that matters. If you're extremely introverted and socially awkward and have not done anything sufficient all the while you were killing yourself to achieve academic success, I highly doubt the employer is going to be impressed.

The only exception where academics are considered is when you're applying for a professional program such as Medical school or law school or post-grad studied. Its quite unfortunate that some people have the mentality that academic success is the only requirement to being successful and obtaining jobs.
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A photo of aimango aimango
It completely depends on the employer. Some employers would rather take in more studious people with decent ECs. Obviously no company is going to take in someone who has only the marks. Other companies do not care about marks and care more about skills. Remember that skills are gained from school, so doing well in school may or may not reflect how proficient you are with certain skills.

But yes, it's not like you'll never be asked.. if there is a lot of competition for a job, they need extra criterion (such as marks) to choose people to interview and offer the job.


All in all, you shouldn't just not care about your marks at all. At least, until you perform well in your first job relevant to your field of study.
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A photo of g93 g93

@mechboyy wrote

@g93 wrote
Accounting firms definitely look at marks and the courses you have taken. Many of them sort through their resumes by throwing out all the ones with sub-80 averages. After that threshold marks matter very little, it's all up to the other things on your resume and your interviews.

If you're applying for a highly-coveted job in finance on Bay Street or Wall Street, you're simply not going to come close to being considered with a 60-70 average. There are so many high-quality applicants that they can weed out people with low averages and still have a large enough pool to interview and look for soft skills and all that.

Just a couple examples of where marks do matter.

Also, while it is not common in engineering, some employers do ask for grades. It's not as if you will never be asked.



I actually think this is false. Employers place skill and qualities that you posses and what you've accomplished that's relevant to the position over academic ability. A degree is a degree and this is all that matters. You seem to be talking in terms of Waterloo's coop (since youre in AFM) in which case marks do matter for AFMers but I know for engineering coop, marks are near to irrelevant. People with high 80 avrgs can have a hard time finding jobs and that person with a low avrg can surprisingly get a well paying job compared to others with higher averages. Also, in the real world, there is no where on a resume where you can state your cumulative avrg in university. The only thing you can state is "graduated with honours or Cum Claude status or something along those lines. Also, I highly doubt the employer is going to ask for a copy of your university transcript in an interview.

Marks can only take you so far. In the real world, its how you present yourself and what youve done that makes you a well rounded individual that matters. If you're extremely introverted and socially awkward and have not done anything sufficient all the while you were killing yourself to achieve academic success, I highly doubt the employer is going to be impressed.

The only exception where academics are considered is when you're applying for a professional program such as Medical school or law school or post-grad studied. Its quite unfortunate that some people have the mentality that academic success is the only requirement to being successful and obtaining jobs.


That's exactly why I specified that it was for top accounting and finance jobs. They do look at marks, it's a well-known fact.

The only mention I made to engineering is that some employers will ask for transcripts/marks/whatever. Definitely not every company, maybe not a common occurrence, but I do know of companies that usually ask. I do not think you can say "employers never ask", just "most employers never ask".

Also, even if the employer asks for marks doesn't mean they put high value in the marks. It's just another thing for them to consider.
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A photo of ktel ktel
I've known employers to throw away resumes with 4.0 GPAs. Yes, you heard me right. They think that you will have no social skills and only be about school.
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A photo of MattUK MattUK

@ktel wrote
I've known employers to throw away resumes with 4.0 GPAs. Yes, you heard me right. They think that you will have no social skills and only be about school.



Then they're very foolish employers. I have a 4.0 GPA, and haven't had to sacrifice my social life or extracurriculars to get it.

Generalising so quickly about their candidates is going to harm their businesses in the long run.
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A photo of ktel ktel

@MattUK wrote

@ktel wrote
I've known employers to throw away resumes with 4.0 GPAs. Yes, you heard me right. They think that you will have no social skills and only be about school.



Then they're very foolish employers. I have a 4.0 GPA, and haven't had to sacrifice my social life or extracurriculars to get it.

Generalising so quickly about their candidates is going to harm their businesses in the long run.



It's no different when companies require a minimum GPA. Perhaps the person with the 75% average would have been amazing. My resume still got through even though my GPA was high, due to inside connections.
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A photo of MattUK MattUK

@ktel wrote

@MattUK wrote

@ktel wrote
I've known employers to throw away resumes with 4.0 GPAs. Yes, you heard me right. They think that you will have no social skills and only be about school.



Then they're very foolish employers. I have a 4.0 GPA, and haven't had to sacrifice my social life or extracurriculars to get it.

Generalising so quickly about their candidates is going to harm their businesses in the long run.



It's no different when companies require a minimum GPA. Perhaps the person with the 75% average would have been amazing. My resume still got through even though my GPA was high, due to inside connections.



It's quite different. The mindset that doing well in school might harm your job prospects is much different from poor grades harming your job prospects.

I understand that grades shouldn't be the sole determinant of one's aptitude for a job, but throwing out 4.0 GPA applications simply because they have 4.0 GPAs is ridiculous.
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A photo of mynameismattgotmlgo mynameismattgotmlgo
Relax, she didn't say it was common practice. But employers can do whatever they want. Maybe some employers have found that past 4.0 students have been turbonerds incapable of social interaction and, thus, have made it policy to not hire them.

It's not natural law that extremely high marks must give you more and better opportunities.
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A photo of MattUK MattUK
I'm not riled up - I suppose it's hard to express tone over the internet. Anyway, I'm not concerned with how common the practice is, but the fact that in some cases a high GPA is harmful, rather than beneficial, to one's job application seems unreasonable. I'm just challenging the principle of it, not how common it is or whether employers have the right to do so.

You shouldn't assume the character of anyone based on their grades. Some 4.0 students may be 'turbonerds', but it should be easy to discern that from the interview, or by looking at more exogenous factors in their CV - rejecting all applications with a 4.0 GPA could be alienating some of their best candidates.
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A photo of mynameismattgotmlgo mynameismattgotmlgo
I'm sure this practice only applies to employment situations when not every candidate is interviewed and initial filtering is done by simple superficial measures like university attended, GPA attained, previous work experience, etc... i.e. when there is a high volume of applicants for relatively very few positions. Personally, I've never heard of the practice, and it could easily just be one of those hearsay things that aren't actually true.
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A photo of ktel ktel
It was at an engineering firm a friend of mine was working at. And not an official company policy, just one individual's preference. I also doubt it was a hard rule, and that perhaps other aspects of your resume could save you even if you did have a 4.0. In an ideal world everybody's resume would be carefully read and most people would get an interview. In the real world you need some method to narrow down candidates when supplied with a huge stack of resumes.
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