Why Your Major and GPA Shouldn’t Haunt You

Some students may feel that their major and GPA brand them for life. Such fears can be only exacerbated by the recent recession and an uncertain job market. But these two labels are not an undergraduate’s most defining characteristics and putting too much emphasis on them may cause unneeded stress.

Succesful Individuals with Unlikely Majors

Zac Bissonnette, guest writer for the New York Times, gives several great reasons why students shouldn’t let money be the deciding factor in choosing their course of study. Firstly, students are more likely to succeed in their major field if it is something they are passionate about. Secondly, and perhaps most interestingly, research has shown that an individual’s earnings do not significantly differ across majors.

Although it depends on the industry, for many employers, GPA is not nearly as important as something like relevant internships, according to Laura Morsch of CareerBuilder.com. She cites a 2005 survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers’ “which found that 70 percent of hiring managers do not report screening applicants based on their GPA.”

Asleep while studying

Heather Huhman, a writer for the Examiner, explains that a GPA is a fallback for employers looking to pare down the plethora of applications they receive for a job. The solution? Find other ways to set yourself apart from the crowd, such as communicating experiences that exemplify leadership, creativity or entrepreneurship.


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