Especially if you're an overachiever, the drive to get all A's in college can be overwhelming, causing you to neglect sleep, relationships and even potentially helpful professional experiences. Getting straight A's in college may look good on paper, but getting B's while taking the time for professional and personal growth is just as valuable. While a 4.0 GPA may help achieve your career goals, employers will consider a number of factors, including character and experience with internships and activities.
If you plan to attend graduate school, your GPA will play a significant role in admittance. However, according to a survey conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, 70 percent of employers use a minimum cutoff of 3.0 when screening applicants. Furthering your education may require you to hit the books more often, but for those seeking to enter the workforce, getting B's will probably not damage your chances. If you enter college unsure of your goals, CareerSpeed.com suggests maintaining a strong GPA in order to keep all options open.
According to a survey by CollegeGrad.com, only 6 percent of employers consider GPA to be the most important factor in selecting job candidates. They'll likely be more interested in a candidate that has a B average with relevant professional experiences than a student with straight A's without internships or activities on a resume. Daily Finance advises students to be less concerned about memorizing information to get an A on a test and more interested in finding internships, networking with people in their field and getting involved in on-campus events.
Ultimately, employers are hiring a person, not a number. When you go on job interviews, no number of A's will be able to equal your value as a person who is qualified and enthusiastic about the position. The Missouri University of Science and Technology writes that employers are looking for candidates who represent values like "leadership, teamwork, involvement and learning ability" more than people with perfect grades. These traits are exemplified through experiences like volunteer work, research projects and service organizations. A student with these characteristics and an imperfect GPA will be more attractive to employers.
Just because most employers don't rank GPA at the top of their requirements list doesn't mean you should neglect academics altogether. Doing your best work and committing to doing well in classes will earn you the deserved grade. Devoting time to looking for internships, summer employment and ways to enhance your resume will also open up doors to the job market. Your college experience should be about more than endless studying. It should also be about relationships, personal growth and figuring out where you fit into the professional world.
Kori Morgan holds a Bachelor of Arts in professional writing and a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing and has been crafting online and print educational materials since 2006. She taught creative writing and composition at West Virginia University and the University of Akron and her fiction, poetry and essays have appeared in numerous literary journals.