Grades aren’t everything


Editors note: This article is a response to C’s don’t get degrees

Everyone has heard the saying, “C’s get degrees.” People often shrug this statement off as a joke, without realizing the true meaning behind it.

Yes, the saying is a fact. If you were to get straight C’s, you would still graduate. But there is more to it than just that. What the statement is really portraying is that grades are not the most important thing in college.

Many college students make the mistake of only focusing on their GPA. The reality is there are other aspects of college that are more important than grades.

I, like most students, want to get a good job after I graduate. A big part of getting a job is having an impressive resume. A resume with nothing on it but a good GPA is going to be overlooked by employers.

Rodrick Jefferson, head of global enablement at Oracle, said in a recent presentation at Chico State that he almost never asks for a GPA when hiring new employees. What employers really look for on a resume is experience and skills. A diversified resume full of extracurriculars and work experience is far more appealing to hiring managers.

GPA’s can really only measure a student’s ability to take classes. Extracurricular activities, on the other hand, can prove what skills a student actually possesses. While a high GPA is a great addition to any resume, it is not the most important aspect of it. In fact, some institutions believe that grade point average is a poor way to measure student intelligence.

I don’t think that “C’s get degrees” means that students can just coast through college and expect to have a job handed to them. It means that grades are only a portion of what people get out of college. C’s will get students to graduation, but the other activities, clubs, jobs and societies they are involved in will get them a career.

Participating in a wide range of activities shows an employer that you are outgoing and possess a wide range of skills and knowledge that goes beyond the classroom. People that spend all of their time worrying about their GPA are setting themselves up for disappointment.

I am a strong advocate of the motto, “work smarter, not harder.” Students need to find a way to get decent grades, be involved in extracurricular activities and enjoy their time at college. If they are able to accomplish all of that, then they will have a fulfilling college life and should be able to get a good job when they graduate.

By no means should students aim for C’s, but they need to keep in mind all the aspects employers look for. If a student is able to get straight A’s, have a job and be involved in campus life, then they should definitely do it. However, many students struggle to find the balance between GPA and extracurriculars.

Finding that perfect balance and creating a diverse and robust resume is key. That is what employers look for and it is what students should strive to do.

Carson Predovich can be reached at [email protected] or @cpredo120 on Twitter.