Grades obviously do matter. However, here's a post arguing the other side, that grades don't matter. I assure you grades do matter if you want to get a job at Goldman Sachs and eventually make $400,000 a year working 90+ hours a week!
For all those who didn't perform well in college, don't want to perform well in college, aren't willing to go back to grad school to give yourself a second chance, and like to make excuses for not trying harder, you're in for a real treat!
It's clear from the comments in my article “Examples of Good Resumes That Get Jobs,” your GPA doesn't matter. As someone who has participated in the hiring of dozens of individuals all these years, I've got it all wrong and I'm glad you called me out on it.
I'd like to think of myself as a very flexible person who sees both sides of the equation. Hence, in this post, I want to highlight why your GPA doesn't matter at all, and why you should feel confident in never putting your GPA on your resume. Working hard is overrated and employers are certainly looking for as many C and B students out there as they are A students.
Why Grades Don't Matter For Getting Ahead
1) You are special. You have done many award winning things that have brought you accolade. You started a game changing business or are a virtuoso violinist. In the world of millions, you do not believe there are also people with great grades that can also do great things. People need to recognize you for who you are. You are unwilling to conform by getting good grades.
2) You learn for the love of learning. What's most important is that you absorb the material you are learning and put it to good use. You don't feel you have to justify your learning by getting good grades. You do not believe it is possible to learn for the love of learning and also get good grades.
3) You believe experience matters most. College is a great time to experiment new things and meet new people. You believe people who get good grades are incapable of experiencing college in its “purest” form.
4) You believe grades are not a barometer for success. Once you get into the school of your choice after high school, that's all that matters. Once you have that good school on your resume, you believe your employer will not use grades to differentiate you from your thousands of other classmates.
5) You believe life is too short to get good grades. Why bother studying hard and standing above your competition when there are great shows to watch and places to see? Life is too short to work hard and give yourself the best chance possible to pursue what you want to do. Prestige matter more than grades!
Five More Reasons Why Grades Don't Matter
6) You believe there will be people out there in great positions who will empathize with you. After all, people stick together and look out for their own. There will be people in charge of hiring who did poorly in college. You don't want to risk hurting this potential bond by doing well yourself.
7) You believe in equality. It doesn't matter if someone got a 4.0 GPA, attended 6 more years in medical school, and works 80 hour daily shifts. You believe you also deserve to make $500,000 a year, provide a luxurious life for your family, and receive the same accolades. Both of you are human and deserve to be treated equally.
8) You are not American. Apparently, it is very rare for other countries except for the United States (questionable too, hence this post) who use grades as one determinant of whether you will be a hard working, good hire or not.
10) You believe that only the best organizations care about high performers. If your organization isn't one of the “top 10%”, then your company must not care about choosing the best people for the job.
Even More Reasons Why Grades Don't Matter
12) You believe there is no correlation with good grades, effort and quality of life. You believe most of the cool kids in school who got poor grades will do great. There is example after example of very successful people who did poorly in school.
You don't believe there is a correlation between education and a good life. Undoubtedly, most of the successful people you see in this world didn't have good grades. You are a “C” student who deserves an “A” lifestyle!
13) You believe as a student looking for a job, you know more than the person who is looking to hire you. As you a student, you have years of experience hiring, firing, and building a team. As a result, your beliefs about the unimportance of grades trumps the hiring manager's beliefs of the importance of grades. After all, you are special and are not delusional.
14) You believe it is easier to re-invent the wheel than accepting one of many variables that indicate performance. You'd rather make your own tennis racquet than buy one from the store, or program your own website than use one of the thousands of customizable templates.
15) You don't care if your doctor did poorly at a no-name med school. All doctors are the same when it comes to performing life saving surgery, so long as they passed the medical exam. Besides, he's a nice guy.
Even More Reasons Why Grades Don't Matter For Making Money
16) Since grades don't matter, you don't believe where you went to school matters either. There isn't a correlation with the most successful people and the schools they attended. If you had a choice, you'd rather go to Chico State than Harvard because grades don't matter getting into school, and therefore schools don't matter.
17) You believe posting your GPA takes up too much space on your resume. 3.3/4.0 takes up seven spaces, which is crucial real estate where you could be writing how great you are.
18) You believe the best way to achieve economic progress is through Socialism. Socialism is when there is no personal responsibility and no reward for hard work. You are willing to help your 2.0 GPA classmate who parties all night by giving her 1.0 of your 4.0 GPA so both of you can have a chance with your 3.0s. As a result, everybody will eventually stop working hard in order to gain benefits from others, and tremendous progress will be made.
19) You've read the best personal finance book today. Since you've already picked up the Wall Street Journal bestseller, Buy This, Not That, you have the education and wisdom to do well in life. You're smart enough to spend ~$20 for the best wealth and life education in the world. If you do, grades really don't matter because you'll be wealthier than most of your peers who don't read!
19) The economy is so hot all you need is a pulse and you can get a job. The situation is exactly like the housing boom where anybody who could sign their name could get a loan. Good credit is meaningless for banks since they've done so well these past three years, just like good grades are meaningless for employers.
Let's Change The Perception That Grades Matter!
After listing all the reasons why grades don't matter, let's start a movement and change perception! It is much easier to change the perception of the thousands of firms, than focus on improving ourselves. Wait a minute, it's actually easier to wear shoes than carpet the world. But whatever.
Forget about studying hard or going back to grad school to give ourselves a second chance. We are special and the world must see who we are! Thanks to the war on merit, we no longer have to work as hard to get ahead. We can get ahead based on our identity and being a kind person!
And if you really believe grades don't matter, then you might as well start your own business (tutorial guide) and see what you can do on your own. There's nothing more genuine than creating something from nothing and eating what you kill.
Heck, you could even create a simple blog like this one and make hundreds of thousands of dollars a year in your underwear. You'll be surprised at how much money you can make online despite having terrible grades!
Wealth Planning Recommendation
College tuition is now prohibitively expensive if your child doesn't get any grants or scholarships. Therefore, it's important to save and plan for your child's future.
Check out Empower's Retirement Planner feature, a free financial tool. It allows you to run various financial scenarios to make sure your retirement and child's college savings is on track. They use your real income and expenses to help ensure the scenarios are as realistic as possible.
Once you're done inputting your planned saving and timeline, Empower will run thousands of algorithms to suggest what's the best financial path for you. You can then compare two financial scenarios (old one vs. new one) to get a clearer picture. Just link up your accounts.
There's no rewind button in life. Therefore, it's best to plan for your financial future as meticulously as possible and end up with a little too much, than too little! I've been using their free tools since 2012 to analyze my investments and I've seen my net worth skyrocket since.
For more nuanced personal finance content, join 60,000+ others and sign up for the free Financial Samurai newsletter. Financial Samurai is one of the largest independently-owned personal finance sites that started in 2009. Grades don’t matter for life success if you are knowledgeable about money.