Why College Grades Do Not Matter after Graduation

The basics of education are to ensure that learners are acquitted with enough skills that can help them in being more productive in the society. This concept solves some of the critical challenges that humans face as they undertake daily duties in different learning institutions. Equally, the increase in the number of colleges over the last two decades elaborates the demand to attain college degree across the world. Understandably, most parents believe that school acts as a stepping stone towards achieving a great future for their siblings (Roth et al., 1996). However, the continued change in globalization and the dynamism in the corporate world has diminished the need for college degrees (Cappelli, 1992). The slow recovery of the world labor market after the great recession in different parts of the universe has increased the rate of unemployment, especially on skilled workers. As such, the study discusses the worthiness of college degrees after graduation and the impact they have on the lives of their holders. Moreover, the research finds that college grades do no matter in the later stages of life given that success requires the integration of several disciplines and co-curricular activities that are not only dependent on education.

Notably, the frequency of employment for the college-educated workers has substantiated, and many graduates are struggling to get jobs. Similarly, the rise in the number of tertiary institutions that provide equivalent skills such as those offered in colleges has increased over the years. Many governments sponsored students in the United States find themselves with high debt burden including the government loan. The research by Beatty et al. (2015) provides that better grades and GPA lead to a better profession with good salary in a selected industry. Equally, the success in the college exams acts as the motivating factor for students joining Ivy League institution (Beatty et al., 2015). In essence, the earnings depend on the type of degree studied and the merit obtained. However, the scarcity of opportunities in the labor market has prompted employers to consider other qualifications and abilities that make the students unique to the profession.

The interview conducted by Ijaz (2014) disputes the importance of college degrees after graduation. The scholar interviewed about fifteen students regarding the importance of higher GPA and life after schools. Notably, thirteen of the fifteen respondents claimed the college grades do not entirely determine the life of an individual given that a higher GPA means that a student has a higher power to remember what can be brought in the exams, thus, passing the provided tests. Further, such success implies that ‘someone is good in school.’ Similarly, higher grades show that a student has a good memory, and this aspect can fail to reflect success in the professional sector. Higher grades are also ‘numbers shown on a paper’, and this concept implies that students should focus more on the experience they get in school as an approach to improving their social life.

The interviewed audience also portrayed that grades do not define an individual as it fails to illustrate the social, cultural, and personal traits of a student (Ijaz, 2014). Significantly, the report provided by Hoyt (1965) corroborates this assertion when the outcome showed that college grades are not related to the achievements in the adult life. The association between these two elements are less significant, thereby, reiterating that college grades do not matter, but the social capacity of the student does. The findings indicate that learners should strive to incorporate cultural, social, and educational aspects as a strategy to succeeding in the adult life given that these are crucial values that are evaluated during the employment stages.

Different professions have established professional courses that employers consider to be more reliable than college degrees. For instance, the emergence of organizations such as the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) has changed the perception of employers on university certificates (Beatty et al., 2015). Other diplomas such as the International Actuarial Association (ICA) reduce the marketability of any graduate who is yet to receive the professional paper.

The rise in the number of cheating in exams and increased reports in the amount of sexually obtained degrees has led to questioning the validity, level of transparency, and reliability of colleges. Thus, many employers opt to establish the skills of their recruits not only by looking at their academic qualifications but also through accessing their skills. Equally, due to the high level of unemployment around the globe, many graduates engage in activities they were not trained in to meet their financial needs. Most of the affected populations get informal training in different areas including welding, carpentry, farming, and entrepreneurship to help them start their enterprises.

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However, according to Hoyt (1965), obtaining a college degree is primarily the first step in establishing the bright future. Also, most universities have been coupled with increasing levels of corruption; they have been successful in training students to apply the skills they learn in their majors to either start new ventures or change the methods of carrying out different tasks in their profession. Additionally, Ijaz (2014) established that college degree helps in increasing lifetime earnings. On average, a degree holder can earn 31% more than other skilled employee with either an associate degree or high school diploma.

In addition, Cappelli (1992) supports the fact that grades are never accurate in assessing the performance and prowess of a student. This finding is attributed to the study that was conducted by the Office of Educational Research and Improvement (OERI). Colleges can be essential in evaluating the potential of a student’s extracurricular activities prowess, which is critical to any job performance given their practicability in the job market. Conversely, the grades themselves fail to indicate this advantage, a factor that shows their lack of importance in the adult life of a learner (Cappelli, 1992).

In conclusion, the dynamics of the global market has rendered college degrees useless as it has increased the rate of unemployment, changed the perception of employers towards the degrees, thus, raising the number of professional papers availed in various markets. The need to incorporate social life and other cultural aspects into the adult life shows the lack of significance of grades after graduation. Therefore, students should not over-rely on good grades to get a proper job in the market or industry of choice as they lack practicability during the performance. The current structures demand that employees must deliver to ensure that companies remain sustainable and competitive, a factor that cannot be achieved by college grades alone.



Beatty, A. S., Walmsley, P. T., Sackett, P. R., Kuncel, N. R., & Koch, A. J. (2015). The reliability of college grades. Educational Measurement: Issues and Practice, 34(4), 31-40. https://doi.org/10.1111/emip.12096

Cappelli, P. (1992). College and the workplace: How should we assess student performance? Washington, DC: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED). https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED358323.pdf

Hoyt, D. P. (1965). The relationship between college grades and adult achievement. A review of the literature. Iowa City, IA: U.S. Department of Health, Education & Welfare. https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED023343.pdf

Ijaz, S. [The Red Couch]. (2014, April 4). 2.0 Vs 4.0 – Good grades reflect better jobs? [Video]. YouTube. https://youtu.be/7AWGFexLkSE

Roth, P. L., Bevier, C. A., Switzer, F. S., & Schippmann, J. S. (1996). Meta-analyzing the relationship between grades and job performance. Journal of Applied Psychology, 81(5), 548-556. doi:10.1037/0021-9010.81.5.548