Though the majority of employers are taking college GPAs into account when making employment decisions, according to a yearly report, some Ohio State students said that isn’t necessarily fair.
About 78 percent of job recruiters screen candidates by grade point average, according to the 2013 National Job Outlook. The cutoff for 63.5 percent of employers is a 3.0 GPA.
The National Job Outlook is released yearly by the National Association of Colleges and Employers as a “forecast of hiring intentions of employers as they relate to new college graduates” based on surveying employers about their hiring plans, according to the report.
In addition to their GPAs, the report said students should include their skills on their résumés — the top desired qualities were leadership, problem-solving skills, written communication skills and the ability to work as part of a team.
Experience in the workforce and involvement around campus are things some OSU students said are more valuable than a GPA.
“I’m a pharmacy student, and not only do I need experienced work as a pharmacy physician, but I’m working (job) shadowing, next semester I start a COSI internship, I’m tutoring and I write for Scarlette Magazine (OSU’s fashion magazine),” said Shaili Rathod, a third-year in pharmacy. “It’s a vast area instead of one thing.”
Other OSU students, though, said GPAs can be important indicators of how well a student performs.
“GPA carries some importance. On a scale of one to 10, I would rate it a seven or eight (10 being the highest),” said Marcus Caplin, a third-year in marketing. “A high GPA helps employers see that you can balance work. Lower GPAs could mean you are struggling balancing classes. (It can show your) work ethic.”
Different career fields might have an influence on how high of a GPA an employer looks for, Caplin said.
“High-level job(s) may require a higher GPA,” Caplin said.
Lauren Zimmer, a fourth-year in art and technology, said having a job during college and having a high GPA shows she’s a hard worker.
“I pay for school and I work,” Zimmer said. “The fact that I maintain a 3.0 shows strong work ethic. I can take on multiple things and multi-task.”
For Spring Semester 2013, the average cumulative GPA for Columbus campus undergraduates was 3.073 and the average term GPA was 3.029, said Linda Katunich, the senior associate director of enrollment, in an email.
Caplin said he understands why employers would consider a 3.0 GPA cut-off.
“A 2.0 is pretty low,” Caplin said. “Who wants an average person (to work for you)?”
Rathod said students shouldn’t forget the importance of grades during college.
“It’s easy to want to give up, but you must see a goal to accomplish,” Rathod said. “With my pharmacy major, it’s been a tough ride, but I know what I want to do and what I can do to get it.”