Do Grades Matter?

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Career Tips

Do Grades Matter?

For a huge fraction of our student lives, we spend our time working hard and worrying about our grades in school or university. 

But this question lingers on most of our minds: “Do grades really matter?” 
The short answer is: yes they do.

But the actual answer is a little more flexible and/or complicated than that. It depends on your priorities, life choices, and personal or professional goals. More often than not, good grades are considered important in the long run even though they may not seem as relevant later on in life.

After all, good grades help us get better access to academic achievements, career opportunities and boost our overall profile.  

Is it always the best idea to prioritize grades over everything? Let us discuss a few scenarios to think about this:
  • You do not wish to or cannot continue with your academics for reasons of your own, in which case, maintaining or improving your grades may not be on the high priority list.

This is fine! There are plenty of options and opportunities for you to explore beyond school and university education such as travelling, early career experiences, independent study, and one of the most popular alternatives out there, TVET (Technical and Vocational Education and Training). The School of Careers offers a range of options for those with alternative academic goals!

  • You’re a star student, the cream of the crop, and have always prioritized maintaining your good scores over other life goals.

This may be the best approach for you if the only focus for you is to land a top job after completing your studies, given you have also rounded out your resume with extracurricular and co-curricular activities. It is true that your future employer will be impressed with your performance as a student but that does not ensure that you will fulfill the requirements of an ideal candidate. Why is this? Most companies want to recruit someone with unique and interesting experiences that go beyond the scores written on a mark sheet. To ensure you have your options ready, feel free to have a look at these post-secondary options to create new experiences for yourself!

  • You either are not too affected by your academics (ie. are not severely impacted by how your grades are), or you have a different plan altogether such as venturing into a startup or project of your own, or you wish to dive straight into careers that do not require formal education.

This is a major decision and is almost always a risk to future career goals, but if you have a good plan with chances of professional success then there is no harm in sticking to it! The important step here is to think of how your life goals, career trajectory, and personal priorities might be impacted if you do not wish to pursue further education. The best way to strengthen your profile is to then shift your focus to developing yourself as an independent individual who can contribute to society and to your respective work field with skills beyond traditional schooling. To help you start, here are some career-building pointers that can boost your professional game! 

It is common knowledge, and the hard truth, that we live in a world surrounded by metrics that are used to measure the levels of success that one can achieve. We have grades, scores, marks, ratings, and multiple measures in place so that others can understand how well you can do as a professional or as a student.

But it is safe to say that while grades do matter, they do not necessarily define you as a person or even as a professional. This is why it’s best to not let your academic performance entirely determine or impact your future career plans – creating flexibility for yourself is always a good strategy!   

We wish you the best of luck in your academics and future career(s)!

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