Why Grades Matter

Life after university
Universities & courses
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As students in tertiary education, it can be difficult to decide whether or not to continue in our studies when the current job climate is less than favourable. Do we pursue further education to up our game in getting ourselves employed or do we focus on gaining job experience so that our CVs look more formidable? Admittedly, it can be a hard line to toe. Some of you may even be wondering if it's worth studying so hard when in reality, most companies value career experience to academic performance.


Here are some reasons why good grades may be more important than you think:

1. Sets You Apart From the Pack

The world of employment is competitive, tough and very much dog-eats-dog. While some niche companies may prefer experience to grades, having a 2-1 can definitely push you ahead of the group. While experience is important, it isn't everything. Especially for Master's students who have done extensive research or deeper study into their specific fields. A good grade on your Master's degree shows that you have genuine interest and detailed knowledge of your field which can be your trump card when you don't have much experience to rely on. Although a distinction and a 2-1 may only be a few marks apart, they still mean different things on your CV.

 

2. Good First Impression

To achieve a good grade, there must have been some diligent work and effort put into your assignments/ dissertation/ exams. Interviewers recognise this and will often look for academic excellence as an impression that you are hardworking and able to achieve excellence.

This may not be 100% true, since studying and working are not one and the same.

Unless you have extensive experience in the field and reliable references, you could probably get away with a less than average grade and still get a job. You still have to study to pass though, and if you think about it, a mere pass doesn't seem to cut it for employers eventhough you may have work experience.

 

3. For Future Academic Study

If you're into a more academic-focused field where further study is more or less required, getting good grades is largely compulsory for you to move on to the next stage of study.

This is especially important with jobs that need you to pass an exam before you are given a license to work. Alternatively, you could be in a career that enforces continuing career development in which a good academic track record will look most appealing to your employer.

Besides that, a good grade in your postgraduate education can potentially cover a low undergraduate mark. Most employers look at your academic track in full, but they tend to focus on what your recent academic achievement is. So if you've sort of screwed up your Bachelors, it's a good opportunity to “enhance” your CV, let's say.

 

4. Keep You in School

Some universities can be very strict with their students and may expect you to maintain a certain grade to stay in the course. You could also be put on academic probation if you fall below an expected grade.

 

5. Getting the Most of Your Tuition

Since you've already paid for that certificate, why don't you claim what you've spent money for? Your lecturers, library facilities and paid access to literature in the field have already been paid for, so go for gold! You didn't fork out thousands of pounds just to earn a merit grade, did you?


However, there are some counter arguments regarding the importance of grades. Some say grades aren't that important depending on the subject and the university you are studying in. Some people argue that if you have a postgraduate degree, then it shows that you have a good motivation to work, and candidates holding one tend to have more life skills.


The debate peters on, but it really is subjective to your area of study. Grades do matter overall, but getting an excellent grade and ignoring the 'experience' aspect is probably not the wisest thing to do as well. Talk to your seniors and lecturers and ask them what you need to get on top of the 'hiring' list. Universities prioritise their students' employment rate as well, and there will be a team of experts behind you to help you pave a path to a respectable career.

Enroll to a course via our website and you will receive a bursary worth £300 because helping students' realise their ambitions is what we do. In the meantime, we want to hear your thoughts so give us a shoutout on Facebook and Instagram!