If your main goal in college has been to be an A-student, you may not have loved the recent declaration from Google that your GPA doesn’t really matter when it comes to landing your dream job. But before you skip out on your next exam in protest, make sure you’ve got the full story.
In an interview with the The New York Times, Laszlo Brock, senior VP of people operations for Google, did say that “GPAs are a worthless criteria for hiring,” but he didn’t mean to imply your entire college education is moot. Rather, he meant that your focus in college should be on much more than simply making the grade.
In a follow-up piece, New York Times writer Thomas Friedman shared additional statements from his interview with Brock, which clarify that what really matters to employers is what you get out of your time at college — the skills you learn, the choices you make and the thought processes you demonstrate. As Friedman writes:
“My belief is not that one shouldn’t go to college,” said Bock. It is that among 18- to 22-year-olds — or people returning to school years later — “most don’t put enough thought into why they’re going, and what they want to get out of it.” Of course, we want an informed citizenry, where everyone has a baseline of knowledge from which to build skills. That is a social good. But, he added, don’t just go to college because you think it is the right thing to do and that any bachelor’s degree will suffice. “The first and most important thing is to be explicit and willful in making the decisions about what you want to get out of this investment in your education.” It’s a huge investment of time, effort and money and people should think “incredibly hard about what they’re getting in return.”
What should college students do to make the most of those college years? Share your thoughts in the comments!