If your main goal in college has been making the grade, it’s time to broaden your focus. Here’s what employers are REALLY looking for.

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.”

To find out how to make the most of your college years, read the full article here. (You can also read the original article, which sparked the debate, here.)

What should college students do to make the most of those college years? Share your thoughts in the comments!


  1. camerany

    very good artilce

  2. Manuela Theissen

    I really agree that many students are much more focused on achieving a certain GPA. It is true that future employers look on GPAs to better know how good their applicants are. After all, GPA may reflect the academic performance of applicants while they were students. Despite that, employers consider GPAs as just part of the equation. They also look on other matters. Some employers even question the GPAs of their applicants when they, after interviews, that their grades don’t really reflect how good they are. GPAs are not all – they are just an indication of how much knowledge and skills a student has accumulated throughout his or his college years. Students should focus on building up their total personality – intellect, emotional stability and credibility while in college.

  3. Robert John

    I can agree with the points discussed here, but the problem is that the current job placement pattern followed by firms is the main reason for students to be much concentrated on GPA. Can you say that the companies hire a student having lower GPA? Never , because companies are setting certain placement criteria on qualifications and one must study hard to reach and pass it out. It’s easy to say that the GPA has nothing to do with skills, but when comes to the real terms we can say that GPA leads and skills follow.

    I’m working as a freelancer in a cheap essay writing service providing company and I often write on academic related topics to bring something useful to student world out of my experiences.

    Robert John

  4. Mr. Savvy

    I couldnt agree more! I graduated from college about a year ago with a sub-par GPA. However I landed my Engineering position at a top IT firm. I went into my interview displaying genuine interest in the company and the people interviewing me. I was equipped with my POP (Proof of Performance) which was a tangible offering of the projects and assignments i had worked on in the past semesters. If my interviewer had a question i referred to my PoP giving them a live illustration of my skills.

    To make the most of college years students should get involved in challenging projects within their fields. The projects allow students to build skills which can later be applied to careers. Interviewers love seeing these on resumes and learning about the during interviews.

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