What matters more to be hired: grades or work experience?

I spent time talking with my relatives a while ago and for some reason, we were talking about employment. I didn't know how but my aunts and uncles started to give me advice that I should find a job as soon as today just for me to have some viable "work experience" in my applicant form in the future.

They also emphasized my need to get good grades because, according to one of them,

"No employer wants to hire a dumb-ass."

I kind of disagree with that honestly because your grades can't be accurate most of the time; lessons are forgotten and numbers don't really gauge your eligibility for a job vacancy.

For you, GAG, what matters more? Grades? Work experience?
I'm going to keep this poll as a future reference.

  • Grades
    Vote A
  • Work experience
    Vote B
Select a gender to cast your vote:
I'm a GirlI'm a Guy

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Most Helpful Guy

Most Helpful Girl

  • I will say this once:

    "Work experience, work experience and WHO you know." That is what I say. Yes, grades are important to upkeep for you to get a degree. But a 4-year degree these days are now the new high school diploma. Some look at grades but they mostly want somebody who knows somebody to vouch for your experience and success. Put it this way:

    1. Grades get's you to your degree of choice.
    2. Your degree of choice may get you a spot for most jobs, even if it's not in your field of study. But it's a roadmap to your working career. To get you that interview, but never is it guaranteed to get you in the door. You have to already be IN the door.
    3. It's about WHO you know not just what you know. The world is competitive enough. Over 70% of people of the world have been trained in their field of study whether formally or informally. Some jobs are limited to who the want, not just who they need. Others will do it discriminatingly. And others are not fit for 9-5 jobs. Then you have people who are better fitted to create their own jobs through becoming an entrepreneur.

    So it depends on what career path you choose, and having the right kind of people who support your career. Remember that business and professional references are very important besides internships.

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Have an opinion?

What Guys Said 35

  • Education and grades are important. But work experience and the ability is another important factor.
    You can be good on paper but how about some actual work?
    Many companies keeping the business going by the ideology that you have just explained.

    Many times ability of doing something goes beyond experience as well. These two work together the most.
    Apple hired a 14 years old while Microsoft a 9 years old.
    My cousin does not have degree. But he is working in tech-computer company as technician. Simply he just knows what he is doing. And that's what employer wants.

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  • RELEVANT work experience ------------> grades > work experience.

    However, for fresh graduates, I'd want to see exceptional grades and some kind of work experience, even if its not relevant - to prove you know how to work in a professional team environment.

    The more labour intensive/disgusting the job, the more i am impressed (I recently hired an ex-garbage collector), because if you are smart and are still willing to do a shitty job, then i know you are willing to get your hands dirty when required.

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  • Truth is, it's variable. In reality, the laws of supply and demand are important. If you have skills that are highly specialist and in short supply, you can pretty much dictate.

    Otherwise, you're going to have to suck the employer's cock, to a certain extent. There speaks the jaded voice of experience!

    It really depends on what you intend to do and what your mindset is. Most things are about balance. Of course, you could slave every from birth to impress employers, and it may or may not work. Some people seem to find it easy. Just try and be balanced. Don't neglect the academic, nor the importance of social aptitude!

    Better to have a plan. If you know what you intend to do, you know what kind of pre-requisites are necessary to go into that field. A lot of fields will require post graduate study and some work experience. For generic jobs, they just want to see someone that has a steady work history and won't cause them a pain...

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  • If you go for grades you need a big degree or two. A simple as degree won't cut it. Employers want an AA degree and 7 years work experiences. So work experience is more important. You need at least 2 years at about 3 places and that looks a whole lot better than just a degree. It is also important to put down your volunteer hours. For many jobs they want young people who know how to sell stuff. They won't care about your education.

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  • I own a business.

    I usually only hire college graduates and occasionally a college intern. If someone has graduated from college and has no work experience, I won't hire him. I want to see that he started working at some kind of job since he was 16 or 17 at the latest, not necessarily during school days, as working during the summer is fine. But I want to see something.

    I don't look at grades so much, but I do look at where the person went to college (and of course the major, as we only hire certain types). Keep in mind that if you go to college, your choice of major is extremely important to your future job prospects and lifestyle.

    For you now, any job you get will be unskilled. As you get more skills, you will move up. Your goal at that first job is that when your next employer calls to ask for a reference, your boss says, "Best employee I ever had!" Because that's the person everyone wants to hire.

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  • When your academic career ended a short time ago, your grades are important - after all, that is experience also because you have to work hard to get good grades.
    However, experience always beats grades providing the experience is relevant. So, with time, your grades matter less, but your experience matters more.

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  • Work experience and having the right and good connections to provide good recommendations for you from my own experience.

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  • depends on the job. if you want a high-paying job, chances are they will 'quiz' you on the content you should have learned in school. While this isn't a direct deferment to your grades, it tends to be related.

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  • It's both. You can't be a lawyer or doctor without a degree. But you can work in finance without one as long as you have experience or connections and a aptitude to shine during interviews

    That said. Grades don't matter much. They only really matter for your first job in the profession. After that it doesn't matter. And of course if you wanna work for NASA or something like that - it will defiantly matter. NASA is simply not going to hire a C student

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  • Work Experience by far. So long as you pass your courses, they don't really care how well you did.

    If your school offers any opportunity for work experience as part of the curriculum, TAKE IT.

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  • Work experience. Grades only matter in certain very elitist companies (some banks and law firms for example).

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  • Grades are only important for a very limited amount of internship that want to see your transcripts... Typically they are government jobs. In industry they just want to know that you can do the job for the most part. They measure that by the degrees you have and your relevant work history. In certain professions you'll have technical interviews that you also need to excel at to prove you have the required ability. Then it comes down to your interpersonal skills and networking...

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  • Work experience! Most employers wony even check your grades, abd will only do a background check to make sure that you do have said degree or certificate.

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    • employers can easily check grades, thats what hr departments do so if you get found out that you have lied you will risk getting dismissed and blacklisted

  • I you have work experience at your place of work , you don't need grades. But if your work experience is from other place , then you will need to be graded.

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  • getting good grades, regardless of relavance to your chosen career path, do show you can apply yourself to a task so they are never unimportant to and employer unless you have years of experience

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  • Grades are important for getting your first "real" job if it's a competitive position, especially if you don't have relevant experience.

    After that though, literally no one cares what your GPA is so long as you've got the experience and ability to show you know what you're doing.

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  • People need to stop worrying about grades, they are a reflection of how well you conform to a system and submit to authority. There's a common saying, "c students rule the world."

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    • I've heard that saying before and that is somehow true 😊

    • grades are important. i see both the grades and work experience of my employs. here college diplomas have 5 minimum grade- 10 is max. one that took it with 5, is really inferior to someone who got it with 8. it takes much more studying and brainpower. i'd prefer the 8 over a 5.

  • When you first start out? Grades. 5 years out of school no one gives a crap. They will be checking your work pedigree instead of your degree.

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  • grades hardly matter for the most part. working in a hospital HR department i can tell you that outside of doctor's med school transcripts we never looked at the grades a person had. but rather just that they had the degree

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  • Well they won't look at your application if you don't have the grades they're looking for. Same with work experience. You need both to get an interview.

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  • Work experience, definitely. grades are just.. yeah a piece of paper

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  • Work experience definitely.
    Grades only take you so far.
    Between someone who has managed big events with a proven track record versus a greenhorn with nothing but a piece of paper , people are gonna choose work experience.

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  • as the poll indicates work experience is way more important for most jobs

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  • The most important thing for them is knowing you will do the work well.

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  • younger = grades; adult=work experience - so... both

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  • work experience!

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  • Definitely work experience and determination. I want relentless, smart and experienced (and im my experience that has NOTHING to do with grades) under my command and not a partying kid, always on fb, scared that just happens to know when Napoleon cut his first toenail.

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  • Depends

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  • Work experience - absolutely. But you need to start at the bottom before you can take a higher-type position. That's the way it goes in every company and industry - 9 times out of 10.

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  • work experience above all. only thing they care for... .

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  • More from Guys
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What Girls Said 17

  • Honestly, pretty much everyone leis about work experience, so... I would say it doesn't have to matter. But I've heard lots of companies use software to check your employment background on top of the regular background, so it could be worthwhile to have real experience. I work online and googled about getting hired for companies, and it doesn't seem like self employed people have too much trouble. Sometimes they can, since it can be hard to prove income with self employment, but lots of the self employed say whoever hired them didn't care. They didn't even ask for proof a lot of the time. And yes, this is for when they went back to white collar jobs.

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    • *pretty much everyone lies about work experience

      So you could be fine either way. I don't think grades matter too much or at all, especially not for min wage.

    • Oh, or got hired at new white collar jobs where no one knew them before...

  • It depends on the type of job. If you're applying to a job such as McDonald's, you actually lower your chances of being hired if you highlight your degrees and other educational accomplishments. This is because they assume that a person like that will either expect a higher income or not work there longterm (leave when they find a job relating to their degree).
    I'm not sure about all fields, but for example if you go into medicine they interviewers/employers don't check your marks - they only check that you passed. So I would say work experience is more important in both higher and lower education jobs.

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  • Work experience matters.
    But there's a problem in this world 🌎. No one what's to help anyone, they want you to be already instructed so they won't have to teach you whatever you need to know.
    TBH all I want is my own business I'm tired of working for someone else's and you don't even get 1% of what they making. My stores makes arround 70,000 per month and I get payed nothing! It's so sad...

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    • I meant the store that I work at makes that per month...

    • That's unjust as hell! I feel bad for you 😞
      That's the sad reality of employment.

  • Both matter. But there's something else that matters even more. Having good letters of recommendation. Being known among people of your profession. Interviewers will prefer someone that they have heard about, or that they have some proof he's good at his work, than a total stranger

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    • Letters of recommendation! I haven't thought of that. Thank you!

  • for a fresh grade, the first screening in HR office is your grade for being call on their interview.
    then, the rest is your work experiences. if your garde is not so convincing, then you should put your internship/past projects related to the job so that it give the employer the ideas that "you're capable and experienced" with this job

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  • Relevant and meaningful experience is much better than a grade.

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  • In my opinion, work experience matters more. The employers want to see that you have some experience in the position that you are applying for. I would say grades matter to as well but not as much.

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  • Work experience is important but you're not gonna get good work experience without good grades, so ultimately grades

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  • Your finesse/work experience. Some times it's who you know too.

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  • It really depends on the type of work field. Hard work in school is important to the extent of getting a specific degree and getting a desirable job from that. On the other hand, some jobs prefer focusing more on work experience cuz they want to know how disciplined you are when you work. Simpler, general jobs (McDonalds, Subway, Starbucks, etc.) would mainly focus on work experience while more professional jobs (marketing, medical fields-nurse, doctor) require intelligence and good grades from college to succeed in your career

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  • Work experience.

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  • It is hard to get the first job, but experience will prove what grades don't always show. Not everyone does great in school but excel in work or their profession.

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  • Work experience

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  • Work experience and motivation

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  • Both matter but depending on your job, grades do matter. If you want to an engineer or teacher or something like that, you can't have a D in math. Get good grades and have a good job.

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  • both.

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  • I think it depends partially on your major in school, but decent grades show your ability to think critically, focus and get things done which are positive. however, if you have a lot of experience and your grades are not that great, it still shows commitment and hard work. at the end of the day, employers are looking for hard working, reliable employees who can think on their own and are self motivated to get things done

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