What are the advantages of a high GPA after a few years of experience?
I'm half way through a bachelor of software engineering, and my GPA is currently quite high.
The issue is, maintaining high grades whilst working full time is a challenge. So my question is, are there any advantages of me maintaining my high GPA when I already have significant industry experience? Or is it a waste of effort?
My main consideration is improving my recruitability, but the general consensus seems to be that after your first job, GPA becomes irrelevant. Is this true? And if it is, are there other advantages outside of recruitability and "bragging-rights?"
The question "Is the B.S. and M.S. in computer science useless for getting a programmer job?" was asked at Quora, here are two answers:
"In the tech industry, unless you went to one of the top C.S. schools, such as Carnegie Mellon, M.I.T., Stanford, or Berkeley... it doesn't really matter if you have a degree or not. What really matters is your ability to code, and your ability to work on a team.".
Another opinion is:
"Not at all. Do a query for computer programmers and see how many positions require degrees.".
Wikipedia's take on B.SE is:
Employers generally seek applicants with strong programming, systems analysis and business skills.
Then the webpage goes on to quote from: "Teaching Software Engineering through Simulation" by Emily Oh and André van der Hoek, at the Institute for Software Research University of California, Irvine which says:
"A large difference exists between the software engineering skills taught at a typical university or college and the skills that are desired of a software engineer by a typical software development organization. At the heart of this difference seems to be the way software engineering is typically introduced to students: general theory is presented in a
series of lectures and put into (limited) practice in an associated class project. While at first this seems to be a reasonable approach, practical, didactic, and timing reasons necessarily lead to the fact that such lectures and class projects often lack an in-depth treatment of the following five issues critical to any real-world software engineering
• Software engineering is non-linear.
• Software engineering often has multiple, conflicting goals.
• Software engineering continuously involves choosing among multiple viable alternatives.
• Software engineering involves multiple stakeholders.
• Software engineering may exhibit dramatic consequences.
In essence, all of these issues relate to the overall process of software engineering. In lectures, this process is difficult to teach because the ideas presented remain abstract and students participate only passively (simply sitting and listening to the instructor). Although class projects involve active participation by the students, time and scope constraints and the dominating focus on deliverables prevent the above issues from being highlighted and communicated to the students. Nonetheless, educating students in these process issues is essential to creating a full understanding of the depth and complicated nature of software engineering—preparing them for the future that lies ahead in industry.".
A high GPA will get you:
Into better schools or back into your own school ahead of others.
Into interviews ahead of others, unless the company has sticker shock from prior candidates.
Labeled as "Educated" (would you prefer the alternative?).
A high GPA will not get you:
Work experience (unless there's a Co-op / Internship).
Into interviews where minimum abilities (and pay) is favored.
Recent education, 10 years from now (unless you get a Doctorate and are hired by the school).
School will follow you throughout your life, and get you in the door both at school and employers whom have requirements and many applicants to whittle down.
The job you have now won't matter 10 years from now IF you get a couple of better jobs in the next ten years, each lasting a few years - of course getting higher and higher pay also becomes a challenge.
School is a recognized foundation, even by the naysayers (do they claim to have no education at all?). School is not everything, not the other skills you need nor the ever preached real life experience (touted most loudly by those with the least education, but important nonetheless).
Thus my answer is:
Q: School or Work ?
A: School or both.
If you didn't need school you wouldn't have had to have gone to school and wouldn't be able to use a computer or ask your question.
There can almost be such a thing as "too much school", there can be such a thing as "too much work" - school is not "too much work", work is (obviously) not "too much school".
Delay Graduation For Work Experience
How can I determine a reasonable salary to ask for?
Is dropping out advantageous, because job experience has more market value than education? (closed, but: 5 answers, high Rep)
How will having multiple undergraduate degree majors affect job prospects?