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I was just curious to see if anyone knows if big tech companies (e.g., google, apple, facebook, etc..) care about the GPA you got as a PhD student?

I heard they care for Bachelor's degrees. Not sure about master's, but I imagine they'd care.

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    I would think that the big companies would care, they would get numerous applicants so would be looking for filters.
    – Kilisi
    Oct 27, 2018 at 21:36
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    I just figured they'd see that your degree is a PhD and automatically think that getting a high GPA isn't really the focus of a research-based PhD program.
    – anonuser01
    Oct 27, 2018 at 21:46
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    @Kilisi This is not so clear-cut as a PhD student. Trying my best on a course means I'm taking time away from research, which is the only thing that determines when I graduate.
    – anonuser01
    Oct 28, 2018 at 13:14
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    @Dukeling This is not a duplicate of your linked post.
    – anonuser01
    Oct 28, 2018 at 13:14
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    @Dukeling Yes, but the OP of that question indicates the question is regarding an undergrad GPA of an applicant out of college, where the focus was on classes obviously. I've seen a lot of tech companies care a lot about the GPA of a fresh college grad. My question pertains to the GPA a PhD applicant obtained in graduate school, where the focus is on research. Honestly, I just wanted to see if anyone here with, or knows of someone, with a PhD, who is working at a tech company has had experience with whether their GPA in grad school made an impact in hiring or if it was even requested.
    – anonuser01
    Oct 28, 2018 at 13:37

3 Answers 3

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It's one data point.

Interviewing is not about "passing a test", it's about determining if there is a good fit between the job and the person. Fit includes technical skill, interest, personality, culture, career path, etc.

Most interviewers are interested in your achievements: Not what you have done, but what the result and impact of your work was. As a fresh graduate, there typically isn't a whole lot of data you can go with, so the GPA is at least something quantitative to look at.

In general industry likes tangible outcomes: projects, hands one experiences, wrangling a bunch of people or some lab equipment to get something tricky done, etc. Publications tend to be more relevant for an academic career.

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I interviewed a physical chemist PhD for a software position with a tech company. (The job was to work on the Point of Sale application. If you live in the US, there is a 35% chance you have used my software.) He could have done himself a favor by leaving his six pages (no exaggeration) of papers on obscure subjects off his resume. If he were looking for a research job, this would be relevant; for us, it meant we had to flip though pages of stuff I don’t care about to see that he did anything relevant to what we do. If it IS relevant and it IS for a research position, I can’t advise you.

But that is not what you were asking.

When I see a GPA on a resume, if it is not above 3.8, I wish they would leave it off. If it is, I am impressed but I still want to know what they can do for US, not the school. The nephew of a friend sent me a resume with his 2.8 GPA listed. That killed it for me. I did not bother to ask to interview him.

If you do have an excellent GPA, just list it after your degree.

University of Southern North Dakota at Hoople, Hoople, ND

  • Ph.D. Computer Science, 2018, (GPA 3.9/4.0).
  • M.S. Computer Science, 2014, (GPA 4.0/4.0).

After you have been out of school for a few years, I recommend leaving the year and GPA off. Companies are interested in what you have done lately, not in years past.

In the experience section, you can list out the research you did maybe with a comment about papers that were published and honors you received.

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If your GPA is high enough, typically you get an honorific attached to your diploma.

Magna Cum Laude or Summa Cum Laude (high honors / highest honors) is about all you need to say about your GPA. As it is part of the degree title, it's also less annoying.

If a company wants your exact GPA, then odds are they won't just take your word for it, so why not send them a sealed copy of your school transcript? That's what you'd have to do to apply to a University.

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