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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.

closed as primarily opinion-based by Dukeling, gnat, Jim G., Michael Grubey, Twyxz Oct 29 '18 at 8:24

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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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 '18 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. – Iamanon Oct 27 '18 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. – Iamanon Oct 28 '18 at 13:14
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    @Dukeling This is not a duplicate of your linked post. – Iamanon Oct 28 '18 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. – Iamanon Oct 28 '18 at 13:37
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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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Don’t be silly. As a PhD holder your asset is no longer your GPA but your publication. High GPA is almost always a requirement for getting into PhD, thus asking for GPA grades for a PhD-level position is stupid.

PhD holders are expected to answer the following:

  • Do you have nice publication to a high impact journal?
  • How many citations you have?
  • Do you understand the topics well better than non-PhD holders? If you don't, you might be in trouble.
  • Do your papers show great useful ideas? Are they just dummy publication just to finish off your degree?
  • How did you defend your thesis? Similarly, how did you defend yourself in a peer review journal?
  • What are the conferences that invited you as a speaker. Are they world-class conferences? Who attended those conferences?
  • Who is the last author in your paper?
  • How many publication do you have?
  • Do you have your own fellowship?

GPA is not important for a phd-level position. Any position that only need GPA from you will treat you just like a fresh Bachelor applicant.

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    @BSMP It does matter a lot. Ability to obtain a fellowship mean the candidate is highly competitive opposed to someone who barely finish off PhD. – SmallChess Oct 28 '18 at 6:55
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    At least in Europe nobody outside of the academia cares about "how you defended your thesis" or the conferences you participated in. Or even about publications, citations, etc. That's something that matters a lot in academia, but not in the industry. – BigMadAndy Oct 28 '18 at 8:09
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    @BSMP Don't private sector companies view awards on your resume as a bonus? I see fellowships as fitting under awards. – Iamanon Oct 28 '18 at 13:39
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    @385703 I also don't think private sector companies care about your publications&citations, unless it's a very research-based position. – Iamanon Oct 28 '18 at 13:39
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    It'd be useful to put your background here, as it will shed light on your assertions of what interviewers in industry will ask a PhD. It runs contrary to my experience as a PhD that went into tech in the US. – Chan-Ho Suh Oct 28 '18 at 19:15

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