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I dont know if this is the correct SE to ask this in, but will post it just in case. I am in Australia, and have no interest in going into FAANG, if that makes any difference. Basically, I failed some subjects. They were not late degree subjects, they were literally just subjects for the first semester of the first year. I retook them and did fine, and did fine with the rest of my subjects.

Question is however, would employers care about this when I go for a job in the software engineering area? Obviously they will ask for my transcript but would that be more for to see that you actually were a student that completed the degree, or is it more for to see whether you failed any subjects?

But yeah, would they care whether you failed one or two subjects at the start of your degree (I was still figuring out the transition from highschool to uni). Are they like law firms, where a single fail will basically screw you over badly for high and mid tier firms.

I’m also a law student so I think that those expectations (if you fail a subject you are screwed) have really warped my sense/understanding when it comes to other fields. Can someone provide me some insight please? It would be much appreciated. Is failing subjects a common thing for CS and SE students?

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    Your question sounds familiar. Unless, I am mistaken, someone has asked a very similar question here about 1 or 2 months ago... Commented Feb 8 at 12:10
  • For reference, I had 4 Fs in my first semester out of 5 subjects and graduated 9 years ago with 2.3 Gpa, which is 'C+' in terms of grading. Not a single interviewer had ever looked into my transcript or asked me about my grades. IT industry professionals, if they are indeed professionals, normally don't focus on your grades or transcript. It's generally, how well you perform in the interviews. There may be exceptions though but that's what they are, exceptions!
    – Sherry
    Commented Feb 8 at 19:36
  • Same in US, the vast majority will not care. We were all once young and dumb.
    – Pete B.
    Commented Feb 13 at 13:21

2 Answers 2

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You tagged this Australia, so I will explicitely say my experience is in Germany, in the industry. Any other country's industry and especially academia can vary wildly from my experience, so if you are looking for jobs in Australia, wait for someone with experience there to answer, so you get the advice you need.

My experience in Germany is that nobody cares.

We care for the fact that you finished a BSc (or other education). That is good. That is important.

We don't care how exactly that happend. I am not going in there with a fine tooth comb and find out whether you had food poisoning on your third exam in second semester math class. Whether that readhead was really worth flunking database classes. If you broke a leg skiing on break and missed a semester. I really, really don't care. Your institution vetted you and found you worthy of a title in the end. That's enough for me as far as that goes.

I do care whether you can answer my questions in the interview, showing me that you actually know what you claim you know. But again, whether it took you 2 days to magically get it, or 2 months and two failed tries... is not my concern.

I don't think I have ever looked, or seen another interviewer look at anything more than the type of education and maybe the final grade/average. I don't think I have ever seen a transcript. And sure, for more prestiguous firms that average is important. But for a normal developer job, doing normal developer things, making a normal company normal money, like 99% of us, it's not.

Do you remember how it was a huuuge deal when you came home with that specific grade on that specific test in school? Yeah... it may have looked like a lifechanging event back then, but one year later, nobody cares. And I doubt you have ever again in your life been asked about that test that seemed so important to you and everyone around you back then.

The industry cares whether you can do the job and make them money right now.

What may happen is that a nasty HR person tries to find anything to bring down your self esteem, feel less worthy of the job and make you more susceptible to accept an offer with a lower salary than you may be worth. That seems to be part of their job description. Just be yourself, know what you can do today and don't be intimidated by their questions. Answer them honestly. And believe me, the technical guy next to HR in the interview, that's asking the important questions and that will actuall make the decision whether you would be a good fit for the job, is about as bored and uninterested in those questions as you are.

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  • I don't know why nobody upvoted your answer. It sums up everything perfectly.
    – Sherry
    Commented Feb 8 at 20:30
  • Thankyou so much, your pov really helps just kind of,, put everything to rest,, thankyou Commented Feb 9 at 4:06
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Would they care whether you failed one or two subjects at the start of your degree ?

No. Generally, Not.


Would employers care about this when I go for a job in the software engineering area?

No. Generally, employers do not really care about this.


As long as you have an acceptable GPA, and some practical internship experiences by graduation, you should have a good chance for a good entry level IT job.

Make sure that you earn some useful and meaningful internship experiences before graduation. It will help.

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    The OP is talking about Australia, so the concept of GPA is generally irrelevant. GPA is mainly a USA thing.
    – Peter M
    Commented Feb 8 at 14:50

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