Is 3.5 GPA Good Enough to Get a Job?

High GPAs mean very little if you cannot perform as an engineer, educator, writer…whatever -er you want to bo

Don’t mistake that school grades do not fully translate to your potential job performance (just a little bit). Most employers really care very little if you have straight As.

At the end of your college, if you have no internships then GPA is all you have, yes you need that 4.0 GPA to land a job.

But most likely you still won’t, I am sorry. Because, again, 4.0 GPA (or 3.5 GPA) means very little to most employers.


Forget about the GPA and go find an internship.

A good GPA merely means to employers that you are a responsible person and know how to manage your time well and get things done

A good GPA + internship means to employers that you are a responsible person and you understand the value of work experience. You are willing to get your hands on a problem and apply what you learn from school.

A 4.0 GPA and no internship means to employers that you are very good at studying and scoring in class and very good at following instructions and meeting expectations.

I have helped hundreds of students to get over impostor syndrome. Here is the advice I give:


  1. You are just as good as you can be and there’s a place for you. Identify what YOU WANT to do and apply. You won’t land a job until you have applied for a few hundred open positions and really understand what you need to land a job you want.
  2. Don’t apply for jobs as you apply for college. They don’t need you to work for them but that doesn’t mean you don’t qualify for the job. It’s often because you didn’t present yourself in a way that the company needed and many college newly grads lack such skill.
  3. Stop paying attention to the noises. No one talks about not getting a job, so what you hear all day is probably good news on social media. Head down, apply, and find out why you are not hired until you are.

My lesson learned:

When I was in my undergrad at UC Berkeley, the only thing I was thinking is to get a 4.0 GPA and that got me nowhere.

I am now working as an education consultant and I got the job because I made an online course (over 200 hours of work and made ~$200). I am now working at my dream job – helping organizations to make information more accessible to their audience with learning theories and technology.

My point is that you need to pay attention to the right things, and doing stuff for free is not a shame. Don’t ask for money, contribute what you can first and people will find your value and hire you one day (expect to put out the work either applying or contributing for at least 10 months before you get noticed).

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