What Are Employers Looking For?

by Jay Schalin

It’s not a high college GPA, according to a very small, informal survey of successful business people by Hamilton College professor Bob Paquette posted on See Thru Edu. His respondents dismissed the GPA as a smokescreen that can be inflated with creative scheduling. What they wanted to see were hard classes and personality traits indicating tough-mindedness, creativity, and social skills. Granted, his sample consisted almost entirely of entrepreneurial or claw-your-way-up-the-ladder types, so the results are likely skewed a bit toward the rugged individual. It’s very possible that bureaucratic HR drones in large corporations and the government rely quite a bit on GPAs.

Bob’s money quote came from a rags-to-riches construction executive who said that “Many of the best universities produce the worst employees.”