You have asked a very, very interesting question, “Is your GPA important for a career in accounting?” Depending on how you interpret words such as GPA and career, you could have received entirely different answers to GPA importance in accounting. To try to shed some light on this question, let’s first interpret GPA as high school GPA. An article in The Harvard Crimson explores the relationship between high school GPA and future college success, and this article finds that high school GPA is a better indicator than SAT score of future college success. At this point, you may be wondering why I am even talking about high school GPA. After all, you are most likely in college and are considering a career path in accounting. However, it is important to note that while in high school and in college, you are a student. Conversely, while working at a Big Four Public Accounting Firm or elsewhere, you are not a student. You are instead an employee. This distinction between student and employee may seem much nuanced. There is a reason for making such a distinction. The traits or skills that may make an individual successful in high school or college may not always be transferable to being successful for a career in the “real world.” For an in depth discussion, please read working as a CPA at a Big 4 Accounting Firm.
Chlorophyll: Is Your GPA Important to be Noticed by Employers or Graduate School?
Without prior work experience for employers or prior graduate school for graduate school selection committees, it may be highly difficult to gauge a candidate’s aptitude for success. So how in the world do these parties decide who to select?
As seen in Billy Madison, paying attention in class and not making out with the student next to you are probably good indicators of success 🙂 In all seriousness though, employers and graduate school selection committees will heavily consider your GPA as a signal for hard work, intelligence, and future success. A high GPA is by no means a guarantee for a position, but it most certainly does not hurt. In this stage, GPA probably has the highest importance for you as an aspiring accountant.
Job Interview: Is Your GPA Important During the Job Interview?
Now assuming that you have received that coveted interview, you may be wondering how important is your GPA during the job interview? For some tips of what not to do during an interview, check out this clip from Step Brothers 🙂
Indicating that you are not good at listening, asking the interviewer how much he or she makes before taxes, and farting for a really, really long period of time during the interview (or ever) are probably some of the worst things you can do during an interview. As far as GPA is concerned, your GPA helped you get to the interview. As a result, your interviewer already knows that you are intelligent. Fixating on your specific GPA during your interview will more than likely not increase your chance of success. Instead, talking about your experiences, showing your soft skills, and truly developing a connection with your interviewer will help you succeed. After all, the interviewer really wants to know would I mind working with this person eight or more hours a day.
Network: Is Your GPA Important for a Career in Accounting?
Congratulations! You did amazing in the interview, and you have received your job or graduate school of choice. Rule number one: don’t talk about fight club under no circumstances, bring up your high school, college, or graduate school GPA. If you do, chances are you will be branded with some unkind terms like in the following clip from The Social Network. Enjoy 🙂
As always, remember to breathe.