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Old 10.02.2015, 16:19
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University's Grades are important for getting a Job?

I am studying Master of Science in Computer Science in Switzerland. A friend told me that some companies ask for high grades. I heard it first time and surprise because I haven't care about my grades, was thinking to pass course is enough.

Do you have any experience about it in Switzerland, specially for Software Developers?

Thank you
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Old 10.02.2015, 16:31
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Re: University's Grades are important for getting a Job?

I guess if all other things are equal, they may look at your grades. But I think there are many other things that count for more, especially the impression you make at the interview etc.
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Old 10.02.2015, 16:58
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Re: University's Grades are important for getting a Job?

Yes this is very common here. Comparing a graduate with limited work experience to another requires some sort of distinction. Grades tend to be the easiest.

Doesn't mean you won't get interviews or a job if you only achieved a pass. But in certain fields it can get tricky..
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Old 10.02.2015, 17:01
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Re: University's Grades are important for getting a Job?

Everyone has their own path they follow through university. Therefore I think stating that you must score high grades is not realy the best advice. But certainly making a decent effort is important although not a prerequisite (must do).

As amogles has stated indeed the attitude of the person being interviewed is the major factor.

Good luck.
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Old 10.02.2015, 18:01
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Re: University's Grades are important for getting a Job?

An interesting question. Not sure about Switzerland, but certainly in the UK, grades are very important. If you apply for a post grad management training scheme with any of the large firms, they will only read the CVs of students with 2.1 and above- and they will even look back at GCSE (exams at 16) and A'Levels (pre uni exams).

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Old 10.02.2015, 18:12
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Re: University's Grades are important for getting a Job?

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An interesting question. Not sure about Switzerland, but certainly in the UK, grades are very important. If you apply for a post grad training scheme with any of the large firms, they will only read the CVs of students with 2.1 and above- and they will even look back at GCSE (exams at 16) and A'Levels (pre uni exams).
I think this is a cultural thing.

In Switzerland they generally assume, if you have a degree from ETH you must be super smart. Even to pass with a poor grade, you must be smart.

In the UK, the attitude is more, uni is pretty soft and they're letting weak students pass so we should look at the grades and consider candidates with poor grades useless.

In the USA the attitude is more, universities suck regardless of grades so the interview itself should be more like an exam and we'll ask lots of difficult and tricky questions to see what he knows and can do.
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Old 10.02.2015, 18:13
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Re: University's Grades are important for getting a Job?

Hi,

In my experience as a non-german speaking expat grades doesn't seem to be a deciding factor. On both of my previous jobs everything was decided based on the interview, interestingly enough they never asked me for any certification of completion of the degrees I stated in my CV.

That said, I did bring to the table experience through internships in a couple of different places... that I had found to make a huge impact so if you can work and study at the same time, go for it!

In any case, it might be different for German speaking professionals, as they have access to the whole market and I only have to the English speaking ones.

Hope it helps.
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Old 10.02.2015, 19:09
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Re: University's Grades are important for getting a Job?

I used to recruit for 2 [renowned] global consulting firms. They would hunt candidates on the dean's list (before they even graduate). Fly them in, wine and dine them. Applicants from unknown universities and/or not on honours list don't even get their resumes reviewed. Sorry but this is the honest truth. Interviews are extremely gruelling with case studies. However, once hired, it's a sweet deal with tons of perks. Most get burned out after 2 years. They also have an "up or out" policy. If you don't get promoted within 2 years, it's bhuh bye and out the door. It's a tough world. My advice is always give your best in whatever you do. Half ass effort will get you nowhere.
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Old 10.02.2015, 19:14
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Re: University's Grades are important for getting a Job?

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I used to recruit for 2 [renowned] global consulting firms. They would hunt candidates on the dean's list (before they even graduate). Fly them in, wine and dine them. Applicants from unknown universities and/or not on honours list don't even get their resumes reviewed. Sorry but this is the honest truth. Interviews are extremely gruelling with case studies. However, once hired, it's a sweet deal with tons of perks. Most get burned out after 2 years. They also have an "up or out" policy. If you don't get promoted within 2 years, it's bhuh bye and out the door. It's a tough world. My advice is always give your best in whatever you do. Half ass effort will get you nowhere.
In the world of consulting maybe.

In the world of engineering this is not how things work. High flyers are not hired through the departments. That what trainee programs and talent management schemes do. If you're being hired directly through a department its because they need you in the salt mines and unless it turns out and you mutate into a high flyer, that's probably where they'll be keeping you for the first 5 years or so. It's often a binary situation from there on. Either you work your arse off because you want to be promoted, or you do just enough so they don't fire you. Anything in between is wasted energy, and you know how engineers abhor inefficiency. The job of managers is to fool engineers into thinking they've got a chance of being promoted when they haven't, whereas a good engineer stands out because he is immune to being fooled (cynical exaggeration maybe, but you get the point).

Last edited by 3Wishes; 09.04.2015 at 11:39. Reason: changed name in quoted text
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Old 10.02.2015, 19:15
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Re: University's Grades are important for getting a Job?

Never heard of a 'dean's list'! Is that a USA thing? How easily can a place on such a list be bought by influencial parents, etc???
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Old 10.02.2015, 19:21
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Re: University's Grades are important for getting a Job?

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Never heard of a 'dean's list'! Is that a USA thing? How easily can a place on such a list be bought by influencial parents, etc???
Never heard of a dean's list, but I have heard of the blood hounds, mosquitoes and talent leeches being sent around the universities to identify the gullible and weak of mind. This is no legend.
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Old 10.02.2015, 19:33
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Re: University's Grades are important for getting a Job?

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I used to recruit for 2 [renowned] global consulting firms. They would hunt candidates on the dean's list (before they even graduate). Fly them in, wine and dine them. Applicants from unknown universities and/or not on honours list don't even get their resumes reviewed. Sorry but this is the honest truth. Interviews are extremely gruelling with case studies. However, once hired, it's a sweet deal with tons of perks. Most get burned out after 2 years. They also have an "up or out" policy. If you don't get promoted within 2 years, it's bhuh bye and out the door. It's a tough world. My advice is always give your best in whatever you do. Half ass effort will get you nowhere.
Sounds like absolute hell, and I have no idea why anyone would want to work for a company that burns people out in the 2 years they are supposed to aim for their first promotion.

Last edited by 3Wishes; 09.04.2015 at 11:40. Reason: changed name in quoted text
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Old 10.02.2015, 19:36
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Re: University's Grades are important for getting a Job?

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Never heard of a 'dean's list'! Is that a USA thing? How easily can a place on such a list be bought by influencial parents, etc???
Dean's list is just another label for GPA's > X; the exact criteria varies school to school (or in some cases by department).

I think it's similar to "1st class" under the UK scale.
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Old 10.02.2015, 19:52
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Re: University's Grades are important for getting a Job?

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Sounds like absolute hell, and I have no idea why anyone would want to work for a company that burns people out in the 2 years they are supposed to aim for their first promotion.
I hear you. But the money is good, and perks are even better. The job is challenging and rewarding. Training is absolutely amazing. Not everyone burns out, only the best survive and prosper. There is never any shortage of applicants; I regularly have more than 200 resumes in my inbox. This type of work/environment will attract the go-getters, not the average Joe. The philosophy is we work hard, we play harder. I can attest to that. :-)
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Old 10.02.2015, 20:08
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Re: University's Grades are important for getting a Job?

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I hear you. But the money is good, and perks are even better. The job is challenging and rewarding. Training is absolutely amazing. Not everyone burns out, only the best survive and prosper. There is never any shortage of applicants; I regularly have more than 200 resumes in my inbox. This type of work/environment will attract the go-getters, not the average Joe. The philosophy is we work hard, we play harder. I can attest to that. :-)
Good luck tapping the millenial source, this model died years ago. We want quality of life now and not live to work. Yes you might find a few who will be willing to do that but they'll get less and less by the years.

An employee wants prospects, training and guidance for his career path. Fail either of those and he will jump ship sooner than you can imagine.

@OP: Grades shouldn't matter as much as experience during your degree. Have you done any internships, won any UNI projects or participated in Tech events as a contestant..that kind of thing. Anything to show you didn't sit on your ass for 4 years...especially if your grades are a bare pass.

Last edited by 3Wishes; 09.04.2015 at 11:40. Reason: changed name in quoted text
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Old 10.02.2015, 20:42
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Re: University's Grades are important for getting a Job?

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I used to recruit for 2 [renowned] global consulting firms. They would hunt candidates on the dean's list (before they even graduate). Fly them in, wine and dine them. Applicants from unknown universities and/or not on honours list don't even get their resumes reviewed. Sorry but this is the honest truth. Interviews are extremely gruelling with case studies. However, once hired, it's a sweet deal with tons of perks. Most get burned out after 2 years. They also have an "up or out" policy. If you don't get promoted within 2 years, it's bhuh bye and out the door. It's a tough world. My advice is always give your best in whatever you do. Half ass effort will get you nowhere.
Yes, in the McKs and BCGs of the world, this may well be.

It's not like this in other places.

I used to recruit grads for a big MNC here (non-consulting) a few years ago and no, we didn't care about grades (still don't), not for grads from a Swiss uni anyway. It's different here, the quality of universities is very high, fewer people even go to uni at all and the ones that do are certainly considered to have a certain level of intelligence and intellect that will be sufficient for most entry-level jobs in their field of expertise.

Agree with previous poster, good luck with the above approach in a few years' time - it won't be a world where companies can choose, but where applicants can, the well educated ones anyway. Companies will have to change their approach MASSIVELY. But why am I not surprised employers still don't seem to understand that…

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Sounds like absolute hell, and I have no idea why anyone would want to work for a company that burns people out in the 2 years they are supposed to aim for their first promotion.
Part of their business model But I guess everyone even remotely interested in the big consulting firms should know that by now and be aware of what they're getting into...

Last edited by 3Wishes; 09.04.2015 at 11:40. Reason: changed name in quoted text
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Old 10.02.2015, 22:48
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Re: University's Grades are important for getting a Job?

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Part of their business model But I guess everyone even remotely interested in the big consulting firms should know that by now and be aware of what they're getting into...
Not all big consulting firms operate like that...

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I hear you. But the money is good, and perks are even better. The job is challenging and rewarding. Training is absolutely amazing. Not everyone burns out, only the best survive and prosper. There is never any shortage of applicants; I regularly have more than 200 resumes in my inbox. This type of work/environment will attract the go-getters, not the average Joe. The philosophy is we work hard, we play harder. I can attest to that. :-)
I understand what you mean, it's an aggressively competitive environment, but I do think you need some balance in any role. If you are commonly burning people out in 2 years, and you are only presumably hiring the "best and brightest" to begin with, then that isn't necessarily a good thing imo.

Last edited by 3Wishes; 09.04.2015 at 11:40. Reason: changed name in quoted text
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Old 10.02.2015, 22:53
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Re: University's Grades are important for getting a Job?

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This type of work/environment will attract the go-getters, not the average Joe. The philosophy is we work hard, we play harder. I can attest to that. :-)
Welcome to the 90s! You'll love it. I did, when I was there.

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Old 17.02.2015, 23:29
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Re: University's Grades are important for getting a Job?

thank you very much for all replies. I will try to do my best
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Old 17.02.2015, 23:45
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Re: University's Grades are important for getting a Job?

I don't think they're that important in many fields, unlike for example italy where they watch that but it's easy to get a good vote and everyone can get through university (you can repeat exams ad libitum and get a degree over 8 years) so it's mostly about filtering the mass out, while in switzerland there is a quite strong selection even at high school level. I'd say connections, a curriculum enriched with something distinguishing and languages are more important, score is still important though, try to do better if you can do it with only a bit more of study.
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