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How much do my grades/school matter?

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Hi, I haven't been on this forum in a while because the game side of programming has kinda been on hold, but I figured this would be a good forum to ask this question.

I am a Computer Science student at a small school, and lately my grades have been less than great. Mainly, my issue has been calculus, which has been a struggle to me. I usually get Bs in my main classes, but I've had to repeat calc II 3 times now and will hopefully get it the fourth (I can't believe that I got a C- and needed a C, that seems cruel). My question is how much grades matter when people look at a fresh graduate. I don't necessarily need my first job to be in the game industry, in fact I'm more worried that when I graduate, and I have no work experience in the field, that either my grades will be looked at and I will be turned down or not looked at at all. For those of you in the field, how do people get their first job? I'm wondering if I need to just give up on my major with 20 classes left to take because of my grades, because I'm not even sure if I can get an internship like this. Also, I already know that some schools are more valued that others, but how much does this matter?

Currently my options are to continue on with my program, change majors, go to some sort of technical school in a related field or try to do things some outside way where I just write some programs are try to start my own business. I know that my grades haven't been great, but I feel like I do have an understanding of how to program at least at an entry level and I picked up a lot from my classes, but I just don't know if that's going to be enough to net me a job and I really don't want to graduate and find out that my degree is basically worthless.

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Original post by Tom Sloper
Nobody will want to look at your transcript. Nobody cares about grades, once you've graduated.
Be more concerned about learning the stuff you need to learn.


Alright, that's good to hear, but what about experience? I'm not too sure if I can get an internship, and my work experience has been running a DJ business, pushing carts and fast food. All of the jobs I've looked at getting into tend to say "2-4 years of experience in X" even the entry level ones. Is there some secret to getting in on your first job or some sort of job I can get without the degree that is going to help?

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2-4 years of experience is one of those nice to haves. Someone with experience will still win out, but companies need to hire someone. If you know your stuff it's less important. Combine that with some hobby/open source games and that can be enough.

Likewise, the grades aren't as important as the degree and knowing how to program. But integration is a fairly useful concept to grasp. The grades aren't terribly important, but they are perhaps indicative of failing to learn something there for some reason.

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Original post by Xetahex
1. I'm not too sure if I can get an internship, and my work experience has been running a DJ business, pushing carts and fast food.
2. All of the jobs I've looked at getting into tend to say "2-4 years of experience in X"
3. even the entry level ones.
4. Is there some secret to getting in on your first job
5. or some sort of job I can get without the degree that is going to help?

1. Why are you saying all this? What does it have to do with anything?
2. Then you're not qualified for THOSE jobs. There are lots of other jobs.
3. Nonsense. An entry level job cannot possibly be the same thing as a job that requires 4 years of experience. Your words are utter nonsense, I say! Entry level jobs are just that: entry level.
4. Of course -- a degree and a portfolio and the right location, for starters. Read the FAQs (scroll up and click the tiny link "View Forum FAQ").
5. Without the degree? What kind of crazy thing are you saying? I said nobody cares about your grades, I never said nobody cares if you have a degree. You need a degree, for most jobs. Read the FAQs.

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Original post by Tom Sloper
Nobody will want to look at your transcript. Nobody cares about grades, once you've graduated.


just to highlight on implication of this sentence. If the bad grade keeps you from getting a degree then people will care. A C vs. a B though they won't care. Of course if you're a 4.0 student, and you highlight graduating magna cum laude on your resume someone might think better of you, but it probably won't be a make or break deal.

Grades aren't the best indicator of ability imo. At least for me, I probably could have gotten straight As, but it was a situation where I could get straight As and school would be my life, or I could get a 3.2 GPA and be able to be president of a club while participating in other extra-curriculars working on hobbies and being able to have fun.

I would recommend trying as hard as you can to understand calc 2 though because calculus is one of the cooler maths you can learn. :[ That and tasty tasty linear algebra... mmmmmmmm linear algebra.

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Original post by Xetahex
All of the jobs I've looked at getting into tend to say "2-4 years of experience in X" even the entry level ones. Is there some secret to getting in on your first job or some sort of job I can get without the degree that is going to help?

As Tom said, that is nonsense. The adverts you are looking at are not entry level positions. Companies don't need to advertise entry level jobs because they get so many applicants. They need to advertised for experienced staff because they are harder to find.

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