This study analyzes the preferred grade point average (GPA) that employers are looking for when hiring a college graduate. A survey was emailed to employers who recruit students from the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources at Oklahoma State University. Previous research shows that employers primarily seek soft skills in college graduates, which are difficult to assess. Studies also show that GPA scores, which are easy to assess, are correlated with soft skills, which helps employers make an estimated guess as to whom the company would desire. The survey asks employers to undergo a simulated hiring decision where they must choose between different candidates with different GPA scores and salaries. Their simulated hiring decisions provide unique insights into employers’ preferences for grades among college graduates. Surprisingly, the results show a possible, but mild preference for 3.0 over 2.5 GPA scores, and that employers prefer a 2.5 GPA over a 3.5 GPA and higher. Additionally, larger employers placed greater emphasis on high grades.


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