The time that students spend in college is very critical in determining the success or failure in their future lives. College curriculum mainly tries to impart knowledge and skills that are beneficial to a student in dealing with real-world problems outside the college. Consequently, students are faced with several challenging decisions, regarding the effort that they are suppose to apply in order to secure promising prospects in the outside world. Students are usually required to choose academic majors, select preferable clubs, participate in sports and decide on whether to join any fraternity. In consideration to the choice of academic majors, which contribute significantly to the level of an individual student’s Grade Point Average (GPA), the choice of a simple or involving major is significantly important. The questions that keep bombarding the minds of several students are whether some academic majors are better than others, and if a high GPA is important. This research, therefore, seeks to find out how the choice of an academic major, natural ability and GPA affect the future anticipated salary. In other words, it seeks to determine whether there exist any correlation between a student’s GPA and the expected future salary.

Despite the overall performance in college, some students will get attractive jobs and earn high salaries immediately after graduating, while others will undergo numerous challenges in the job market. The choice of certain academic majors and attainment of a high GPA has facilitated a high income in some cases. However, the demands for certain careers are presumably influenced by many factors, other than the level of GPA. These careers require more of particular skills and natural abilities that some few individuals are endowed with. Therefore, the choice of academic majors should be in alignment with natural capabilities and taste of the students. Considering that high GPA usually leads to higher salaries, it may not be attainable by most students. Additionally, certain majors attract the very brilliant and sharp students, thus, creating a disparity in the expected future salaries across different majors and GPA levels. In this regard, students should understand the nature’s imbalance and make decisions that will ensure they are equipped with the necessary skills, applicable in their careers of choice.

The individual student’s choice of academic major and other co-curriculum activities significantly contributes to the GPA rating. The interaction between the student’s ability and a major plays a critical role in ensuring the student’s success. Considering that no specific majors are best choice for an individual’s strengths and interest, there exist majors that are ideal for everyone. Boosting one’s GPA rating improves the likelihood of getting a good starting point. As many employers in the job market world consider the GPA rating in recruiting their employees, it is necessary for a student to work harder to improve his or her GPA rating. Additionally, personal attributes of leadership and management are important in the job market. Therefore, while in college, students should consider additional skills, which are self-taught and cannot be quantified as essential in boosting the overall GPA rating in the job market.

This research will study the factors, contributing to success and means of generating high incomes in the job market, based on other factors, other than the GPA rating of an individual. It seeks to indentify the most significant factor that facilitates high future incomes. The results will help students in their pursuit of academic conquest at the college level, and significantly contribute to their success. A detailed analysis of the results seeks to reveal the relationship that exists between GPA and future salary.

Research questions

In order to come up with the relationship that exists between the GPA and future salary, the research attempt to answer the following questions:

1  How does the GPA rating of a potential employee influence the possibility of getting employment?

2  How important is the academic major of a student GPA to the employer’s offer for job opportunities with high salaries?

3  What are the additional skills and knowledge that employers demand apart from the GPA?

4  What is the relationship that exists between a student’s GPA and additional and non-quantifiable skills, acquired in college?

5  Which is the most significant requirement that plays key role in the job market: is it the GPA rating or the natural abilities and interest?

6  What additional factors contribute to high-expected future salaries apart from what is acquired in college?

Problem statement

This research seeks to address the following problem: what relationships exist between the GPA rating of a graduate and the anticipated future salary? This information will help give college students an insight of the appropriate essentials to focus on that will enhance their chances of earning higher salaries in the future.

The goal of the study is to reveal the fundamentals of expected future salaries, which is the main concern for most students, attending college.  On this perspective, students gain an understanding on the factors that contribute to the likelihood of flourishing in the job market. As matters of GPA, sports and other personal interests are given priority in the research, the results should guide the students on the significance to every skill that they learn in school. Qualitative and quantifiable elements of the student are analyzed and synthesized to give a true representation of the employers’ desires.

The alternative hypothesis states that the GPA rating of a graduate has a significant influence on the future salary. It relates that GPA rating reflects the graduate’s capabilities and skills acquired, while at college, and shows the graduate flexibility of fitting in any responsibility and adjusting to give the organization optimum output.

Literature review

Many studies, done in several decades in the past, have indicated that ability, grades and other non-quantifiable skills, learned at college, have a significant effect on an individual’s future income. All the aspects of the skills, learned in college, should be analyzed in an in-depth manner to give an overall insight of the demands of the job market. This paper would give a center-stage on the future salaries of students, based on the previous researches done, to determine the important elements that students should focus on.

Past papers have given focus on the significance of GPA rating in influencing the anticipated future salaries. Arcidiacono (2004) gives an insight of the GPA rating of the students across numerous colleges as having a great impact on the future salaries of graduates. He points out that GPA rating is influenced by the students’ choice of academic majors, which will bring about their ultimate success. Additionally, he reflects at the students capabilities to influence their choice and interest of certain majors. It is observed that brilliant students go for involving in majors and the attainment of high GPA to boost their image to the employers and are likely to acquire a high salaried job. Although the performance of a new employee, who just graduated, is not reflected by the GPA performance, most employers still consider it appropriate. This tendency is influenced by the fact that brilliant students are flexible and can undertake any task at their disposal.

Thomas et al. (2005) came with an analysis that most graduates, having a high GPA and special training on certain skills, have a high chance of getting employment opportunities that offer high returns. It has been established that although high GPA college graduates stand a better chance of acquiring high salaried employment opportunities, they are later rewarded, based on their mobility and flexibility with time to get more bonuses. Boissiere et al. (1985) give a detailed analysis of the importance of reasoning skills in the workplace that influence the level of income. By synthesizing data from Kenya and Tanzania, it was established that cognitive skills are more relevant in the job market that the grades that were attained in college.

Human capital theory is given a lot of significance by both Wise and David (1975), and Smart and John (1988). Both findings reveal that high grades in college influence, in a great extent, the chance of achieving high returns after graduation. Thomas et al. (2005) examined the effects of high grades immediately after graduation and made conclusions that on a large extent high grades have some impact on the future incomes. On the other hand, Smart and John (1988) mentioned that in addition to the high grades, essential skills, acquired in the field, are significant to a graduate in making high incomes.

According to Becker (1993), the choice to go for high grades depends on their personalities and natural abilities. These factors make students to target opportunities that will favor them and avoid the hustle of high GPA. The GPA rating of the graduate will influence the choice of employment offers and some may settle for the least paying to avoid the task and responsibilities that are attached to other opportunities. Chia et al. (2008) observe that most starting salaries are influenced by the grades, attained at college, as it reflects the graduate’s personality and skills possessed.

This study used elements, obtained from these references, and made an analysis to come up with a unique study that tries to find out the disconnection between GPA rating and future salaries. The recommendation from previous studies and reports gave an insight to this study.

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