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Hiring new grads- statistics

Hiring new grads- statistics

Hiring new grads- statistics

(OP)
"the highest performers after year 2 on the job were between a 3.2 and 3.7 GPA. For people with industry experience, we found no statistically significant difference anywhere between 3.1 and 4.0 GPA"

I stole that from Reddit. The first thing I wondered was whether there was any statistical difference between 3.2 to 3.7 and 3.1 to 4.0, but that's just me. I also did wonder how many they took on with GPAs below 3.0.

However, statistical quibbles aside, it seems to show that industry experience before or during university compensates for some extent for non optimal grades. I've always thought the bias against 4.0s was a bit daft myself, not that I was even close.

Cheers

Greg Locock


New here? Try reading these, they might help FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies http://eng-tips.com/market.cfm?

RE: Hiring new grads- statistics

In my first year of university they had this 'Engineering 100' course which was basically just presentations about the profession, ethics etc once a week.

In the first class they told us the following:

Look at the person to your left and right. Statistically, one of you will be an engineer, one of you will drop out of the program without completing it, and one of you will obtain the degree and either immediately or within a few years move into a different profession.

Then they showed us two scatter plots. The first scatter plot was the correlation between high school grades and university GPA. Essentially no correlation. Then the correlation between first year uni grades and fourth year uni grades. Essentially no correlation. (by this I mean, if you had a geotech plot it on a log - log scale they would say 'look it's a linear correlation' but every other engineering discipline would call it a scatter plot).

No scatter plot for this, but they told us the CEO of the company that made a substantial donation to pay for the engineering building we were sitting in graduated with a 2.0 / 4.0 GPA and had to do first year twice. And also mentioned that some engineering firms have both upper and lower cutoffs for GPAs (i.e. they don't want 4.0's)

RE: Hiring new grads- statistics

I came across an opinion when I was still in school that there is a hiring thought process to hire graduates with GPAs of 3.0 and below because those are, generally, the people who had to put the most effort into getting grades even that high and are likely good workers who can stick with difficult programs and learn to do relatively difficult work without being overly discouraged along the way.

- Andrew

RE: Hiring new grads- statistics

Yeah, that's probably me at 3.16, although I did have industry experience by then.

Why the extra sigfig? It rounded up to 3.2 which was the cutoff for honors -- that was for my parents winky smile

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies forum1529: Translation Assistance for Engineers Entire Forum list http://www.eng-tips.com/forumlist.cfm

RE: Hiring new grads- statistics

Quote (geotechguy1)

they told us the CEO of the company that made a substantial donation to pay for the engineering building we were sitting in graduated with a 2.0 / 4.0 GPA and had to do first year twice.
Meh... when you make it to the level of CEO, you're not really engineering anymore, you're managing, watching your field's market, and paying attention to the money. the guy may have sucked at engineering, but was quite good at the less tangible skills.

Dan - Owner
http://www.Hi-TecDesigns.com

RE: Hiring new grads- statistics

One of the best engineers I ever met was a 72 year old man with an excellent disposition and communication skills. He said he graduated from Alabama with a degree in having a good time, w/ a low 2.__ GPA. Technical expertise only gets you so far.

I wish there was a class in college titled, "Listen Idiot, This is How to Make Money As a _______," which provided real business and management scenarios, instead of dry engineering theory.

RE: Hiring new grads- statistics

I wonder what looking at hobbies might do. From being young I built kits and models, and started making my own designs for R/C airplanes; also took apart far too many things that should not have been taken apart if continuing to work was a goal.

I think those who had the most hands-on hobbies seemed to have the best grasp of the essence of engineering. Those who thought it would be great to be engineers and spent their time playing baseball? Not so much. Some of the worst played golf, though the absolute worst played caddy for the division VP on the early-Friday afternoon departures.

RE: Hiring new grads- statistics

(OP)
I know exactly how I got my first job. I'd just finished building a single cylinder steam engine from castings, using a Myford ML7 lathe. My interviewer was thinking of buying a Myford ML7, so for once I had something interesting to talk about that I knew backwards.

Cheers

Greg Locock


New here? Try reading these, they might help FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies http://eng-tips.com/market.cfm?

RE: Hiring new grads- statistics

Greg...

The guy that hired me out of college told me afterwards that he didn't like to hire 4.0 grads or under 3.0, even though his GPA had been under 3.0. His experience was that 4.0 grads think they know everything and are thus harder to teach. Below 3.0 and he worried about their engineering abilities. He was an excellent business developer, a good manager of people and projects, and a good "big picture" engineer. On the other hand, I soon learned that he was a below average nuts-and-bolts engineer...just like his GPA predicted. smile

My experience over 40+ years is different. I have worked with some excellent engineers with GPAs from about 2.5 to 4.0 and I have worked with some lousy engineers with GPAs from about 2.5 to 4.0. If any engineers in my various circles had GPAs less than 2.5, they didn't advertise it. It really comes down to teachability (both from others and self-directed) and the ability to produce good work. I don't think GPA is a good predictor of that, although the engineers I know who practice arcane specialties have tended to be toward the higher end of the GPA scale.

Fred

============
"Is it the only lesson of history that mankind is unteachable?"
--Winston S. Churchill

RE: Hiring new grads- statistics

SuperSalad - an opinion on grads I came across in Alberta after I graduated is that basically all the interviewing and HR stuff that people thinks work is just useless BS and the best way to deal with grads is what is called 'catch and release'. You hire some grads, you see what they can do for a year or two, if they don't work out you make them redundant. For seasonal companies like geotech testing firms, make the 'not working out' grads temporarily redundant over the slow season and bring them back the next year for a second go round - if it doesn't work out the second time you let them go. The ones that do work out you keep training and developing.

RE: Hiring new grads- statistics

I would be curious how they define "industry experience," internships or is other experience required? Regardless, IME high GPAs correlate to minimum/introductory coursework and/or low teaching standards, sadly common even among "good" schools stateside today. The first few odd occasions GPA came up in discussion as a junior engineer I remember being rather hesitant to admit to my 3.2 despite a top class ranking, but in years since I've come to realize <3.5 GPAs are predominant among engineers that I've worked with and my 3.2 about average. I've also worked with some amazing and senior engineers who had surprisingly low GPAs. One of my favorite (and famous) chiefs at a Fortune 100 had no degree. At the same corp I worked under a product manager who was proudly appointed to one of the largest U's board of regents(?)/trustees(?)/etc after serving as an industry advisor despite barely graduating with a 2._ and having only a bachelor's.

geo's experience in engineering 101 mirrors mine in the ME dept's freshman orientation presentation. They were proudly tough on students bc they wanted graduates to have successful careers, and consequently some professors had strict attendance, grading, and other policies which made earning a 3.8+ effectively impossible. As an adjunct at a "better" U a few years later, I was explicitly warned against several of them including failing students due to poor attendance. If anybody wants a giggle, research how the media ranks schools and ask yourself if high graduation rates, high GPAs, reputation amongst academics, or the other plethora of drivel used in such rankings isn't counterproductive.

RE: Hiring new grads- statistics

(OP)
I worked for a company that did that for experienced engineers, 3 months probation and if you don't fit, out you go. They did have the grace to put us up in accommodation for that time. One of the guys who didn't make it was heartbroken as he'd always wanted to work there. I can see their point, interviewing sucks, but so did that approach.

Cheers

Greg Locock


New here? Try reading these, they might help FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies http://eng-tips.com/market.cfm?

RE: Hiring new grads- statistics

I remember being asked about my GPA a job or two out of getting my MSEE... president of the company (~300 employees). I told him I couldn't remember, and as expected, he didn't believe me. I told him I was granted the degree, and since you need at least a 3.0 to get it, I can attest that I had at least a 3.0. Got the job.

In the end, did (does?) it really matter? He was getting me with a number of years experience under my belt already, so did my GPA really mean that much to him? <shrug>

Dan - Owner
http://www.Hi-TecDesigns.com

RE: Hiring new grads- statistics

I wouldn't take the difference between a statistically significant result and a non-statistically significant result (for same level of alpha) as itself meaningful in any way without looking at the particulars of the study. The difference between statistically significant and not significant is not itself generally statistically significant. Moreover, god is in the leaf of every tree for most things of a social character and a finding of significance between any two groups is always possible given a large enough N; hence you already know there's a difference between groups before doing a thing but knowing that tells you nothing about why the difference exists.

CWB (W47.1) Div 1 Fabricator
Temporary Works Design
https://www.enable-inc.com/

RE: Hiring new grads- statistics

I wonder if that's with 1980s of 1990s grading scales or the newer ones that put anybody who's not terrible above 3.2.

I have observed that some of our 4.0 types in undergrad have done marginal work in their MS programs. In these cases, they have too many options so they end up doing service work, internships, etc., instead of focusing on their courses and research.

RE: Hiring new grads- statistics

We hired a 4.0 EE from UCB in 1987; didn't have a choice, since McD-D had this annoying habit of sending HR types to hire people without any consideration for actual needs of the recipients of the hirees. In any case, it turned out they were a lump a log; they'd do what was asked and the retreated to their cube, more than happy to sit there and do nothing. They eventually quit and went to work at their father's restaurant; I'm guessing their BSEE was solely to please their parents and had little to do with their desires.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies forum1529: Translation Assistance for Engineers Entire Forum list http://www.eng-tips.com/forumlist.cfm

RE: Hiring new grads- statistics

Another possibly wrong theory / observation from my admittedly brief career - many people need to run into a wall where they can no longer rely on pure 'smarts' / doing things at the last minute before they learn good work ethic, time management etc. For some people this happens in high school, for some people who coasted to good grades in high school it happens during university, usually first year, and, in the worst case, it doesn't happen until after graduation.

RE: Hiring new grads- statistics

I ran into that wall, myself, in 1st year university, too. Long term, it was for the best.

I worked for a guy who was not impressed by smarts and good grades, like Greg and the others are suggesting. He didn't have good grades (he said) but I found him to be an excellent engineer - he focused on judgement and practical experience, enlightened by engineering, rather than the other way around.

I would rather know what's driving that high GPA, not the number itself. If I can find out that the person with the 4.0 GPA has it because they are keen to learn, do good work, and always looking for more, that means a lot to me. It wins hands-down over a super brain that might know the right answer but hides in a cubicle all day.

When it comes to interns, each one is an opportunity to find somebody sharp and motivated, and mold them before we have to make a big commitment to a permanent spot. Grades are not a criteria for us. We also practice the 3-month probation period with all of our permanent hires. Cutting somebody at the 3-month review is pretty harsh when they've barely had time to prove themselves, and opportunities for them to shine or fade have to be fabricated from the projects available.

RE: Hiring new grads- statistics

I remember a 4.0 I went to school with. At least 3 semesters I know of, he went to a professor and begged to change his B to an A because it was going to ruin his 4.0 average. He graduated 4.0.

There is nothing wrong with good grades, but like most things in engineering, it is not sufficient on its own.

I also remember an old geezer when I was in 3rd grade. He asked me what grade I was in, and then told me that was as far as he got in school. He was telling the truth, he only got to 3rd grade but was worth about $4M when I saw him. I had no concept of how wealthy he was, but at the time a new nice car cost about $2,500. Later, he was talking with the son of a friend of his who stated he had just gotten his PhD. The old guy told that kid he had always admired the hell out of him. He said, I admire you because you never give up at all. You go through high school and don't catch on, so you go to college for 4 years. After that 4 years, you still did not catch on, so you went some more. Now, you got a PhD but you still have not caught on. And I am confident you ain't giving up now. What's next after a PhD? He was also my first good lesson in being a smart*ss.

RE: Hiring new grads- statistics

When I attended UF for my BSEE, a classmate was a complete pothead... like, every... single... day... high as a kite. Was on the UF equivalent of the dean's list for the EE dept. Truly smart guy, wish I had that kind of a brain. If memory serves, he got a pretty sweet position right out of school.

Dan - Owner
http://www.Hi-TecDesigns.com

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