Why Academics Matter in the Workplace

By Allie Caton on September 26, 2017

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There’s a misconception that simply having a degree is enough to get students a job — that it doesn’t really matter what a student’s GPA was or what classes they took as long as they got the degree. However, a degree is not always the best determiner of a good employee. By looking into academics, you can get a better view of the person as a whole when it comes to responsibility, motivation, and areas of expertise.

It’s important to encourage new or prospective employees to take advantage of their education and use it to really shine in the workplace. This creates a more well-rounded employee that is better equipped to take on workplace responsibility.

While some students may feel that their major was more theoretically focused, encourage them to dig into what they’ve learned and extract helpful skills that can be applied to the workplace. Knowing how to write well, how to give a presentation, do basic math, communicate well, and problem solve are all things that most college students learn no matter what their major was and all can be useful in the workplace.

It’s important to understand that these academic skills are valuable to the workforce. It’s not always about having an internship every semester of college; sometimes it’s important to recognize the hard work that goes into doing well in school. One of the major reasons why students don’t take internships during the school year is because doing well in school takes up so much time. The value of working hard and doing well in school is just as important as having a full resume. When a student has done very well academically, that shows drive and responsibility — both things that are needed in any job.

It’s also important to help your employees and potential employees see the value that their education held. It’s important to ask them about what classes they took, what their favorite projects were, and where they felt most comfortable academically. By picking through the specifics of their education, you and your employee will be able to see what things can be directly applied to the specific job position.

By picking out specific skills learned at school, both student/employee and employer can feel more confident about the job. The employee will feel more confident in their skills and more ready to apply their academics to the job, and the employer will feel more confident that they can get the job done. Being able to help employees recognize the importance of their academics makes them better employees and benefits the entire organization.

By identifying these specific skills, you can find what areas your employee will really excel in. By digging in and asking what your employee’s favorite classes were and which classes they did best in, you can better understand what kind of work they should be doing to exceed expectations. This can be especially helpful with entry-level employees because it can help them shape the rest of their career.

By helping them find out what they excel at, your employee will feel more confident and will likely do a better job because of it. Once they move on from your organization, they will take with them the good experiences they had in their first job for the rest of their career. They will also take with them the skills to talk about their academics in a way that is relevant to the interests of a specific job or company. This not only helps the employee but also boosts the reputation of the organization that taught them those skills.

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School isn’t only good for the degree. College helps students cultivate cognitive, social, and academic skills that are so important in any job. Academics, specifically, are a good indicator of how hard a worker someone is and where they can really shine. Doing well in school takes hard work and a lot of time. Acknowledging that new graduates who have done well in school but don’t have the most experience out of all the candidates can still be incredible workers is essential to creating a diverse team of employees who have a multitude of skills.

By Allie Caton

Uloop Writer
Boston University
Allie is a creative at heart. She loves to draw and fawns over comic book illustrations and animation. She hopes to be able to use the skills she has cultivated as a Communications major to bring value to the creative industry. Her goal is to one day work somewhere where she can be around creatives while utilizing her writing and illustration skills.

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