- Marks are not important for a successful career
- Life skills can take you far when it comes to building your career
- What employers look for
90% is good, but it’s not everything……..
From early childhood, students are trained to believe that great careers are born from great scores in examinations. Parents at home and teachers at school reiterate what they think is the sole aim of education.
That is, scoring great marks in examinations means getting into a good college and studying in a good college is proof that your career will soar. This might be true for a percentage of the population but not exactly a fool proof package.
In reality, the knowledge you gain from your education is more important than the marks you score. The question now arises, are grades important for a great career?
To answer this question, are grades important, let’s go back to our Indian education system and decipher it step by step.
The education system in India dates back to the era of the Gurukul system. The Gurukul system of education was more a way of living rather than a race for marks.
Shishyas as they were called then would live near the home of the Guruji and attend to all the daily work. The learning included cooking up simple meals, cleaning the surroundings, science, basic calculations and medicinal studies. The pupils were taught how to live life.
In a stark difference, today the education system seems to have strayed away from the lessons on living, to a more marks oriented system. Some of the drawbacks of our education system that has led to this emphasis on marks can be summed up as follows
Inadequate Criteria to Measure Skills
One of the drawbacks of our education system is that there is no definite criteria to measure how good or how bad a student is in certain skills required for a job.
On the other hand, there is a definite measure in the performance of theory based subjects.
Marks and Grades Are the Sole Criteria for Admission Into Colleges
Another drawback of our education system is that marks are the sole criteria for admissions into colleges. Many colleges have entrance examinations which decide the caliber of the student. This remains an unfair criteria as it assesses a student based on the performance in one examination.
The System of Grading Is Based on How Much You Can by Heart.
The education system today is based more on how much you can by heart and reproduce on a sheet of paper within an allotted time. Not much importance is given to practical learning and skills needed for a job.
Prestige Attached to Only Certain Professions
In India, unfortunately, prestige is attached to a few professional courses, neglecting a thousand other educational courses that make great careers.
Owing to these disadvantages, the education system in India is suffering a big blow. However, the advent of technology and communications has opened up a range of educational and career opportunities for students.
These new career choices are more open to students skills, knowledge and understanding rather than numbers on a mark sheet.
With times changing, parents should now be aware that there are a host of opportunities awaiting your child. Learning is more important than grades.
The art of learning the subject and gaining knowledge is more important than tha marks obtained in an examination.
With great scores and high marks, a student may be able to secure a good job initially, but the true test lies in sustenance and growth and that is possible only if the student has gained knowledge in the subject, whether the grades are high or low.
Motivating students to “learn” rather than study is one of the best ways to ensure a great career. Stress on gaining knowledge on the subject rather than obtaining extra marks in a single examination.
Students comparing grades with their peers can be termed as healthy competition. However, when this same comparison is made by parents and teachers it might prove detrimental to the interests of the students.
Parents must note that each childs’ learning capacity is different. The IQ level varies from person to person. IQ or Intelligence Quotient is a score derived from a set of standard tests designed to assess human intelligence.
Comparing grades with other students can in fact be discouraging for a child and prove to work against the actual intention of a parent.
Now that you have a fair understanding that there are a wide range of career opportunities awaiting you, let’s look at why grades are not important to build a successful career.
Grades Do Not Measure Your Knowledge
One of the reasons why marks don’t matter is that grades or marks don’t measure the knowledge you have gained. Many students may not have the gift of writing but may have knowledge of the subject.
Such students will do extremely well in their careers as they are able to apply what they have learnt into a practical situation. Marks are just numbers. It won’t evaluate your talents. It values only your memory power.
Marks Are Not Important In the Long Run
Though great marks give you a morale boost and an initial push in your career, remaining at the top depends on the implementation of your knowledge. Great careers are made when you are able to use your educational knowledge in the real world.
Being industry ready is far from the theoretical knowledge you have gained in your years of college. Designing a machine on an examination paper is easier than designing, creating and working an actual machine.
Employers Look for Skills Rather than Grades
The sole aim of a good education is to kick start a great career. Facing an interview is the first step in the hunt for a job. So, do employers care about grades? Do employers check your grades before offering you a job?
The answer to this cannot be a point blank -No. However, it is safe to say that what employers look for in an employee is the experience and skill, while just giving a “glance” to the mark sheets. .
What employers look for is your practical knowledge and how ready you are to face the big industrial world.
In a fast paced world, employers do not have the time or money to spend on training students to face the real world. Employers are now looking for industry ready candidates to take on jobs immediately.
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What Skills Are Required for A Job?
The recent trend in hiring shows that soft skills are more important than grades or marks scored in examinations. Infact, the World Economic Forum, in its Future of Jobs Report has stated top 10 skills students require to learn for jobs in 2025. The top ten skills of 2025 according to the Future of Jobs Report 2020, World Economic Forum will be
- Analytical Thinking and innovation
- Active Learning and learning strategies
- Complex problem solving
- Critical thinking and analysis
- Creativity, originality and initiative
- Leadership and social influence
- Technology use monitoring and control
- Technology design and programming
- Resilience, stress tolerance and flexibility
- Reasoning, problem solving and ideation
Good Grades Are Not a Testament to Great Careers
History has shown that great inventions were not made by scientists who scored a 100.
In a book titled Einstein and the poet: In search of the cosmic man, 1983, one of the greatest physicists of all time, ALbert Einstein is quoted saying “School failed me, and I failed the school. It bored me. The teachers behaved like Feldwebel (sergeants). I wanted to learn what I wanted to know, but they wanted me to learn for the exam. What I hated most was the competitive system there, and especially sports. Because of this, I wasn’t worth anything, and several times they suggested I leave. This was a Catholic School in Munich. I felt that my thirst for knowledge was being strangled by my teachers; grades were their only measurement. How can a teacher understand youth with such a system?”
Infact, there are numerous examples of great scholars and performers who have not achieved much educationally, but have managed to achieve, what seemed to have been the impossible.
When It Comes to Achieving Success in Life, Are Marks Really Important?
Students must keep in mind that though marks are not important in life, completely ignoring its significance can also be detrimental.
Aim to achieve big scores, because good scores will give you a boost in morale and that’s half the battle won. At the same time, absorb the knowledge and enjoy the process. Here are some points to keep in mind when it comes to the learning journey.
Concentrate on Gaining Knowledge Rather than The Marks
Enjoy While You Learn
One of the first and foremost rules of life is that you must enjoy the process of learning. Focusing only on the end results omits the joy of learning. When you learn for scoring marks, you limit the power of comprehension and understanding.
Marks Are Momentary
Always remember great marks are a momentary pleasure but knowledge gained will remain with you for life.
Marks only Identify Your Command Over the Theory
The marks you score in an exam only test your theoretical skills. These theoretical skills are insignificant compared to the practical expertise required to make a great career.
Concentrate on your practical knowledge and soft skills in order to make a mark.
Knowledge Is Not Always Gained from Books
With the adoption of the New Education Policy in 2021, the education system in the country is all set for an overhaul change. With more emphasis on practical learning rather than grades, students can now be taught to learn rather than to cram for the examinations.
Universities and colleges can now be more inclusive when it comes to introduction of new systems of learning and practical tutoring.
Onsite visits, laboratory training and practical assessments are just some of the methods educational institutions can adopt to increase hands-on learning experience amongst students in order to make them industry and future ready.
We understand that good marks are a great boost, morally and mentally. However, it is not the sole purpose of your education.
Dig deeper and seek guidance from the experienced when it comes to making smart educational and career choices. Low marks with high knowledge is better than high marks with no knowledge.
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