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rufsketch1

Correlation between college GPA and Income?

27 posts in this topic

I made a really short survey for my stats class to see if there's any sort of correlation between college GPA and Income. On Wednesday, I'll post the findings, regardless of whether or not they're interesting.

It's comprised of 7 completely anonymous questions that should take about 30 seconds to complete.

Please take this survey *ONLY* if you have already graduated from college.

http://antinegationism.comli.com/

Thanks for your participation! And feel free to add any thoughts below.

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Do you have an acting hypothesis on the relation between college GPA and income?

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What about those of us who have graduated from college, but went straight into some kind of post-graduate education?

(I could have filled out your survey and claimed that I earned a negative amount of money per year - but that would have thrown your figures way, way off.)

Also, and this is a more important question: how do you account for (in your survey) of how long ago the college degree was completed? I guess "age" helps, but not everyone completes their degree at age 22 or so.

I would think that a higher undergrad GPA would correspond with a higher income, but I don't think the relationship will be nearly as strong as you might think. People-skills, creativity, ingenuity, and entrepreneurship are all qualities that would help someone achieve a high income but not necessarily a higher undergrad GPA. I also think that the relationship would be considerably stronger in some fields than in others.

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Also, and this is a more important question: how do you account for (in your survey) of how long ago the college degree was completed? I guess "age" helps, but not everyone completes their degree at age 22 or so.

I would think that a higher undergrad GPA would correspond with a higher income, but I don't think the relationship will be nearly as strong as you might think. People-skills, creativity, ingenuity, and entrepreneurship are all qualities that would help someone achieve a high income but not necessarily a higher undergrad GPA. I also think that the relationship would be considerably stronger in some fields than in others.

Depends on whether he's trying to find a correlation or a cause and effect.

Age is more important when considering the income - i.e. a 50-year-old is probably making more than a 25-year-old in the same field and getting too many responses in one age group could skew the results.

Presumably, GPA and income would have some correlation even if the high GPA wasn't responsible for the high income. A high GPA seldom has any impact on a person's long term earnings, but there could still be a correlation between people who excel in college and people who excel in their job.

I know my GPA had zero impact on my income, seeing as I'm still in the same job that I had before I finally got around to finishing my degree.

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My GPA had zero affect on my income as well because my grades weren't that good. Why? Because I worked 2-3 jobs to put myself through college (left little time to study and do time consuming projects) which was easily explainable by my job history. Granted this still kept a lot of jobs out of my reach but I overcame that by passing the CPA exam easily. Once I got the job I worked again really hard and got promoted frequently.

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I had a 3.9 GPA for Undergrad and Masters. But both were in the field of music performance. So I'm broke, jobless and have basically no income.

Try again,

Thanks for playing :)

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My GPA also had no affect on my income. I had pretty average grades for the 3 years of college that I attended, except for the classes I liked. I was offered a great position with a small technology company that 3rd year and I took it and stopped attending school. My income has increased fairly sharply every year since college, through promotion and a few job changes. My college education has never even come into consideration.

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Both my parents had mediocre grades, but they're vastly more successful than their peers twenty years later. Oh well.

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Given that GPA correlates with intelligence, and intelligence correlates with income (even after adjusting for years of education), it follows that GPA should be related to income.

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Given that GPA correlates with intelligence, and intelligence correlates with income (even after adjusting for years of education), it follows that GPA should be related to income.

That depends entirely on the r value for both correlations; a fraction of a fraction can be approximately zero.

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That depends entirely on the r value for both correlations; a fraction of a fraction can be approximately zero.

GPA and IQ are highly related and IQ and income are related moderately if I recall correctly, and both relationships are fairly straightforward. IQ is a probabilistic cause of educational attainment and performance, and it is also predictive of job performance. The relationship between job performance and IQ becomes stronger as the jobs in question become more complex. Job performance is directly related to one's likelihood of obtaining a raise.

Gottfredson's paper, "Why g matters: The complexity of everyday life", explores the relationship between IQ and job performance in an in-depth fashion.

http://www.udel.edu/educ/gottfredson/reprints/1997whygmatters.pdf

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My GPA also had no affect on my income. I had pretty average grades for the 3 years of college that I attended, except for the classes I liked. I was offered a great position with a small technology company that 3rd year and I took it and stopped attending school. My income has increased fairly sharply every year since college, through promotion and a few job changes. My college education has never even come into consideration.
Both my parents had mediocre grades, but they're vastly more successful than their peers twenty years later. Oh well.

sorry i cannot answer your survey, as i do not live in the united states.

anyway, i have an average gpa not because my grades really sucked after much hard effort but because i cut classes often and some of my professors had issues with outspoken students, who are more intelligent that them. these professors are the ones who were teaching religious/values classes hahahaha. sucks to be in a catholic university...

what i preferred taking in college, had my mother not interfered with my life, is engineering. i scored aces in all of my math and science classes way back in college. philosophy was a newly discovered interest after i enrolled in logic class and met the professor that changed my entire life. point being? math, science and philosophy classes are the only ones i took seriously.

when i graduated, we were only 7. only 3 of us were the ones who graduated on time while the rest were shiftees and terminals. if you're curious about our success rate, here's a picture of how we're now:

1. one of our batchmates family runs one of the largest importing businesses in the country so he gets to manage the company and earns a 6 digit income right after college. damn...

2. my other batchmate, a brazilian jiu-jitsu athlete, took law school after graduation. he dropped after 2 years then moved to another region to raise up his gpa so he could go back to the main law school branch. in the middle of his first term, he met a bjj practitioner, who wanted to start his own bjj dojo. the two decided to drop law school for good and start their bjj dojo. they now have 500+ bjj practitioners under their belts bagging home medals and trophies where their team competes.

3. me.. the old school intjf-ers know my adventures. i was only 19 when i graduated and stricken with inferiority complex by the big corporate people so i took mediocre jobs and started mini-businesses right after college so i could have bucks to travel. i earned some titles like of one of the "elite mountaineers", "outdoor photographer", "humanitarian", "gypsy" and all those "brands" donned on my name by those i met along the way. just last year, i finally decided to get "real", be "practical", "move on with life" (since i wallowed for quite a long time for not getting the course i wanted) and get a decent job so i took my shot at the big companies. i then got hired by a petroleum industry as an hr analyst. i abstained myself from outdoor activities for quite a while so i could focus on work and luckily i am reciprocated enough for all of my efforts. then early 2010, i auditioned to join the company's athletics group and now i am also being paid by the company to participate in sports activities. just last september i won my first ironman.. yeah! now i can travel and do the stuff i want... also the bjj guys just contacted me, as they are planning to start an mma school. i'm studying the possibilities.

4. as for the 4, they are still in grad school to finish the scholarship that was offered to them - a ladderised phd program, which was also offered to me but i refused. the other one dropped the course and finally decided to take conservatory of music instead, which she also dropped because she was forced to go to rehab for substance abuse. the 3 are still continuing the course. one of them, my college intellectual rival, is thinking of getting a part-time job so he could earn money.

bottom-line: gpa has nothing to do with income but your interest and passion does. sometimes people are just born lucky to have wealthy parents and gets a high income without having to go through the corporate slavery stages (sucks to be us).

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GPA and IQ are highly related and IQ and income are related moderately if I recall correctly, and both relationships are fairly straightforward. IQ is a probabilistic cause of educational attainment and performance, and it is also predictive of job performance. The relationship between job performance and IQ becomes stronger as the jobs in question become more complex. Job performance is directly related to one's likelihood of obtaining a raise.

Gottfredson's paper, "Why g matters: The complexity of everyday life", explores the relationship between IQ and job performance in an in-depth fashion.

http://www.udel.edu/educ/gottfredson/reprints/1997whygmatters.pdf

Taken from this paper the correlation between IQ and GPA was weak (r= 0.32). More interesting, and relevant, was the correlation between GPA and self discipline (r=0.67).

You can't take a moderate correlation between A&B, a weak correlation between B&C and assume that there's a relationship between A&C. You're going to have to examine the relationship directly in order to make an accurate assessment.

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A good friend of mine has a BS in EE, MS in EE, and a PHD in statistics, from top schools such as NYU, Stanford. He WAS making 6 figures. Problem is he gets laid off all the time because of the overhead for his salary, companies can't afford to pay him, and then when he applies for new jobs they see phd from NYU and are like uh oh we gotta pay him a lot.

As a result he is back at school with me getting a masters in computer science. And his GPA? 4.0 all the way through.

And then think of all the idiots making MILLIONS. Beautiful country we live in.

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Taken from this paper the correlation between IQ and GPA was weak (r= 0.32). More interesting, and relevant, was the correlation between GPA and self discipline (r=0.67).

You can't take a moderate correlation between A&B, a weak correlation between B&C and assume that there's a relationship between A&C. You're going to have to examine the relationship directly in order to make an accurate assessment.

I'm fairly confident that the relationship between IQ and college GPA, which is what I thought the discussion was concerning, is stronger than that. College curricula tend to be more g-loaded than primary school curricula, so it should be expected that the relationship between college GPA and IQ would be stronger than the relationship between IQ and primary school GPA. I'll locate a meta-analysis or two and post them here.

Conscientiousness, of which self-discipline is a facet, has been shown countless times to produce a strong and independent effect on academic performance at all points in a student's career, as the paper pointed out (for primary school). IQ certainly isn't the only variable of significance.

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What about social skills Delarge? You can have a very high IQ with high grades and have zero social skills. Since you don't have any social skills you don't know how to network, you suck at interviews, and to the employer you seem extremely bookwormish and not competent for employment.

I actually had a debate in school in which I went against the Bell Curve(In which the data is taken from the Armed Forces Qualification Test and not the IQ test). It was my partner and I versus the teacher and the teacher was defending the Bell Curve. Guess what side won the debate?

I'm not so sure the correlation between high IQ and high GPA is as strong as many people think. Many people who I know who have high IQ(Over 140) don't seem to do so well in school. Most of them are completely average students in terms of GPA. The students who have the highest GPA usually just spend the most time on the assignments and reading. That is probably the correlation with "self discipline" in the paper.

School is rather boring. I can think of much more interesting things to do.

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I'm fairly confident that the relationship between IQ and college GPA, which is what I thought the discussion was concerning, is stronger than that. College curricula tend to be more g-loaded than primary school curricula, so it should be expected that the relationship between college GPA and IQ would be stronger than the relationship between IQ and primary school GPA. I'll locate a meta-analysis or two and post them here.

Actually the discussion is about GPA and income (see thread topic). You inserted the discussion about IQ and GPA. Then you tried to argue that a correlation between A&B and a correlation between B&C means you can draw a significant conclusion between A&C. This amounts to a shot in the dark with some hand waving at values. For example:

Dogs have a strong correlation with 4 legs.

Cats have a strong correlation with 4 legs.

Dogs are cats.

You have to directly study the relationship between two events to derive anything conclusive about them. You can do some rough work by taking the product of the 2 r factors but you must remain aware that it's nothing more than an educated guess.

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It would be interesting to see which correlates stronger to income. GPA or IQ and if so how does it correlate at different intervals post graduation.

I have a theory that high IQ individuals with low GPAs do just as well as the high GPA counterparts.

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GPA will not influence income. Income is part luck, part networking.

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Alright guys. As I feared, I don't have many samples on the low end of the GPA scale. Just one result below 3.0. Anyway, I'll post the analysis soon. Before I created the survey, I believed there wouldn't be any correlation unless adjusted against major. But I don't have a large enough sample to adjust against major very well. The survey is still ongoing though, and I can keep updating the results if more interest is generated.

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I feel GPA should influence income and here is the argument. First, a higher GPA should not decrease your income. Even if it does not necessarily increase your income, it does not seem to make sense that it should decrease it. If so that leads to the question of what the ideal money earning income is and how we should intentionally sabotage our grades to achieve it, which sounds pretty absurd to me. Second, the average income of someone with a 0.5 GPA is almost certainly lower than that of someone with a 3.5 GPA. Hence, we have an instance where having a lower gpa hurts your income, whereas there is no case in which a higher income hurts your income, thus gpa influences income.

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They studied this with medical students and found GPA had no influence on how successful the physician was financially later in life.

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I feel GPA should influence income and here is the argument. First, a higher GPA should not decrease your income. Even if it does not necessarily increase your income, it does not seem to make sense that it should decrease it. If so that leads to the question of what the ideal money earning income is and how we should intentionally sabotage our grades to achieve it, which sounds pretty absurd to me. Second, the average income of someone with a 0.5 GPA is almost certainly lower than that of someone with a 3.5 GPA. Hence, we have an instance where having a lower gpa hurts your income, whereas there is no case in which a higher income hurts your income, thus gpa influences income.

The question isn't so much "does it influence income" as it is "to what degree does it influence income".

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Income after college isn't based on your grades. If you have a 3.94 GPA with a BA in English, then you still have a BA in English. If you have a 2.64 GPA with a BS in Mechanical Engineering, then you still have a BS in Mechanical Engineering.

The starting salaries are based upon your major/industry. Engineering is the highest(I think) with 50-60k, then Accounting/Finance/Others.

I know someone who had a 2.54 GPA with an Engineering major and now earns $50,000 annually. A 3.8 with a BA in English/Journalism might earn around $30,000-$35,000 unless they had something that explicitly made them stand out. They probably wouldn't even be earning 30k in the current Economy.

(From what I have observed) the correlation between grades and income doesn't rule out all other variables. It reminds me of the article I read about the guy who studied "80 to 100 hours per week" for his BA degree and then realized that employers didn't care about his GPA.

Maybe at some time back in the past (When college was much different than what it is now) you could find a strong correlation between GPA and income. But now, employers want people who can get above average grades and socialize. Just having a good GPA won't guarantee six figures.

I can use myself as an example- I am graduating soon with around a 3.4 GPA with a Bachelor's degree in Economics. I've had around six or seven interviews and not once has an employer ever asked me about my GPA (Although it is shown on my resume). I would assume that the logic that GPA > 3.0 still does matter.

It also does depend on where you go to school. I'm not so sure how to measure this, but the prestige of your university does matter employers.

GPA does matter to graduate schools, medical school, investment banking, consulting, law school, and similar positions but to an employer it is probably just a number on a piece of paper.

Even though I will be graduating with an Economics I have applied to very few jobs that are Economics related. I hated my undergraduate major and I wake up almost every morning and say "Well, that was stupid to major in."

Sometimes the idea of starting your own business also looks interesting.

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Income after college isn't based on your grades. If you have a 3.94 GPA with a BA in English, then you still have a BA in English. If you have a 2.64 GPA with a BS in Mechanical Engineering, then you still have a BS in Mechanical Engineering.

The starting salaries are based upon your major/industry. Engineering is the highest(I think) with 50-60k, then Accounting/Finance/Others.

I know someone who had a 2.54 GPA with an Engineering major and now earns $50,000 annually. A 3.8 with a BA in English/Journalism might earn around $30,000-$35,000 unless they had something that explicitly made them stand out. They probably wouldn't even be earning 30k in the current Economy.

(From what I have observed) the correlation between grades and income doesn't rule out all other variables. It reminds me of the article I read about the guy who studied "80 to 100 hours per week" for his BA degree and then realized that employers didn't care about his GPA.

Maybe at some time back in the past (When college was much different than what it is now) you could find a strong correlation between GPA and income. But now, employers want people who can get above average grades and socialize. Just having a good GPA won't guarantee six figures.

I can use myself as an example- I am graduating soon with around a 3.4 GPA with a Bachelor's degree in Economics. I've had around six or seven interviews and not once has an employer ever asked me about my GPA (Although it is shown on my resume). I would assume that the logic that GPA > 3.0 still does matter.

It also does depend on where you go to school. I'm not so sure how to measure this, but the prestige of your university does matter employers.

GPA does matter to graduate schools, medical school, investment banking, consulting, law school, and similar positions but to an employer it is probably just a number on a piece of paper.

Even though I will be graduating with an Economics I have applied to very few jobs that are Economics related. I hated my undergraduate major and I wake up almost every morning and say "Well, that was stupid to major in."

Sometimes the idea of starting your own business also looks interesting.

I can say that Engineering is not a sure ticket to income. Like I said my friend with a bachelors, 3 masters (in several forms of engineering) and a phd in statistics is currently unemployed and back to school alongside me.

I think it's more about how badly you want to weasle your way up the food chain to a higher salary, and how many of your colleagues you can cheat out of a promotion. Look at Gates, Jobs, or just about any other CEO. Gates is a great person now, but you can rest assured he was a bastard in the early days.

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