Does GPA matter for my salary? A survey (Part 2)

This is the second part of a survey I conducted to try to find any data which may hint at a link between GPA and starting salary.

Check out part 1 of this post here

Response on the survey

The feedback I received after conducting the survey has been mostly positive.

There have been quite a few suggestions on how to improve the analysis particularly regarding inflation and increments year over year.

Unfortunately, there are 2 main reasons that I am struggling to do those.

  1. Time/motivation. It takes a lot of time to invest in this activity to get it right and then publish things. One person even commented that this is enough work for a Masters thesis. Although I disagree. I don’t think the blog post has enough work for a Masters thesis. But this work can indeed take time.
  2. Not enough data and/or bad samples. The form UI made the output spreadsheet a complete nuisance to work with. This is definitely a put off factor compared to the time excuse. I’ve detailed this more below in feedback section.
  3. As far as I can tell, the dataset is not complete enough to extract a ton of information. Year of graduation, GPA and Starting Salary were the ones that I could see in sufficient quantity to look at more closely.

So what now? Give me the dataset and I’ll look at it myself.

People come in all shapes and sizes. There are many who share all information freely. And there are many who would are a bit more private.

So I basically had to provide as much information as possible without being able to trace the exact person.

The three variables that are basically under consideration are Year of gradauation, GPA and Starting Salary in Pakistan. So these are there.

All the other information varies widely. Somebody went for Masters, Somebody went to USA, Somebody went to Malaysia etc etc.

There isn’t any information that can be drawn from the dataset other than the fact that everyones path varies a lot and that NUST Alumni are in quite a few places.

Here is the link to the survey dataset

Feel free to play with the spreadsheet and share any analysis/results you find out. Please do send me a message about it!

Technical Feedback for people considering conducting such surveys themselves.

I learned quite a bit from conducting this survey. Here are some pointers for other people considering this.

Invest time in creating the Form

I made a mistake in the form interface. I created the form in a rush between breakfast and heading off to work. Various input fields did not have checks in them.


  • Some people answered graduation year with 4. Is that 2004? Or 4 years ago?
  • Some people answered Starting Salary in the country box
  • Missing Starting and Current Salary. And in a different box. Did he/she mean starting, current, or both? Or just not comfortable sharing current salary.
  • etc etc.

So despite the 478 dataset. Quite a bit is ‘bad’. I’ve manually stared at excel for hours now doing as much as I could.

I sincerely wish I had asked one major question too!

Was the Masters/PhD on a full/partial scholarship?

I’m assuming there is a link between GPA and that. Although, I don’t think there is much of a dispute to settle there with a survey.

Be careful about anonymity issues

My intention was to create a purely anonymous dataset.

I didn’t realize the questions I did ask were like a fingerprint. Enough features to identify the person. e.g. If I ask you, there is a guy who did Electrical Engineering in 2010 with GPA 2.76 from EME college and is in Japan. Who is he? 🙂

I did not mean to do this at all. Only one senior mentioned this in Facebook comments. And this happened 24+ hours when I already had a lot of responses and everybody had started poking me for results!

A suitable way to do this would be to either ask if someone is comfortable publishing the dataset exactly. Or to ask for salary/gpa ranges instead of exacts etc.

Respect Differences of opinions

Be prepared for a wide range of opinions that might completely differ from your intention when you set out to perform a survey.

This can be a good/bad thing depending on the situation.

What next?

Back to halaltainment.. Its my side hobby website that aims to curate a bit of Halal Entertainment from around the world.

Please like my Halaltainment Facebook page. Thanks!

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