Does GPA matter for my salary? A survey

“GPA ka koi faida nai hai”

After 5 years of graduation, for some reason these words echoed in my mind during breakfast. However I had not seen any data or real evidence to back up these words.

GPA isn’t a measure of success. I cannot measure that. But is there a possible link between GPAs and Starting Salaries of graduates?

So I created an anonymous google form with a few simple questions and shared it on the EME Alumni mailing list and the NUST Alumni Facebook group.

Looks like I hit a nerve as comments started pouring in and I was popular (or notorious) for a while. And I manged to get 300+ responses in 24 hours!

Is this Alumni Survey the first of its kind in recent times!?

The punchline:

On average, GPA does matter a bit for starting salaries. But there is a lot of spread. A higher GPA guy can start at a lower salary. And a lower GPA guy can start at a higher salary somewhere. Life is a complex process and GPA is one variable in the equation. 🙂

Warning: Correlation does not imply Causation

Read on if you wish to know more

So before we look at salaries..

Who submitted the results?


People like me mostly. <5 year work experience.

I guess the older ones are not on Facebook/EME Alumni list or are simply busy/cant be bothered.

Lets move on a bit.

Which campus did data come from?


Mostly EME and H12.

I was surprised to see other Universities.

I think there are quite a few who had done Masters from NUST. Welcome 🙂

Which discipline did these guys belong to?


Lots of diversity here.

Electrical seems to have taken a lead but it also includes Electronics and Telecom.

What is their GPA?


A normal distribution! Interesting!

I guess every graduating class should ‘ideally’ be a normal distribution.

So participants GPAs should also have a normal distribution too!

A nice diversity overall in the dataset.

A big thank-you to everyone who invested their time and energy in filling out the survey.

Bus na yaar ab btao bhi. ****

Ok ok. Lets plot the Starting Salaries we got


*Sigh* Such a huge spread..

Income disparity is a topic that pains me immediately.

A 4-5 times difference is too much in society. It breeds hostility and jealousy..

But that’s a blog post for another day.

GPA vs Starting Salary!

The salaries for the few outside Pakistan participants range from normal to off the charts compared to people inside Pakistan.

So I’ll ignore those guys for now.

I’ll also ignore the graduation year as the dataset is mostly recent graduates and its not that large.


Ye kya khich mich hai!

That is a Scatter plot of Starting Salaries vs GPA!

It looks like its all over the place doesn’t it. No clusters or anything.

Here is my rough analysis:


Look at those oval eyes. The 2-2.5 GPA guys are a bit scarce in that area compared to the 3.5-4 guys on the right.

That area represents people who have a Starting Salary greater than Rs. 50,000/-.

This is possible to see from the Scatterplot

But we are looking at extreme GPA differences.

And if I recall a bit from 2011, I think there were quite a few MNCs that conducted a test in EME/H12. And there was a cut-off of 3.0 or 3.5 depending on MNC. So the data speaks!

Lekin itni baki khich mich ka kon poohcay ga?

Acha baba.. Normal distribution koshish kerte hein

I used this for help using Google sheets and Normal Distributions.

Word of caution: I am a human. And I can make mistakes. A little slip in data handling can break analysis.

What is this?

So I basically sort the Starting Salaries into 4 GPA ranges. <2.5, 2.5-3, 3-3.5, 3.5-4

And then some excel mumbo jumbo functions using AVERAGE, STDEVP, NORMDIST for each GPA range.

And then plot it on the same chart.

But what does this mean?

From the dataset, it seems that average starting salaries are slightly higher as GPA rises above 2.5.

But there is a ton of spread. And the <2.5 guys are spread a lot wider as well.

Mein nai manta. Mera 2.5 GPA wala cousin 1.5 lakh le ra hai

I call these guys “The Legendary”. And they exist!

And in the words of a dear senior of mine

I’m gonna shatter standard deviation

An astute observer might notice that in all images above, the salary axis is roughly capped at Rs.100,000/pm. And the below 2.5 GPA guys have a pretty wide spread going above Rs 100,000/pm

So lets try and up the scales to Rs150,000/pm


See those guys in the circle. <3.5 GPA ones mostly.

They are the legendary ones we normal people hear about in stories.

Normal people are in the khich mich below.

These legendary were skewing my pretty graphs towards themselves.

Hence I capped the previous figures at Rs.100,000/pm.


This is a tiny limited survey. Its a small dataset.

If you look at a large data set, you may see a better pattern emerge.

In fact, I might do a version 2.0 of the survey with better questions.

GPA and Salary are two variables in a complex process called Life.

Is the debate over? Never!

And I have been reminded several times again and again during the survey that GPA is not the measure of success in life.

Some words of advice. During university, you have more than enough time to party quite a bit and study as well.

Do them both!

p.s. If you want to do a similar survey for your University, contact me. I have a few pointers I could share.

I don’t trust you/I am better at Data Analytics. Show me the real data

Please be patient. Unintentionally, the questions I asked creates a sufficient fingerprint of a person.

I need to anonymize it a bit before sharing as I implied in my survey form that this survey is anonymous.

This was totally unintentional. A senior pointed it out in Facebook comments after 400+ responses had already been submitted.

e.g. think of a person who graduated in 2010 from EME with Electrical Engineering with 2.75 GPA. That isn’t anonymous.

I need something more to read

I’ll write a few posts about lessons I learned during this whole process. Will link them here one I’ve written them.

I might liase with NUST Alumni office and do a v2.0!

And I guess you can check out

Its my side hobby website that aims to curate a bit of Halal Entertainment from around the world. Please like my Facebook page on it. Thanks!

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