I know this is a highly debated question, but I really believe that GPA is more or less irrelevant to this field. It shows how well you can brute force memorize a bunch of semi related information on a test? Wow, grats. Are you going to memorize that 5 years down the road when for some reason you need to know how exactly CDMA works? Or are you going to do what every sane person does and just look up reference documents on it and go from there? There are people in my major who get fantastic grades because they are great test takers, they can memorize anything to take a test. But when it comes down to actually delivering said knowledge in a practical sense, they fail. They couldn't write a program to save their life. We were discussing the amortized O(1) affect of std::vector::reallocate() last week and two of these students thought that allocating N*2 blocks of memory would take 2 times as long as allocating N blocks of memory.
We had another student (also generally an A student) who had no idea what command line arguments were or how/when to use them. I can go on about this all day, it just drives me nuts. These are all junior level students, and they know nothing yet their GPA claims they do. So why do employers even look at GPA unless it's under like 2.5? It seems work experience and proof of knowledge (software you've written) should be real decider.
I have a respectable GPA, just not the ~3.8 that these people are probably sporting.
A bad GPA is an indicator that you have not performed well, or did not take your education seriously.
In the computer science classes I've taken so far, grades are mostly based on programming assignments, which are usually pretty difficult. Most people fail because they couldn't figure out how to write a specified program. The tests have been such that, if you are paying attention in class and good at programming, you should be able to do fine. You do have to write programs during the tests as well.
I think it's probably of little concern how well a CS student has performed in unrelated stuff like psychology, or English. I think they want to see A's in math and CS classes more than anything.
It's horrible that school makes people with memorization skills successful, and then doesn't even teach how to properly research information. Memorization isn't a very useful skill, whereas knowing the proper way to look up, validate, and use information you find is extremely important.
^^This. Unless you're a police officer, I can't imagine you need to memorize every bit of information in your field in order to be successful. Especially in the computer science, the ability to look and use information is much more useful than trying to memorize everything. Even more so when it's such a dynamic field. What's the point in memorizing technology X when in 3 years technology Y is going to be the standard?