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    A lot of people on here are advised that academic performance isn't that important (though they say a bare level is a necessity) when it comes to getting a grad job/getting onto the right course at uni, and then say that work experience and other things are important to get too. They usually think a good balance is important.

    But they also say that good work experience and extra-curriculars plus the bare minimum requirements for your degree is better than a really good degree and very little in the way of work experience and extra-curriculars.

    My question is, who is more intelligent, the people who do really well at degree level and become unemployed, or the people who do the bare minimum and become employed?

    I guess it varies.

    But for example, I know someone who got the absolute top grades at school and a first in a good subject from a good uni back when it was hard to get one, and has decent social skills but left several jobs and now lives in her mum's house (though she is married and has kids and does work sometimes, but seems to prefer having lots of spare time), while another person I know got far less than perfect grades in school and uni and has worked as a doctor and will retire on a good pension in 4 years.

    Another thing is, mathematicians are often not that well-paid compared to bankers, but seem to have done better at uni and do more interesting jobs. So who's cleverer?

    I think that we can do both. We can have good marks and have some job experience. I am going to attend the university in Milan and at the same time I am looking for a part time job. Then I would like to do 3 months per year abroad and find a job there to have more international experience and to improve my skill in foreign languages.

    I don't know in the UK but in Italy it is difficult to find a job even with the maximum of the academic results.

    I think that the most important thing that permit us to find a job is productivity. If we produce the double of other people, we are convenient for the person who we work for. What we have to do is to increase our productivity. In order to do that we have both to study and to work, so we have to find a compromise.
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