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The Myth of GPA: Exploring the Real Factors Behind Post-Graduate Success

In today’s competitive job market, the role of GPA in determining post-graduate success has long been debated. While academic achievement undoubtedly holds value, recent findings from a survey conducted by Madonna University shed new light on the intricate relationship between GPA and career outcomes.

Contrary to conventional wisdom, the survey revealed that GPA alone does not dictate one’s trajectory after graduation. While there exists a correlation between higher GPAs and certain indicators of success, such as receiving multiple job offers and securing higher starting salaries, it’s essential to consider the broader context.

First and foremost, the survey unveiled a significant disparity in starting salaries among recent graduates. Despite the prevailing notion that a high GPA guarantees a lucrative entry-level position, a substantial portion of respondents reported starting salaries below $50,000. This challenges the assumption that academic performance directly translates into financial rewards in the professional realm.

Moreover, the survey underscored the importance of holistic factors in shaping post-graduate experiences. While GPA may open doors, it is often overshadowed by qualities such as networking prowess, internship experiences, and interpersonal skills. In fact, a staggering 90% of respondents emphasized the significance of soft skills in their current roles, suggesting that qualities beyond academic prowess play a pivotal role in career advancement.

Furthermore, the survey shed light on the evolving significance of GPA throughout one’s career journey. While many recent graduates initially highlight their GPA during the job search process, the majority opt to omit it from their resumes after gaining professional experience. This shift in emphasis underscores the dynamic nature of career success, wherein academic achievements serve as a stepping stone rather than a defining factor.

Ultimately, the survey findings challenge the conventional narrative surrounding GPA and post-graduate success. While academic excellence remains a valuable asset, it is by no means the sole determinant of one’s professional trajectory. As students navigate their academic journey, it is imperative to recognize the multifaceted nature of success and prioritize holistic development beyond the confines of GPA.

In essence, while GPA may open doors, it is one’s ability to leverage opportunities, cultivate meaningful connections, and demonstrate adaptability that ultimately paves the way for long-term success in today’s competitive landscape. As Madonna University‘s survey emphasizes, success lies not only in academic achievements but also in the cultivation of a diverse skill set and a resilient mindset conducive to thriving in any professional arena.


Leading the Nation: The Smartest States in Higher Education

In the ever-evolving landscape of higher education, certain states shine brightly as beacons of academic excellence, driving forward initiatives and strategies that elevate educational attainment. These states not only set the standard for scholarly achievement but also serve as role models for others aspiring to enhance their educational landscapes. 

  1. Vermont: Championing Bachelor’s Degree Attainment. Vermont emerges as a frontrunner in bachelor’s degree attainment, boasting a remarkable 4.93% increase in male bachelor’s degree holders and a notable 2.01% rise for females over the past five years. This achievement reflects the state’s unwavering commitment to providing accessible pathways to higher education. By offering free associate degree programs to high school students and facilitating seamless transitions to bachelor’s degree completion, Vermont sets a shining example of educational empowerment and opportunity.
  2. Wyoming: A Pioneer in Lifelong Learning. Wyoming takes strides in advancing educational attainment, with a commendable 1.00% increase in male associate degree holders and an impressive 2.37% rise for females. The state’s dedication to lifelong learning is evident through initiatives like Kickstart Wyoming’s Tomorrow Scholarship, which encourages individuals over 24 years of age to pursue higher education.
  3. Delaware: Fostering Scholarly Achievement Delaware stands out for its significant increases in associate degree attainment, with a 1.53% rise in males and a 0.32% increase for females. The state’s commitment to accessibility and affordability in higher education is exemplified through initiatives like the Student Excellence Equals Degree (SEED) Scholarship, which ensures that financial barriers do not hinder academic aspirations. 
  4. Alaska: Closing the Gender Gap in Education Alaska demonstrates a strong commitment to closing the gender gap in education, particularly in bachelor’s degree attainment. With a remarkable 3.94% increase in female bachelor’s degree holders, the state is making significant strides toward equitable educational opportunities for all. 
  5. New Hampshire: Empowering Lifelong Learners New Hampshire showcases notable progress in bachelor’s degree attainment, with a commendable 2.54% increase in males obtaining their degrees.

As we celebrate the achievements of these smartest states in higher education attainment, it’s essential to recognize that their success is a collective endeavor, driven by collaborative efforts, to educational excellence. 


East Coast Cities: Unleashing Thrills and Excitement

Unveiling Thrill-Seeker Cities

Photo by Emiliano Bar on Unsplash


While the West Coast often steals the spotlight when it comes to adventure and thrill-seeking, the East Coast of the United States boasts its own collection of cities that offer heart-pounding experiences. From historic landmarks to bustling urban environments, the East Coast cities provide a unique blend of adrenaline-fueled activities and cultural attractions. Let’s embark on a journey to explore the exhilarating world of the East Coast’s thrill-seeker cities.

New York City – The Urban Playground:

New York City, the epitome of a bustling metropolis, sets the stage for a diverse range of thrilling experiences. From rooftop bungee jumps and helicopter rides over Manhattan to adrenaline-pumping zip-lining adventures on Governors Island, the Big Apple offers an urban playground for adventure enthusiasts. Take a leap of faith with a sky-high urban thrill or explore the city’s parks and rivers for kayaking and paddleboarding adventures.

Boston – History Meets Thrills:

Boston, a city steeped in history, offers a unique twist to thrill-seeking. Discover the city’s intriguing past through adrenaline-pumping activities such as the Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum, where visitors can participate in an immersive reenactment of the historic event. Take a thrilling ride on a high-speed Codzilla boat tour, experiencing exhilarating spins and turns while learning about the city’s maritime history. Boston proves that history and thrills can go hand in hand.

Tampa – Sun, Sea, and Adventure:

Tampa, located on Florida’s Gulf Coast, presents an exciting combination of sun-soaked beaches and thrilling adventures. Explore the nearby crystal-clear waters of the Gulf of Mexico through exhilarating activities such as jet skiing, parasailing, and kiteboarding. For a unique adrenaline rush, head to Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, where you can experience world-class roller coasters and up-close encounters with exotic wildlife. Tampa proves to be a hidden gem for thrill-seekers.

Orlando – Theme Park Adventures:

Orlando, Florida, is synonymous with thrilling theme park adventures. Home to world-renowned parks such as Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando Resort, and SeaWorld, this city provides endless opportunities for adrenaline enthusiasts. Experience high-speed roller coasters, interactive 3D rides, and immersive virtual reality attractions that transport visitors to other worlds. Orlando’s theme parks combine thrilling rides with captivating storytelling, creating an unforgettable adventure for visitors of all ages.

Atlanta – Urban Excitement and Outdoor Escapes:

Atlanta, the capital of Georgia, offers a dynamic blend of urban excitement and outdoor escapes. Dive into thrilling experiences at the Atlanta Motor Speedway, where you can ride shotgun in a NASCAR stock car or take the wheel for an adrenaline-fueled driving experience. For nature enthusiasts, nearby outdoor destinations such as Stone Mountain Park offer opportunities for hiking, rock climbing, and zip-lining. Atlanta showcases the perfect balance between urban thrills and natural adventures.

The East Coast of the United States is not to be overlooked when it comes to thrilling experiences and adventures. From the vibrant streets of New York City to the historic twists of Boston, the sun-soaked beaches and adventure in Tampa, the theme park thrills of Orlando, and the urban excitement and outdoor escapes in Atlanta, the East Coast cities provide a wide array of heart-pounding activities for thrill-seekers. So, whether you’re seeking an urban adventure, a beachside thrill, a historical twist, or theme park excitement, the East Coast has it all.

How well do Americans understand the Metaverse? New survey may reveal answers.

The metaverse, as well as several virtual currencies such as crypto, bitcoin, and NFT, appear to be enticing investors. People may begin to shift their investments to the metaverse market as the inflation rises. Virtual reality and new technological breakthroughs are predicted to be a fast-growing sector in 2022.

Despite the significant growth in popularity of these tech topics, there is an equal rate in confusion regarding these complicated topics. QAD, a software business, polled over 1,000 people in the United States on their crypto expertise. 81.3% of Americans are confused by the metaverse, while 84.7% are confused by NFTs.

The metaverse uses virtual reality technology to bring people to a digital world that closely resembles reality. It can be accessed by an unlimited number of users worldwide simultaneously. The metaverse brings together technologies that have transformed the twenty-first century, including virtual reality, augmented reality, 4D audio, and eye-tracking.

Its more than just a video game. The metaverse has its own currency in the form of NFTs (Non-Fungible Token), which may be purchased, sold, and exchanged for substantial amounts of money. Physical money and cryptocurrencies are “fungible,” which means they may be swapped for one another.

Half of Americans surveyed believe they are losing money because they are uninformed on how to invest in cryptocurrency. If you have a good understanding of the metaverse and crypto, you may make huge profits by investing in it. It’s worth noting, though, that many people are adamantly opposed to the metaverse and NFTs. A third of individuals believe they would “absolutely not” date someone obsessed with bitcoin or NFTs, according to the QAD study.   Millennials are so opposed to crypto and the metaverse that 63% of those polled would prefer to give up social media forever than join crypto. Gen Z’s are marginally more amenable to the notion of a multiverse than Millennials. However, the metaverse continues to be rejected by the majority of Gen Z, with 56% preferring to give up social media permanently rather than joining the metaverse.


More Work, Less Pay: A Model COVID Showed Us That Won’t Work

“Just 2 weeks.” A sentence many of us heard during the beginning of the pandemic that we believed would be true. As those weeks turned to months and months turned to years, we started to realize that this virus would soon turn life as we know it upside down.


While restrictions caused us to start wearing masks and social distance from one another, they also forced some businesses to close or cut down on employees. With customers still waiting to be serviced, and those employees still on the payroll taking on the roles of two people, something was bound to give. And what gave was the mental health of many. 


A survey conducted by United Way of the National Capital Area found that 37.3% of people said that their workload increased during the pandemic, while only 27.7% saw an increase in earnings. In addition, the survey found that 1 in 2 people said their work-related stress increased. So where does that leave us now?


While we’re still in a pandemic in 2022, we have advanced beyond where we were in 2020. Many corporations saw that workers were being spread thin and began increasing their starting wages, an emphasis has been placed on mental health in corporate America, and remote/hybrid work have seen an uptick as many people have realized you can be just as productive in a home office rather than in a cubicle.


While COVID-19 did place a toll on many in the workplace, it’s also shaped how we view work today and in the future. That old work hard for your money mindset and putting up with more work with less pay is frowned upon and knowing your worth and speaking up in the workplace is now a societal norm that could be here to stay.

Survey Reveals Biggest Regrets When it Comes to Retirement

Hindsight is 20/20. It’s a saying we’ve all heard throughout our lives and there’s no exception to it, especially when it comes to retirement. It’s a stage in our careers many are looking forward to, but from saving too little or starting too late, a recent survey revealed how prepared retirees were when it came time to actually retire! 


One of the questions asked was if there were any regrets when it came to retirement preparation. 52.8% say they regret not saving earlier. Over a third of the survey reported that they’re not able to spend as freely as they would like during retirement. These factors contribute to the retirement lifestyle many would like to have. 


Survey participants said they regret where they live because it isn’t close enough to family, they’re traveling less than they planned on, they have a smaller social circle, and aren’t able to live comfortably for the remainder of their retirement. While these answers contribute to not preparing for retirement early enough, it’s noted that some of it could also be blamed on COVID-19 putting restrictions on travel and social gatherings.


Not only focusing on the past, participants were also asked about any concerns they have post-retirement. 38% said good health was their main concern. Again, this could be because of the pandemic. But closely behind was still finances, with 32% concerned about adequate income and over 11% concerned about the cost of healthcare.


The survey wasn’t all negative though. It did provide that almost half of retiree’s today say that retirement is living up to its expectations. Though many may not be able to travel or be as social as they like, being able to retire is an accomplishment in itself! 

Analysis on America’s Billionaires break down Societal Misconceptions

What do you think of first when you hear the name Jeff Bezos? For some, it might be Amazon. Others may even say they think of him just being flat out rich! But, rarely would you think to say the words ‘fry cook’ come to mind when you think of him. Turns out, that was his first job! Grand Canyon University analyzed the top billionaires in America. They sifted through the Forbes 400 List of Richest People in America and looked at their first jobs, the brands that are producing the most billionaires and other factors to see if there were any trends. 

Continuing to look at first jobs, the most common between the billionaires were computer programmers and writer/reporters, followed by other jobs like stock boys, dishwashers and even parking lot attendants. Warren Buffet’s first job was being a paperboy!


They found the brand that’s producing the most billionaires is Walmart, followed by Facebook and Cargill, an agricultural and bio-industrial corporation. When looking at company types, real estate reigned supreme for producing the most billionaires at 31 people on the list working in that field. Hedge Funds, Private Equity, and Investments all followed with at least 20 people on the list in each of those fields.


Another common misconception we may think of when it comes to the wealthy is that they all went to Ivy League schools and have PhD degrees. This analysis dove into education and found that a majority of the billionaires listed just have a Bachelor’s degree (35%) and only 33% of them attended Ivy League schools. 14% were actually college dropouts!


Overall, the analysis showed that what we think about these billionaires isn’t always true. They started out just like us and worked their way up to become household names. Proving once again, this could be any of us!

Looking Forward for Flying

Looking at Considerations for the Air Travel Industry

Just a year ago, across the world, airports were nearly completely empty. Now, the skipping of suitcase wheels and chaos of TSA checks is starting to return, but ongoing concerns of global vaccination and pandemic recovery and economic losses leave the state of the travel industry unclear. 

In order to best understand the future of the airline industry, it’s important to understand what’s happening right now. Based on data reported from NBC News, the total number of Americans flying everyday has been pushing towards a steady 1.1-1.5 million people daily around mid-April 2021. Although these numbers don’t mirror pre-pandemic levels, they do mark a significant increase from April of last year, reflecting how airlines are slowly returning to “normal”. Still, lower demand and COVID-19 concerns mean that airlines are selling fewer tickets at steeper discounts. 

However, new issues are also entering the radar of major airline companies that will affect the next year. 

First, one new airline policy is threatening the airlines’ relationships with customers that experience emotional distress. A recent decision from the Department of Transportation (DOT) revised the Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA), enacting a new rule regarding the transportation of emotional support animals by air that would treat emotional support animals as (fee-able) pets. Based on a new survey from VetNaturals, this controversial decision would compel 30% of all flyers to refuse to buy a plane ticket. 

Additionally, the issue of varying levels of vaccination and COVID-19 testing around the world will continue to be an issue for airlines to consider. While some best practices for airlines have been suggested including the requirement of a negative COVID-19 test or offering distanced seats, as COVID-19 continues to change, so must airline policies. 

Finally, the airline industry will have to adapt to a new world where transnational and international is less necessary. The digital revolution of the past year proved that Zoom meetings and virtual connection can be an at least acceptable substitute for costly business trips or family meetups. We may see a world where people are traveling less, meaning that airlines may have to adjust their supply of plane tickets. 

It will certainly be interesting to see how the future unfolds for airlines as we move into a new post-COVID-19 world.

Are Fitness Trackers taking the Enjoyment out of Exercise?

What’s tiny, fits around your wrist, and tells you to get off the couch? If you said a fitness tracker, you’re absolutely right! Known to send little notifications throughout the day to meet your goals, fitness trackers have become a common product amongst the everyday person. But are those little buzzes taking the enjoyment out of physical fitness? 

A recent survey looked into the pressure people have felt from their fitness trackers and the toll it’s taken on them. Of the surveyed group,  over 47% of people said they have felt some type of pressure or stress to work out due to their fitness tracker. These feelings of anxiety to complete fitness goals resulted in 45% of people wearing their tracker less often.

Diving deeper into what caused the stress, there were multiple answers including people saying they felt guilty on the days they weren’t wearing their tracker, didn’t close their rings, or feeling guilty from ignoring the workout-reminder notification altogether. 24% even said their stress came from reaching their fitness goals and still not seeing physical results. The overall level of stress was ranked as a 6.3 out of 10. 

The study wasn’t all negative though. It looked into the positive results and impacts wearing a tracker has on people. Over 92% of people said they felt more in tune with their overall health. And while some felt the notifications were overwhelming, others saw them as motivation, leading 70% to some sort of unplanned physical activity due to the reminder.

In conclusion, are fitness trackers taking the enjoyment out of working out? It looks like it depends on who you ask. There’s no question that it’s impacting lives, whether giving them the extra motivation they need to work out or causing them to feel more anxious and guilty about not moving.

American Working Mothers Receive Some of the Worst Maternity Leave Policy in the World

Parents Looking at their Baby

A new study reports that the United States is one of only two countries that does not offer some kind of paid maternity leave to its citizens. 

According to the study from, the United States has protective policies that ensure women receive three months of maternity leave, but that the protection does not ensure women are paid during their maternity leave. Only New Guinea shared the United States’ no-pay protections. 

The study reported that fathers in the United States find even less protections, as the United States has no formal universal guaranteed paternity leave, let alone paid paternity leave. 

The results may not shock Americans who themselves have had to navigate gender politics when seeking maternity or paternity leave. However, looking at the protections guaranteed to parents in other countries show just how lacking United States’ protections for employees are. 

For instance, the study reported that in Norway, working mothers are afforded up to 59 weeks of maternity leave at an 80% pay rate, and in Bulgaria, mothers earn a 90% pay rate during their time off. Even outside of Europe, in countries like India and Brazil, paid maternity leave is a guarantee for women.

Still, some wonder if similar policies would positively affect women in the United States. In fact, research on American paid leave policies shows that paid leave protections are crucial in retaining female employees after maternity leave ends. A study from the Institute for Women’s Policy Research found that in the United States, states where women employees are guaranteed paid leave have a 20 percent reduction in mothers leaving their jobs after one year and a 50 percent reduction in five years. 

In terms of global differences in paternity leave, it’s important to note that, across the board, there are far fewer protections for fathers seeking long-term, paid leave. There has been a lot of progress in the push for guaranteed paternity leave across the world in recent years. An article from the Guardian cites the rise in countries with guaranteed paternity leave from 40 to 94 in between 1994 and 2015 as an indicator that more protections are coming for fathers. Still, given that wealthy countries like the United States, where men continue to see greater pay than women, don’t offer protection for men, it’s clear that there is a long way to go. 

You can view the international parental leave statistics here

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