Does your ATAR matter in the long run? The answer might surprise you
Currently, your ATAR is only really important for getting into university courses however there may be certain circumstances for certain career paths in which it may matter. After graduating high school, your ATAR most likely won’t impact you because from university onwards, the only mark that employers might be concerned with is your WAM/GPA (your university mark). Further, say you didn’t get into your preferred course, it is still very possible to transfer into your desired course if you do well in your university assessments. Generally speaking, your ATAR only matters in regards to getting into your desired course straight out of high school. Even then, most university students end up switching degrees throughout their university years because it really is difficult to decide which career path you want to take straight out of high school. Once students have engaged with course content and have developed a general idea of what jobs this degree may lead to, they can make a fair assessment of whether it is the right fit for them. Ultimately, the ATAR that helped you get into your course may not even matter because you may decide to change courses. It’s a different story when you are applying to medical and dental programs as certain universities still ask for your ATAR as part of the application process. In regards to future employment, there are certain instances in which you may be asked to disclose
your ATAR. Certain law firms, financial firms, investment banks and tech companies have included ATAR marks as part of internship and graduate applications.
Why do they ask for this?
They don’t necessarily get impressed by a higher number, it’s the explanation behind the ATAR. Good grades don’t guarantee success on the job and it really won’t matter after you’re well into the workforce, it’s just makes it easier for you to get your foot in the door when you’re first starting out. Achieving a high ranking number is no easy feat and can be an indication of how you handle stress, time management and indicates work ethic. It’s still a mystery as to how they use this information to assess your application but many people assume it’s another metric in which they can assess candidates. This is particularly applicable when hiring managers are filtering through hundreds of resumes that start to look identical, characterized by good university marks, impressive extracurriculars, high performance in aptitude tests and relevant work experience. Before they can contact people to interview, they may still have hundreds of applications they need to filter. That’s when they may need to delve deeper to look for distinguishable metrics and attributes such as ATARs and personality / psychometric tests.