June 30, 2014, by Beth Dawson

Finalist Careers Clinic Part 4

By Andy Smith, Careers Consultant

I’ve just got my results back and I’ve got a 2:2, should I start worrying about my career prospects?

A 2:2 is not always a bad result, after all what wouldn’t England have given for a 2:2 against Italy, or Uruguay, for that matter!

You may have a got a 2:2 at the end of your degree journey but it doesn’t mean you won’t have access to a successful satisfying graduate career that returns your personal and financial investment in your education. There are many reasons to be positive about gaining your degree and at least three reasons not to worry about getting your 2:2.

You are one of many and are in good company.

Notable people who achieved a 2:2 or a third include J.K.Rowling, Bear Grylls and Louis de Bernières. Overall, approximately 100,000 students in the UK graduate with their first degree being a 2:2. For all graduates there still remains a recognized return on their investment in education, as Nicola Dandridge, Chief Executive of Universities UK commented:

Looking at all graduates, degree holders continue to earn considerably more than non-graduates over a working lifetime, and are also more likely to be in employment.”

Employers are increasingly looking at more than your degree classification.

“Great grades count for nothing if they aren’t partnered with broad-ranging experience and a winning personality.” (Richard Branson)

The process of graduate recruitment has also changed considerably over recent years. The list of companies removing their 2:1 requirements is growing longer as more sophisticated selection methods allow companies to shortlist on more than just the narrow band of degree classifications. Online application systems, situational judgement tests, numerical and verbal testing have all given employers the tools to assess all aspects of a graduate applicant.

Leading professional services organisation, Grant Thornton, recently announced that they:“no longer automatically screens out applicants based on their academic results and instead of strict academic criteria the firm now looks at that as one element, amongst other factors that have been identified as equally, if not more, important.”

It’s not all about the top 100.

Many of the big companies with large advertising budgets that are featured on graduate recruitment websites take on a small number of the overall graduate population each year.  The Times Top 100 Graduate Recruiters recruit approximately 20,000 graduates each year,  only about 5% of the overall graduate population. Read our blogs about finding with smaller and local businesses, to discover the range of exciting graduate opportunities that are on offer.

But if a graduate scheme with a large company is what you’ve set your heart on , it needn’t be off the cards. In certain sectors, such as engineering and the public sector graduate schemes, asking for a 2:2 is commonplace, but remember in industries like the creative arts, graduate schemes are a rare pathway into working in that sector.

Whatever degree classification you’ve received, you can come along and talk to us about your career options over summer and beyond. Simply book an appointment with a careers adviser through My Career


Posted in Applying For JobsGraduate Vacancies