Uni is tough, there’s no doubt about that. It’s easy to be thrown off your stride by a bad day, a lecturer who always grades harshly or an impossible essay question in an exam. Everyone wants to do the best they can, so 1st and 2.1 grades are highly coveted. Not just for the sense of achievement, but because many top employers won’t accept applicants with anything less than a 2.1 degree.
For graduates with a 2.2 degree, does this mean that your career is over before it began? In short, no. Looking for jobs with a 2.2 degree (otherwise known as a ‘Desmond’) isn’t as hard as you may think.
Whilst finding a great job with a 2.2 degree isn’t impossible, it may be a little trickier than with a higher degree classification. Don’t be disheartened, though! It doesn’t mean that your dreams of professional success have been snatched away. All it means is that you’ll have to go about things a little differently.
However, it’s best to be realistic. Depending on your discipline, it may be much harder to break out into your desired industry with a lower grade, especially if it’s a particularly competitive one. So, try to keep an open mind and explore all of your options.
The job market is constantly evolving and this is good news for graduates. Employers are becoming more open minded when it comes to degrees. Academic achievement doesn’t necessarily dictate whether or not an individual could do a job well. For this reason, even big-name graduate employers, including the ‘Big 4’ Accountancy firms are relaxing their recruitment requirements in relation to university grades when recruiting for their graduate programmes.
Depending on the company in question, they may take other factors into account such as UCAS points. Whereas other employers accept lower grades, having scrapped minimum degree requirements altogether.
Throughout your university career, it’s been drilled into you that you NEED a 2.1 or above to succeed. So, it’s only natural that a 2.2 degree will leave you feeling unsure of which jobs you can actually apply for.
It’s simple, if an employer is looking for someone with a minimum 2.1 grade, they will specify this in their job adverts. If there is no mention of grades, there’s no reason to assume this will be a major factor. In fact, you’re probably likely to find plenty of jobs with a minimum grade of 2.2 – you’ll still have plenty of choice!
For any job hunter, research is your secret weapon. When looking for jobs and graduate schemes with a 2.2 degree, it will definitely be useful to do some digging online before you start submitting applications. Find out which companies will accept 2.2 graded applicants. Take a look at online forums to see how other people managed to secure their roles despite receiving a lower grade. Do some research into the industry you want to apply to work within and find out what you need to do to supplement your applications.
There’s a wealth of information out there waiting for you – use it to your advantage!
Another great way to show employers that you have what it takes is by gaining some professional experience. If you’re concerned about your 2.2 grade holding you back or your chosen industry is relatively hard to get into, it may be worth getting a ‘stepping stone’ job that will help you to develop the skills you need.
Alternatively, try to obtain a voluntary internship or work experience within your desired field. That way, you’ll gain inside knowledge and get your foot in the door!
What you do outside of work or uni also has an impact on your employability. Your involvement in societies, student unions, sports teams or any other organised activity can demonstrate many transferable skills and abilities to employers.
Don’t forget to include these hobbies and interests in your CV and if you can, link this back to the necessary skills required for the role(s) you’re applying for. If you don’t have many extra-curricular activities under your belt, try to get involved in something new. Things like volunteering and travelling can also give your CV some extra heat!
Some of you will have your heart set on working within an industry or role linked to your degree specialism. However, what if your prospects aren’t looking too great with a 2.2 degree? Further study may be the answer. Look into the postgraduate options that are available to you, bearing in mind that different universities have different entry requirements.
It all boils down to this: a 2.2 degree isn’t a catastrophe. You still have so many career options open to you! Take a different approach when hunting for jobs with a 2.2 degree and keep an open mind. You’ll soon find a great job that’s a perfect fit for you!
Bridgewater Graduates are currently recruiting for a variety of great positions across the UK and the majority of our employers will consider graduates with a 2.2 degree. Discover our graduate jobs and career advice!