Getting a degree isn’t easy. Sometimes it doesn’t take much for your grades to dip; a couple of bad assignments, a tough lecturer who grades harshly or an exam question that seems impossible to answer.
It’s well-known that many employers look for graduates with a 2.1 degree classification or higher. For those that end up with a 2.2, it can feel like your hard work was for nothing and your career prospects aren’t looking great. This isn’t the case!
2.2 degree graduate jobs are out there
There are plenty of fantastic jobs available for graduates with a 2.2 degree result. Your job search may be a little trickier than if you had a higher classification, but don’t be disheartened.
You do need to be realistic. If you were hoping to break into a particularly competitive industry that does require top grades, you may have to be open-minded and explore some other options. Most industries, however, do have plenty of opportunities where graduate recruiters and employers accept 2.2 graduates.
Employers are becoming more open minded
The good news is many employers are becoming more open-minded when it comes to the graduates they employ. Having a specific degree or a specific grade isn’t all that important for many roles as it isn’t always the best indicator of how well you will perform at work.
Did you know? Even big-name graduate scheme employers, such as the ‘Big 4’ accountancy firms, are relaxing their recruitment requirements and now accept graduates with a lower degree grade.
Employers are much more likely to be impressed by your skills and experience than your university grades when you apply for their graduate programme.
Read the small print
When it comes to applying for graduate roles, if you have a 2.2 degree just be sure to read the small print. If an employer requires you to have a 2.1 or above, they will specify this in their job advert. If they don’t mention grades, then there’s no reason why you wouldn’t be considered.
Many job adverts actually specify that applicants should have a 2.2 degree or above, so you will still have plenty of choice.
In some instances, a job may require a 2.1 degree and above, however if you have some really good and relevant work experience and tick all of the other boxes it’s worth applying anyway.
It may be a long shot, but if you’re perfect for the role in every other way, the employer would be foolish not to at least consider your application.
Are you concerned that your 2.2 degree is going to hold you back? Show employers that you have got what it takes by getting some relevant work experience or completing an internship. If your chosen industry is extremely competitive you may have to accept a ‘stepping stone’ job that will help you to develop the skills you need.
Boost your employability
It’s not just your degree that makes an impact on employers. Your extra-curricular activities can also show off valuable skills. Have you been involved in sports teams, university societies or the students’ union? These are just some of the ways that you can develop transferable skills such as teamwork and leadership.
Make sure you include your interests and extra-curricular activities on your CV and mention the skills you have used. Volunteering and travelling are also great things to include.
Stay at university
If your mind is set on an industry where a 2.2 degree will hold you back, you may want to consider further study. Look into your options and postgraduate entry requirements to see if this is something that will work for you. Your university careers service should be able to help you with your options.
Bringing it all together
Getting a 2.2 degree really isn’t the end of the world or your career prospects. You don’t need to worry about being jobless months after graduation. There are plenty of opportunities out there for you! Just keep an open mind and show off the employability skills and experience that you have.
About the Author
Bridgewater Graduates offer sales, management and a variety of commercial roles with market-leading businesses across the UK and Ireland. Many of their opportunities accept applications from 2.2 graduates. Search their graduate jobs here.