Why a 2:2 is not the end of the world
Many students are happy to exclaim that ‘any mark above 40% is a pass’, but this won’t always do for second and third year students. As soon as marks start to count toward the end game, many undergraduates experience a wake-up call. This goes double for when dissertations are added to the mix too, accounting for large percentages of the final degree classification.
For most, the 2:1 band is the winner, as this qualifies them to move on to graduate jobs and postgraduate studies. But is it all it’s cracked up to be? Does one change in number change the game so significantly?
Well, with this in mind, here is why a 2:2 is not the end of the world!
Gaining the “desmond” 2:2, can feel disappointing. But, it doesn’t need to be. It might feel as if everyone else achieves a 2.1 and 1st class degree, but this is not the reality. In fact 22% of students gained a 2.2 in 2015/16. If you can bite the bullet and stay positive, the experience of ‘failure’ will be an asset as you move on.
There are many success stories involving people who graduated with a 2:2; some have found graduate jobs in a year and are not earning less than their 2.1 counterparts.
A good, hardworking and ambitious attitude is more important to some employers than what’s on paper.
Apparently, employers aren’t as interested in grades as much as they used to be with many say outright that a 2:1 is no longer enough to impress.
When university places were few and far between, a degree was enticing and showed a dedication to study. These days, it doesn’t quite land the same impact. That 2:1 punch is getting weaker and weaker as the years roll by.
That’s not to say degrees are worthless but employers want to hire unique talent wherever possible, and a degree isn’t always an effective way of finding it. However, what really sets graduates apart these days are their skills; namely, the ones they picked up from tangible work experience – whether this be an internship, voluntary work or pulling pints in your local pub.
Just remember, your test scores won’t matter so much if you can attract and retain business for employers and understand how their firm operates. In the end, tried-and-tested experience matters more than anything else!
While most employers will have a 2:1 as a minimum requirement for recruitment, others are more relaxed about degree specification. There are graduate jobs out there that encourage applications from graduates with a 2:2. Therefore, the game’s not over just yet!
The reasons for this are varied. For instance, many employers immediately train their staff after bringing them into the fold. Consequently, most of what you learnt from your degree can be rendered moot when you join!
Depending on your field, the broader knowledge of your degree will rarely be useful at work, and all the workplace information you consume will be relevant to the business alone. There is no magic wand a 2:1 graduate can wave that makes them more effective here.
Additionally, that ‘second chance’ is sometimes enough to spur 2:2 graduates on to work harder and do better. Employers like to see that willingness in candidates, rather than cocky high achievers who revel in coasting by. In the end, no grade on a few tests and assignments can eclipse that drive to succeed.
Sometimes, it takes a sprinkle of failure to exit a straight and narrow path or a suffocating comfort zone. While you may initially have had your heart set on a typical graduate scheme with a top firm, living your life as a big checklist to be ticked off isn’t that stimulating at the end of the day.
The reality is the majority of graduates end up working in SMEs (small and medium business enterprises) which make up the majority of UK businesses. Such companies are far less likely to be strict about degree classification.
Starting a business
It might seem like a cheat, but creating your own venture is far from it! If you start your own business, then frankly, there’s no one around to judge your classification. Many successful entrepeneurs have launched their own enterprises without as much as 1 GCSE, and have gone on to become multi-millionaires. Why not try and join them?
Even if you don’t become the next Alan Sugar, the point is that you can create your own work and make your own luck. Regardless of what degree classification is stamped on your certificate, you can create opportunities for both yourself and others. If you feel you’re at a cross roads with a lack of control, this could be that thing that gives you a jolt of excitement and purpose again.
Remember, it was recently said that ‘small businesses are the backbone of our economy‘, and you and any potential business you create could fit nicely there. Especially during the hour of Brexit trade disputes, there is a real need for British businesses to rise up and get to work. If you create the right product and situate your startup in the right market, who knows what successes will come your way.