career decisions / Job market

Awarded a 2:2 degree? What to do next.

Finally it’s results time. Instead of  the much hoped-for 2.1 (your ‘guarantee of future career success’) you’ve been awarded a 2:2! Suddenly your chances of getting a good graduate job recede into the distance. Rest assured that there is light at the end of the tunnel. Getting a 2:2 may feel like end of the world right now but it really isn’t. While you need to take stock of your situation,  it’s most definitely not all over. 

Now is the time to start thinking about a Plan B. And if that doesn’t work you have to move on to Plan C! Flexibility and resilience are key to future career success, so start as you mean to go on. You will find employment so meet the challenge head on.

What to do next

1. Is it possible or appropriate to appeal your final degree classification?

Look carefully at the precise regulations. At Warwick an appeal is possible only in very restricted circumstances. Even if you think you do have grounds for appeal don’t assume that you will be successful. Talk through your options with your personal tutor as soon as you can.

2. Do you have a conditional offer of a job?

Call the company and let them know the situation. There may be no room for manoeuvre, but if you really impressed at interview/assessment centre they may still hire you. Some organisations deal with cases on their individual merits, whereas others operate a blanket policy of “no 2:1, no offer”. You won’t know until you try, so call now and make your case.

3. Don’t get caught up in the media hype and assume that only graduate schemes offer graduate jobs.

Big recruiters are just a tiny slice of the graduate market. Some of the main players have strong brands and high campus visibility so you are more aware of them but there are plenty of great graduate opportunities with the small and medium sized recruiters. And the really good news is that many of the smaller companies will operate more flexible entry requirements.

4. Don’t panic! There are options that still open to you.

It may feel as though the 2:1 threshold restricts your access to many of the UK graduate schemes, but this is by no means all. We have a comprehensive list on our website of companies prepared to accept a 2.2 use it. If closing dates have passed you can apply for them in the next graduate recruitment cycle. This is not necessarily a bad thing as it will give you time to re-group before you make further job application process.

5. Book an appointment to talk your options over with Careers.

We view things from a neutral perspective(which may not be true of parents and friends). You will be able to explore ideas, safe in the knowledge anything you say is entirely. If you live outside the local area: we offer Skype and telephone appointments and are here throughout the summer.

6. Avoid considering postgraduate study to ‘compensate’ for your 2.2.

Postgraduate study is a worthwhile option, but only as part of a considered career plan. It isn’t something you should consider as a default reflex, you could struggle to convince prospective employers of the benefits when it comes to future applications. Do your research and gather all the information before making a final decision.

7. Get yourself job ready by updating your CV and plugging any potential skills or work gaps.

Consider how well your CV highlights your skills – both soft and technical. Consider what your selling points as an employee are. Start thinking about your online brand and build a professional LinkedIn profile that reflects your career aspirations. Can you join any professional associations (if you have a sector in mind). These often arrange networking events and are a great source of insider information.

8. Take a look at the Student Employability Profiles

Remind yourself of the transferable skills you’ve gained through your degee.  Recruiters value these. Add supporting evidence and remind yourself what you to offer.

All is not lost…

Try to put all of this into perspective: remember, this is the beginning – not the end – of your career. You are likely to have a number of jobs over the course of your career. Soon after you start work and prove your worth through your attitude, commitment and determination, amazingly people cease to be interested in your degree classification. Your hopes of working for a particular company may have been dashed in the short-term, but with time and some experience behind you there’s every chance of applying again (perhaps for a better role!) at some point in the future.

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