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2:2 degrees: five ways to land your dream job

16 Sep 2019
Craig Sinclair

2:2 degree

Five Ways to Secure your Dream Job with a 2:2 Degree

While graduating from university with a 2:2 degree classification may come as a disappointment, it  need not to be the disaster some of your lecturers may have warned.

As you have chosen to read this article, it can be assumed that you fall into either of the two following categories:

1)      You’ve graduated with a 2:2 degree and are worried about the implications this may have on your future.

2)      You have yet to complete your degree but are on course to achieve a 2:2 and you are worried about how this may affect your future.

If you fall into the latter category, it’s not too late to change the course you’re on. I understand that life circumstances can sometimes make it difficult to study, though. This article suggests ways you can improve your productivity towards the end of your degree. It might still be possible to achieve a 2.1 which would hopefully alleviate some anxiety.

If you have achieved a 2:2 degree it is, by no means, the end of the world.

Celebrate Your Graduation

Although you may be disappointed not to achieve a 2:1 or even a first-class award, you have completed at least three years of your studies and have earned a degree! That’s no mean feat and you should be proud of yourself – and congratulations from Eden Scott! Go on holiday, have a night out, eat out at a nice restaurant; whatever you are into, make sure to mark and celebrate a significant life achievement. You’ve earned it.

What Next?

Graduates generally follow four different routes upon completion of their degree. You will most likely find yourself doing one of the following:

 Guess what? A 2.2 allows you to do ANY of these.

You can clearly travel or start your own business with a 2:2 and, at worst, if you want to continue to postgraduate study you may need to attend a less prestigious university than your first choice. Graduates often seem to worry that they will be unable to land their dream job with a 2:2. Let me tell you why this is not necessarily the case.

Flexible Employers

Many companies have dropped the 2:1 classification from the ‘essential requirements’section of their job adverts. Here are some recognisable firms that do not view a 2:1 degree as a necessity:

  • Eden Scott
  • Sky
  • Arcadia Group
  • Jaguar Landrover
  • HS2
  • MI5
  • EY, PwC, Deloitte, KPMG
  • Enterprise Rent-A-Car
  • FDM Group
  • British Army

Clearly, these established firms believe that you do not need a 2:1 to be successful. That doesn’t mean you can rest on your laurels; here are some things you can do to kickstart a career with your 2:2 degree.

Five Ways to be Successful with a 2:2 Degree

Go the Extra Mile

When applying for jobs where the preferred candidate will have achieved a 2:1 or above, you are at a disadvantage. But, if the employer did not want someone with a 2:2, they would state this clearly. This presents a chance for you to think outside the box.

Do something that will prove your potential value to your potential employer. You have more incentive to do this than a candidate with a 2:1 or above and have an opportunity to use this to your advantage

If you are applying for an advertising job, you can send the firm a piece of work that would look at home in their portfolio. If you are applying for an accountancy firm, you can write an article highlighting present challenges within the industry, along with ways to offset these risks (never present a problem without a solution!). Whatever industry you’re hoping to work in, there will be something you can do to make you front of mind for an employer and show that your degree classification is not a reflection of your capabilities.

Other candidates may have the edge in terms of academic achievement, but by showing initiative you can show the employer that you are the best fit for the job.

Develop a Network of Contacts and Use Them

Networking is a key skill that many people struggle to master. If you have made connections with key individuals within organisations – either through meeting them at events or connection on LinkedIn - use them to your advantage. There is some truth in the saying: “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know”. Ask to meet them for a coffee and get their advice for trying to join the company – most people will be happy to help and show off their expertise.

Complete an Internship

You may choose to seek an internship with the company that you want to work for. Summer internships often end with a permanent contract offer if the intern is able to prove their worth.

If you are unable to secure a paid internship, you may also choose to offer unpaid work for a short period of time proving your desire to work for the organisation. Although, due to financial restraints, this is not always a viable option. Similarly, if you can spare some time to volunteer for a charity related to your chosen field that can set you apart from your competition.

Work for a Start-up

Have you considered working for a start-up?

A start-up is a small business, usually run by an entrepreneur, that is in the early stages of product development.

Here are three key benefits of working with a start-up:

  • You will have greater involvement to and accountability for the success of the business due to the small size of the team
  • Start-ups operate in a more dynamic environment; you may be asked to work across multiple roles which will aid your professional development
  • These small firms are generally more flexible with regards to degree classification; you may not even need a degree at all

Eden Scott recognises the potential of start-up companies, which is why it established TalentSpark. We work and consult with some of the most exciting start-ups in the country and aim to provide them with the talent and business acumen to allow for progression.

Start Your Own Business

If you have a viable plan, you can start your own business. There are, of course, risks linked to this. You will need funding and the ability to recruit and lead a team of appropriately skilled people. However, with that responsibility comes the opportunity to be your own boss!

Hopefully this blog has convinced you that graduating with a 2:2 does not need to be a catastrophe. It can prove to be a mere bump in the road on your way to a successful career; your success being determined by how you react.

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