Why getting below a 2:1 in your degree is not the end of the world

career success after 2:2

Our latest team blog is written by Rebecca, a recent graduate with a passion for digital marketing and media. Rebecca works as part of the eCommerce Recrument team as a Candidate Consultant. With a degree in English and experience of creative and content writing she shares her job hunting experience with a 2:2 degree classification. 

We are all aware of the stigma surrounding a degree that has been classified as lower than a 2:1. There are even nick-names for it: the 'Desmond', the 'pickle'. According to statistics from The Higher Education Statistics Authority for 2011/12 graduate leavers, 26.5% of students received a 2:2 overall grade for their degree.

I remember being slightly devastated when I found out that I would be graduating with a 2:2 back in June. It seemed like the end of the world and I quickly resigned myself to the assumption that my 'rubbish' degree would put a lower second class shaped hole in my career aspirations. How wrong I was. Don't get me wrong, a degree below a 2:1 means that you probably won't be able to walk out of your graduation ceremony and straight into your dream job, with all of that 40k pay check included. It does, however, mean that you have an honours degree, which in itself opens a variety of doors regarding your career.

Many employers, especially within the digital and marketing industries, place much more importance on the degree itself rather than its classification. For example, if you were to apply for a position that involves a lot of SEO, the employer would most likely be much more interested in whether any of your modules were SEO based, than whether or not you received a 2:1. Many companies, especially those who recruit PPC professionals, train their candidates on the job rather than basing their selection process purely on what a recent graduate has on their degree certificate.

Marketing recruitment agencies such as 'The Candidate', do not ask you to specify your degree classification when you sign up with agency. Therefore, the many job opportunities that are made available using a recruitment agency are still within reach to a person with a 2:2 or lower.

Also, as is the case with many industries, marketing employers tend to value relevant work experience more than your degree classification. Think about it: if you were an employer and you saw a CV for someone with mountains of marketing experience and 2:2, would you doubt that person's passion for the industry? No, didn't think so. Work experience on your CV really does turn heads, and part-time work, internships and placements are just a few ways that you can gain that invaluable experience that you need to excel in the job market!

Whilst working in the eCommerce recruitment team here at 'The Candidate', I have seen many candidates with 2:2 or lower on their CV be passed over to interview consideration, their experience and passion for their chosen industry overshadowing their degree classification. So stop viewing a lower classified degree as a failure, and start seeing it as the fantastic achievement that it is!


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