There are some myths around getting a 2:2 and being able to secure a graduate level role, however it's important to remember that not all employers prioritise grades. In fact, there are many forward-thinking companies who value skills, potential, and determination over a specific degree classification. This blog aims to shed light on these employers and provide reassurance to graduates with a 2:2 or lower.
There are plenty of graduate schemes that accept a 2:2 and TargetJobs has a great page identifying the employers. According to the Institute for Student Employment (ISE), less than half of graduate employers stipulate 2:1 degree. For the first time in the history of the ISE survey the number of employers requiring a 2:1 has dropped to 48%, down from 57% in 2021. Employers are becoming more open to a diverse range of students and looking to include different perspectives. This means that most of the usual job sites will have plenty of available roles for those with a 2:2. I did a quick search and found at least 20 employers on Gradcracker and another 14 on MyFuture who are currently advertising and accept a 2:2 or lower.
Graduate roles in SMEs
Roles within small or medium-sized businesses (SMEs) are also a great option as they often don't advertise minimum academic requirements. Due to their size and flexibility, they can appreciate and value the unique perspectives and fresh ideas that individuals from different backgrounds can bring to the table. Highlight your unique strengths and experiences that set you apart from the crowd – writing an excellent CV and cover letter is pivotal to selling your potential, experience and enthusiasm for the role and company.
There are some differences in how sectors perceive a 2:2. For example, finance and law often have stricter policies regarding entry grades, although recently the big 4 accountancy firms have taken on a much more flexible approach to graduate scheme entry requirements. The engineering industry tends to adopt a more inclusive approach, whether in their technical or management streams (how to get an engineering job with a 2.2 degree). The public sector and non-profit sector are also good options to consider as they often value skills and experiences more than a 2:1, so be diverse in your openness to sectors.
While a 2:2 classification may initially seem like a barrier, it's crucial to recognise the vast array of employers who value skills, diversity, and potential over grades. Embrace your unique strengths, showcase your transferable skills, and emphasise your passion for growth and learning. Remember, your degree does not define your worth or potential for success. The right opportunity is out there, waiting for you to showcase your abilities and embark on a fulfilling first step in career journey.