A 2:2 degree – Triumph not Tragedy

‘Well, I wanted to do a Graduate Scheme in Marketing, but they don’t take 2:2’s, so I’m going travelling. There’s nothing much else I can do’. – 2016 Graduate

badge-686321_640As she said these words, a gloomy silence fell on our little meeting, and we both sighed in an ‘ah well, nothing to be done’ sort of way, gazing wistfully out of the window, imagining what glittering career might have been. That pesky 2:2 went and ruined everything..

‘NO!!’ I started, whipped into a frenzy of frustration, ‘there are loads of things you can do!! And congratulations on your degree’.

Here are a few for starters:

  1.  Don’t underestimate the huge value that a 2:2 degree from the University of Manchester carries with employers. Truly, it is globally recognised as a tough gig, and a 2:2 demonstrates skills such as research, analysis, project management and resilience. BE PROUD, it really is impressive.
  2. If employers state specifically and unequivocally that a minimum 2:1 is required, then don’t spend energy on making applications ‘just in case’. You will not succeed, and it will demoralise you.
  3. Instead, start thinking creatively. To find worthwhile work experience with a 2:2 is absolutely possible, there are jobs (great ones) out there, but you need to draw on that creativity, that resilience, those skills you’ve developed in your degree.
  4.  The 2:2 does not define you as a failure. Positivity is catching – if you can think positively about your achievement, others will too – that includes employers. If you don’t believe me, then try it and see. Email me if I’m wrong and I’ll buy you a bar of choc. That’s how confident I am.
  5. Come and see us/skype us at the Careers Service – I can absolutely guarantee you will leave our 30 minute meetings with a positive plan of action, some steps forward and/or renewed energy. http://www.careers.manchester.ac.uk/services/
  6.  Have a look at the Manchester Graduate Programme – it has saved many a soul who felt a bit like things were hopeless, and proved to be a really great stepping stone. www.careers.manchester.ac.uk/findjobs/graduatejobs/mgp/

Banish from your speech things like ‘I only got a 2:2’ and start saying ‘I have just graduated from the University of Manchester with a 2:2 degree – how brilliant is that’. Congratulations!


By Bernadette Lyons
Careers Consultant

One response to “A 2:2 degree – Triumph not Tragedy”

  1. You are absolutely right. Also, there are some graduate schemes that do not look at degree results, you just need to dig a little deeper for example RBS Business Technology graduate scheme, quote from their own website: “Whatever your degree background (some of our graduates have a STEM background, but even more of them don’t) and whatever classification you have achieved, we would more than welcome your application!” Moreover, a friend of mine got this at the moment and they did not ask for her result after exams (she was accepted before that). Furthermore, there are masters courses at prestigious universities that take on people with 2.2. So, there is always a way, you just need to be persistent and not give up. Good luck!

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