Essentially, "first-class honours" and "2.1 (or 2:1) honours" are the top two categories of honors degrees in the UK system—sort of like the summa cum laude and magna cum laude in American universities. If you find yourself just short of the boundary above then it is possible to appeal for remarking and reconsideration which could vastly change your immediate opportunities as a graduate. Anyone who has received a first-class degree will tell you that the library was like a second home to them. "Most of my mates and I don't care, as long as we pass," he says. If you have enough passion, drive and determination, you are bound to flourish after university, no matter what it says on your degree certificate. Does a College Degree Still Matter? This is partially due to the fact that having a first-class degree often means that red carpets are laid out to encourage students to go onto further study. And that is a class where pretty much everyone had AAB or better at A-level (back in the 90s when those were actually pretty good A-level results). When greeting cards exceed any one of the letter-size measurements (e.g., 6-1/8" height), they are classified and priced as flats (large envelopes). Not for these students. For graduates disappointed with their final grade, it can seem like everyone else graduated with a first-class degree — or at least a second-upper. Photograph: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images, Guardian Students banner Photograph: guardian, the skills students really need when they graduate. You would typically need to get 70 percent or more total in your tests and examinations to get a first class degree at university. "Without that experience, I wouldn't have stood a chance," he says. Many job roles have a minimum grade requirement of a 2.1 or a first in a degree. So what if you end up falling into the 2:2 band? We are here to help drive positive social change for young people in the UK. If you have left university with a third then there is probably a reason which you need to pay serious attention to. She's aiming for a 2:1 rather than a first and feels that concentrating solely on studying would not make her very employable. "Leadership, teamwork and communication skills – it's probably the best thing I've got out of university.". "I'm spending a lot of time trying to make myself as employable as I can, which is why I sometimes neglect my course a bit.". No matter what degree classification a graduate achieves, it is important to remember that they should always walk away from a course with a thorough understanding of the subjects they have studied. Develop your research skills. Your degree classification is massively important if you are looking to pursue further education following your undergraduate degree, or when fighting tooth and nail for that first job, but it is not the be all and end all of your future. Only eight of us got first class honours degrees. Bolster up that slightly less impressive grade with all the skills you have attained alongside your degree. Guy Drury got a 2.1 in international politics at Aberystwyth University and is now working for Southampton University's student union as a Democracy Coordinator. He was heavily involved in politics and media throughout his time at university, and claims this helped him secure his job just two weeks after graduating. Do you think degree classifications matter? Author has 7.5K answers and 6.4M answer views. Getting your graduate degree from any institution demonstrates to employers that you have what it really takes to succeed: persistence and determination. The backlog of high-standard graduates seeking work which was created by the recession is finally receding, but the more competitive the job you are pursuing is, the more weight that grade on your degree certificate will hold. With strong applications I feel you could probably sneak your way into the [[big 4]] accounting firms. Calum Murray is studying war studies at Kings College London to try and secure employment in the defence and security sector. This is partially due to the fact that having a first-class degree often means that red carpets are laid out to encourage students to go onto further study. Meet the students who aren't aiming for a first... Jack Denton is in his final year studying electronic engineering. "I'm prioritising my work over uni. Research does show, resoundingly, that unemployment rates are lower for those students who get a first. Internships, society involvement, references, part-time work and volunteering experiences can all override a percentage and will probably have shaped you as an individual more than that final cram for those exams. "Those hours slaving over doing extra-curricular work for the paper on an out-of-date Mac were worth it.". A lot of companies does put the degree results as one of the important, but as a fresh grad do take some time to do presentations in class and start communicating well. In 2015/16, just under 14% of law students graduated with first class degrees. Historically, First Class Honours were uncommon, but as of 2019 are awarded to nearly thirty percent of graduates from British universities. Not for these students. THE MAIN BRITISH DEGREE CLASSIFICATIONS ARE First-class … July 25, 2018, 3:33pm #7. Attending the lectures and seminars, completing the assignments and reading the set texts will allow you to pass. Do you want to continue hitting your head against a brick wall, or is it time to re-evaluate what motivates you? I'm just looking to pick up knowledge that I think will be the most relevant right now.". A first class degree completely eclipses any A-level results you may or may not have achieved. Achieving any degree at University is great, but some aspire for something greater. They don't mind if … Well im 2nd class lower btw. 10 work-life balance tips to set you up for a better 2021, Four great industries if you want to work in sales, Want to work for the Royal Family: Here is what you need to know. With more graduates comes more competition for jobs, but is a first-class degree really the best way to stand out from the rest of the applicants? It does not apply to postcards eli­gible for the card rate, large envelopes, or packages. Advertisement. With more graduates comes more competition for jobs, but is a first-class degree really the best way to stand out from the rest of the applicants? Employers never value grades for the sake of grades. ", With more students focusing on their employability skills to try and get a graduate job, these students are no longer aiming for firsts, Some students are throwing away their hopes of getting a first-class degree and focusing on their employability instead. It's too expensive and I … First Class Honours, referred to as a 'first', is the highest honours classification and indicates high academic achievement. Liked this? ... do all your school tasks, get a degree, get a good job and take care of business. There was a time when university students feared that getting a first was their only chance of getting a good graduate job, and scrambled to get a seat in the library in the hope of securing the top grades. The nonmachinable surcharge applies only to First-Class Mail letters. Your final certificate of attainment is by no means a definitive judgment of your value in the working world. A 2:1 is heralded as the gold bar which students need to propel themselves over in order to consider their degree a success with a capital ‘S’. The table below shows the percentage of each class of honours degree awarded across the UK, by year. The "definitions," such as they exist, of the different degrees, are available from Wikipedia. "It's widely understood that no one ever looks at what boundary you have in your master's unless you're going into academia.". Zena hopes to graduate with a 2.1 in English at the University of York, and says that she feels more productive developing "real-world skills" through working part-time in marketing rather than reading poetry. Your email address will not be published. Some 30 per cent of maths students gain a first class degree, with 24 per cent in engineering, 22 per cent in physics and 20 per cent in computer science. "The alternative activities provide a wider scope into the world I will step into. She is the news editor for her student paper and works for the university as a student ambassador. Despite studying what he describes as "one of the most useful degrees", he argues that the life skills he learns through volunteering for student support service Nightline, training for a marathon and playing in a jazz band are more useful for his employability in the long run. Let us know in the comments. Getting a first-class honours at university is a way of proving your academic prowess, commitment to study, and determination to achieve the very best that you can. Ludo Hashemi is currently studying politics, philosophy and economics at the University of Warwick and has a graduate job lined up already with the Royal Bank of Scotland. Then you’ll love… Student hacks uni system 90 times to change exam grades – FBI. And it's not just the students who are thinking this way; the graduates who have jobs believe in the "anti-first"philosophy too. A first-class degree takes hard work and dedication, no matter where or what you study. "I've learnt just as much through the paper as I have with my degree," she says. According to the Higher Education Statistics Agency, 28 per cent of students in 2018 graduated with a first, and a further 48 per cent with an upper second class degree. That’s just over 4%. Your degree is a prerequisite for the competitive workforce; the topic is irrelevant. UK: Too many first-class degrees sign of … Enjoying yourself is usually the easy bit – you’ll have new friends, more freedom than … "A 2.1 is more than sufficient," he says. It's a fairly minor factor, though. Experience can often trump academic achievement if you can polish it up to your best advantage. A big shiny first is of course the ultimate dream for a student but it is not always attainable. If two otherwise identical candidates are applying for a job and one has a 1st and the other a 2:1, then obviously the one with the 1st will get the job. They value something behind the grades, those qualities that we just mentioned. Advertisement. However, to attain a first class award you need to dig deeper. By throwing themselves into sports, societies, part-time work and volunteering, they reckon they have a much better chance of getting a job after they leave than spending their entire lives studying. Vicky Wong didn't aim for a first either, and she says it doesn't matter as her student media work gave her the experience needed for her career. Around 59 percent of students who go onto postgraduate or PhD study gained a first in their undergraduate degree (according to the Higher Education Statistics Agency). November 15, 2020. Myth 2. Last year, Ogilvy vice-chairman Rory Sutherland said that he was only going to hire graduates with thirds as he says that, "nobody has any evidence that those with first class degrees are any better employees than those with thirds". December 6, 2020, Emma Sturgis, If you are to have any hope of getting a first class degree then you are going to have to learn to research and to do it independently. Not having a first class honour does not prevent one from getting a good job. The best way to think about grades is to think about it as an indicator. Around 59 percent of students who go onto postgraduate or PhD study gained a first in their undergraduate degree (according to the Higher Education Statistics Agency). But now many students are taking a different approach to standing out in the job market – by putting their extra-curricular activities above their education. 29%. How important are degree classifications? Is this the field that really inspires you? My top 10 tips to getting a graduate job with a 2.2 or 3 rd class degree; Why companies are crying out for candidates with a 2.2; How companies have been relaxing their degree requirements for getting a graduate job; Why your degree might not matter as much you think; The importance of work experience in getting a graduate job with a 2.2 or 3rd November 29, 2020, Brooke Chaplan, If you are looking to pursue postgraduate education, and particularly if you are hoping to get your hands on some special funding to do so, a first can make all the difference. I got a little addicted to … Getting a first is difficult, but far from impossible. Outside of his degree, he takes part in the International Youth Forum Seliger and Y20 Russia which he says help "provide wider networks" which will help him in the future. In highly competitive fields, employers with an overwhelming number of applicants may screen out everyone who did not manage to achieve a 2:1, or may even demand a first to proceed to the next round of the application process. Whatever the reasons for the recent spike in firsts, you can … But degree grade inflation has not really inflated employers' expectations to want a first. There is a lot of criticism for the degree classification system which creates a chasm between students whose results are only separated by 2 or 3 percent. Of course, on the idealistic side of things, what really matters is that someone is following a course that they really like and in a place that suits their needs. "From my extra-curricular activities I have learnt skills which employers want, like copywriting, communication and business-awareness," she says. "I'm fairly sure my interviewers barely looked at my degree class - my skills were much more important. They are told by employers that your grades don't matter in the job market; it's your skills that count. Thanakorn Cheungchantrakul is a history student who plans to go to Russia to study after he graduates. Our free site work towards this mission by offering an array of advice from professionals and peers, access to millions of jobs via the biggest job search engine and a social platform to create an engaging network. The % of the cohort that get first class obviously varies by the University and the discipline. jungle_boogie. Do not price these cards as parcels. "I'm not seriously concerned about my degree," he says. She is now a reporter for PoliticsHome and has worked for the Reading Post, Sky News and Total Politics after she got a 2.2 in politics and international relations at Reading University. Your degree gets you an interview (and a 2:1 from a good university should be plenty for that). But does the same focus on grades apply to the 530,000 students who took a master's this year? Yeah I’m with Jungle Boogie hear. Required fields are marked *, Career Camel, It is more difficult to get a first class degree in law than it is in any other subject, including medicine. Laura Abernethy wants to go into journalism after she finishes her degree in history at St Andrews. My degree teaches me tiny details that hardly echo anything in today's world.". The key to putting yourself back alongside the front runners will be experience and attitude. At the beginning of the semester, have a wander around the … It is never the only consideration and having a first is unlikely to be enough if you have neglected the real world and chained yourself to a desk for three or four years in order to be able to wave it in people’s faces. I can only speak for Economics/Econometrics as that is where my experience is but it is often it is over 50%, but at the same time the Honours cohort … Even some postgraduates have a "just pass" mentality towards their courses. Keep track of your marks and calculate the weighting of every piece of work. 13 STEPS TO SUCCEED IN UNIVERSITY AND GET A FIRST-CLASS DEGREE You’ll probably have two main aims at university: to enjoy yourself, and to do well in your degree. In his spare time he works for his union as a technician, and feels that projects he does there are a more practical use of his skills and will lead to a better way into full-time employment. At University in the UK the best grade you can get is a first, a first-class degree - but does it matter if you get a 2:! Your email address will not be published. The model of economic class we use today is a derivation of German philosopher Karl Marx's (1818–1883) definition of class, which was central to his theory of how society operates in a state of class conflict. Graduate jobs: Do graduates need a first-class degree to get a good job? Any one with a first and upper second degree should be proud of their qualification because they have a greater chance of getting jobs or getting graduate degrees than people with a lower class degree(irrespective of the university they graduated from). "It feels like the end of the world when you get a 2.2, but it really isn't," she says. So while it is always a good policy to aim for the stars, do not panic if your final grades fall short of what you hoped for – just find other ways to dazzle potential employers. 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