We might as well relax and take it easy - getting a 2:1 isn't worth the extra effort.
A recent study by jobs website Adzuna has suggested that a graduate earning a 2:2 degree or less may earn up to £8,000 less than those earning a 2:1 degree or higher. That’s a gap of £300,000 over a working life. In all honesty, I can’t say I’m surprised by these statistics.
Given the level of competition in today’s job market, employers have to do everything they can to filter through the tides of applications which come crashing through their doors. One of the easiest ways of doing this is by judging people by their grades and it’s not entirely wrong. In many cases, it separates the clever from the ‘less clever’ and the determined from the lazy; however, this is certainly not the rule, especially at an institution such as our own.
Roughly a quarter of us (depending on the subject in question), get 2:2s or lower; and let’s face it, the vast majority of us aren’t stupid, and the vast majority of us do ‘try’. It’s not enough evidence to count us out of a hope of employment.
Instead, job selection requires an extremely multi-faceted approach. Each potential employee is assessed according to their individual traits, as well as how they work as a team, and how they can make a positive impact within the firm. Essentially, the individual must be able to slot neatly into the job vacancy.
While in the years immediately after graduation I can understand why those with 2:1s may earn more, I am sceptical that this trend would continue over a life-time. A degree is an academic qualification; agreed, it teaches you extremely valuable skills such as how to think critically and rationally, but those skills alone will not get you a promotion – unless the degree is entirely vocational, it’s a lot more difficult to predict an individual’s contribution to the firm based solely upon their academic qualifications.
Although achieving a 2:1 is obviously important, it shouldn’t be what gets a student out of bed, but the bigger picture. You may want to ask yourself why you ever wanted to jump on the treadmill in the first place: is it because you find mergers and acquisitions ‘fascinating’, or is it because you just want to ‘earn a shit-load of money straight away’? I’m not going to judge, but if you’re doing it because of the latter, you may want to re-think your game plan.
Any grade isn’t as important as pursuing a career which you’re passionate about; the money should come naturally after that. Ultimately, it all comes down to finding what you really want to do. After that, if you are perseverant, eventually, somewhere down the line, someone will acknowledge you for what you’re worth and you’ll get paid for it.
It might be wise to simply relax, take a deep breath, and think beyond the tiny bubble composed of Cambridge and class divisions. After all, in the long run, you’ll probably be happier for it.
Recent graduates looking to stay in the area might want to consider browsing Adzuna who have nearly 3,000 live jobs in Cambridge“