How important is your degree classification?

When it comes to being employable, is your degree grade the most important factor? For a long time, many have thought this way, but the tide is starting to turn.

One of the UK’s largest graduate employers, Ernst & Young has announced this year that they will scrap the requirement of a 2.1 or above to get a graduate job with them. They claimed that this was because there is no evidence that academic success at university is linked to actual achievement in professional assessments. They are moving, instead, to a “strengths-based approach” and their own numerical tests to assess candidates for roles.

Maggie Stilwell, EY’s managing partner for talent said:

We found little link between previous success at university and future success in professional qualifications

Degree results are no longer seen as reliable indicators on their own. The value of a candidate is not found in just the grade they receive, but in all the qualities they possess – be this measured through technical assessments, or through previous volunteering experience.

Gurpal Minhas, head of customer solutions at Capp, explains that:

Many organisations are considering the impact of purely screening out applications based on degree grades.

He says that the focus is now on behavioural characteristics such as “customer service, drive and passion.”

We fully support these efforts to appreciate a holistic view of graduate achievement, that considers more than just a degree grade. Some graduate employers have dispensed with oversimplified measuring tools, and are choosing instead to consider the breadth of talent that potential recruits have to offer their businesses.

Employers, like PwC and EY, are increasingly recommending that academic credentials alone are too blunt an instrument by which to measure candidates for jobs. The Higher Education Achievement Report (HEAR) is designed to encourage a more sophisticated approach to recording student achievement. As such, it not only records individual module results, but also documents non-academic achievements, and through their Gradintel profiles, students can promote their skills and previous experiences. With or without a HEAR, students can optimise their Gradintel profiles to highlight all of their employable characteristics ,and make sure that an employer can appreciate their full potential.

Visit this range of blog posts to find out how you can make the most of your profile to showcase your talents to employers. A particularly useful feature of your account is the Online Assessment Centre which can be used to practice Numerical, Verbal and Logical reasoning tests – of the sort that EY are now using to help screen their candidates.

Students and graduates from Gradintel’s partner institutions can access their HEAR through their Gradintel account, and the data from the report auto-populates their Gradintel profile. Employers are matched to potential employees through Gradintel, and they can use this platform to find out about any characteristics that they value in candidates.

Students and graduates that are not part of a partner institution can register with Gradintel and fill out their profiles, and likewise be tagged by employers for opportunities. Please visit www.gradintel.com to register for your free account.

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