This article enlightens you on what you can do with a 2.2 (Second Class Lower) degree in 2020.
When I got admission into the University in 2010, my target was to graduate with nothing less than a 2.1. I met students with similar goals too. More than half of my course mates aimed at graduating with a first-class. While I wasn’t so keen about graduating with a first-class, I feared to graduate with a 2.2 (Second Class Lower). I read my heart out to avoid it.
I never wanted a 2.2 (Second Class Lower) because I believed it was a grade for unserious students. My ideology completely changed when some of my smart and intelligent course mates landed at 2.2 (Second Class Lower) at the end of 100l and by the time it was time to graduate, 80 percent of those who set the target of graduating with a first-class ended up with a 2.2 (Second Class Lower). Fortunately for me, I graduated with a 2.1.
This goes a long way to show that having a 2.2 (Second Class Lower) is inevitable. A lot of people finish with such grades for reasons that are entirely avoidable while others are caused by factors seemingly beyond their control. But whatever the reason, they still deserve to live a fulfilled and responsible life.
Going by the discrimination that is being displayed by employers towards 2.2 (Second Class Lower) degree holders, it is only natural to feel terrible. However, graduating with a 2.2 (Second Class Lower) is not the end of the road. It doesn’t make you less of a human. I know many smart students that graduated with a 2.2 (Second Class Lower) and are doing so well for themselves. It’s all about restrategizing.
So, are you a 2.2 (Second Class Lower) degree holder who has been feeling depressed and downcast probably because you feel there’s nothing you can do with such results? Cheer up. If those with a third class can make it, why can’t you? This article will show you things to do with your grade to become a better person.
Below are things to do with 2.2 (Second Class Lower) degrees in 2020:
1. WORK ON YOUR MINDSET
Like we all say, a man is the product of his thoughts. For someone who graduated with a 2.2 (Second Class Lower), it is very possible to think that you can never be as successful as others. It is normal to feel this way but then, the earlier you embrace the reality, the better.
Accept the reality that it is likely going to be tougher for you out there compared to other graduates and start preparing for it. Know that you will most likely have to prove yourself and work harder than others. Don’t sit, wine and brood about how life has been unfair to you. Life itself is a challenge. Realize the challenges on time and brace up for it. Don’t waste precious time on regrets and don’t fall into the trap of inferiority complex. That 2.2 (Second Class Lower) can get you to places a first-class degree may not. It’s all about mindset.
2. BUILD A NETWORK
Before we get to the major things you’re likely to do as a 2.2 (Second Class Lower) degree holder, it is paramount to bring to your notice, things that will help make your journey very easy. One of them is the network.
Let’s face the facts and not deceive ourselves and beat about the bush. Graduating with a 2.2 (Second Class Lower) means that chances of joining one of the big companies as entry-level staff in Nigeria (for instance) in an open recruitment process are lower than others with better grades.
Very few companies give 2.2 (Second Class Lower) degree holders even the tiniest opportunity to prove themselves.
You are right to say that some people who graduated with a 2.2 (Second Class Lower) are even smarter than some graduates with better grades. Yes, that’s absolutely correct but the system we find ourselves in doesn’t really care so much about that. This is why most job vacancies require applicants having 2.1 and above.
In cases like this, the question of who you know comes to play. It is therefore very essential for you to learn to network. Improve your interpersonal skills and sharpen your networking skills. Do not take for granted those important personalities you come in contact with at every given time.
From personal experience and keen observations, more than 70% of the graduates I know that graduated with 2.2 (Second Class Lower) or less got their jobs through networking. Strengthen your networking skills. Go to conferences, professional associations, get involved with volunteering, etc. Get reliable contacts and industry informants.
Also, don’t ignore religious and ethnic gatherings too. Friends can also be very helpful. Get social, make sure that your social media accounts depict professionalism. Build up those necessary connections, experience, and contacts especially in your desired sector. Ensure to make the most of all the social interactions like, get involved in any other event that might help you get your name out there.
Do you know that third-class degree holders are heading companies and employing first-class graduates? That’s the power of networking.
So, do not be hard on yourself for graduating with a 2:2, with the right connections and strong Networks, trust me, you’ll do well.
2. LEARN NEW SKILLS
Enough of the brooding. The deed is done if you must enhance your employability as a 2.2 (Second Class Lower) degree holder, learn a new skill. No doubt that grade is what business owners look out for in a job seeker first, but then, every business is interested in an employer that will add more value in his organisation, no employer wants to be a liability.
Having a 2.2 (Second Class Lower) has already reduced your chances of being noticed in the labour market. Learning a marketable skill is another way to boost your chances.
Search for suitable skills that can complement your degree course or help you build a career in any field you are interested in.
I have seen graduates learn programming, graphic designs, web design, fashion designing, etc and making a whole lot of money from them. Some are simply professionals when it comes to database management. There are still others with great marketing ability. You can be a writer cum blogger. There are just too many skills to go for.
3. IMPROVE YOUR COMMUNICATION SKILL AND CONFIDENCE
Hey, have you been hiding because of your grade? It’s time to stand up to your feet. Improve your communication skill and build your confidence. Mind you, good communication skill goes beyond just writing, you have to pay attention to your speaking ability.
Communication skills (speaking and writing) can greatly enhance your chances of getting a job. Communication and confidence go together. Confidence in speaking can even make falsehood appear true. If you exude so much confidence, employers are likely not to pay much attention to your grade.
4. DO A POSTGRADUATE DEGREE
Go for masters or professional certification as soon as possible. While masters or certification will not entirely take away the drawback caused by having a 2.2 (Second Class Lower), it can only improve your chances.
For instance, graduating with a 2.2 (Second Class Lower) in banking and finance may not afford you your dream career but going further to get an ICAN Certification can. In other words, there is a big difference between a BSc (2.2 (Second Class Lower)) in banking and finance and a BSc (2.2 (Second Class Lower)) in Bank Fin + ICAN certification.
One can pursue an academic career depending on how good your postgraduate results are. Having poor results shouldn’t make you rule out the possibility of postgraduate study.
You might think that you need the very top grades to be considered for postgraduate study, but this isn’t always the case.
If you’ve made a good impression and your lecturers know you’re a hard worker, there’s a chance that the university will waive the entry requirements and let you on board. In the case where you may wish to enrol for a postgraduate study outside the Institution you acquired your BSc degree, it is important you make proper enquiries and go for schools with lenient requirements and affordable fees, for those who may see the fees as a turnoff.
5. ENROL FOR ONLINE COURSES AND GET CERTIFIED
There are thousands of short online courses these days.
Based on the choice, you can go for courses in line with your field or outside your field. The important thing is to go for a course that will enable you to stand out from the crowd of job seekers with your certification. This is a good way to boost your CV and prove to your prospective employer that you’re not defined by the grade in the paper. Improve yourself to divert attention from the poor grades. They will definitely notice the poor grade but certainly can’t resist you.
A graduate with a 2.2 (Second Class Lower) degree with a lot of certifications will most likely be chosen over a 2.1 graduate with no certification.
6. GATHER EXPERIENCE
There are 2 things most companies hold dear when hiring. Academic excellence and experience. Academic excellence tells them you are smart and experience tells them you know what you are doing.
In the competitive labour force we have today, I know getting a job with a first-class or second class upper degree is a herculean task except with a strong network, talk more of a second class lower degree holder.
With such grades, you stand little or no chance, not because you cannot do the job, but because most employees have a minimum requirement of a second class upper (2.1) degree.
However, you stand a chance to get employed by gathering experiences from other available means. I didn’t just say “get experience”, I said, “gather experience”Get as much experience as possible. You can gather experience by doing volunteer jobs or even offering freelance services to get recommendations.
If you gather as much experience as you can in your field, employers will see the seriousness and professionalism in you, causing them to overlook your grade.
7. MAKE YOUR CV VERY CATCHY
Your degree qualifications might seem like the most important thing on your CV, but they only take up one small line. Once an employer has read through all of your great experience, those qualifications can be quickly forgotten about. This is why you need to gather experience through every means, learn new skills, etc. This information comes handy when preparing your CV.
Focus on making your CV sparkle with the kind of extras that many first-class graduates may not even have.
8. PRACTICE HARD COPY CV CIRCULATION
l know that there are very few openly advertised vacancies that require 2.2 (Second Class Lower). for entry-level positions. From personal experience, getting a job by merely submitting CVs is quite difficult for me as a 2.1-degree holder and talk less of a 2.2 (Second Class Lower) degree holder.
You might wait endlessly as a 2.2 (Second Class Lower) graduate if you are seeking only publicly advertised jobs. Why not clean up your CV and cover letter and pursue the unadvertised jobs. Go for unsolicited job applications. This is a strategy that works magic.
9. SEARCH FOR GRADUATE JOBS THAT ACCEPT 2.2 (SECOND CLASS LOWER) DEGREE HOLDERS
It’s true that many jobs have a minimum degree requirement of a 2.1, but it’s not the case for every employer. There are still renown organizations that still employ graduates with 2.2 (Second Class Lower).
Research and research. Some big graduate recruiters will accept a 2.2 (Second Class Lower) degrees for specific schemes while others won’t.
Youll be astonished to know there are countless roles that can be found in a number of industries and there might be less competition for them.
For example, some of the leading accountancy firms like Deloitte, EY and KPMG have recently taken on a more flexible approach to graduate scheme entry requirements.
There are a number of Engineering employers, like Jaguar Land Rover, Babcock and National Grid to name a few, that accept students graduating with a 2.2 (Second Class Lower) degree.
Companies which hire graduates with a 2:2 degree include;
- Network Rail
- Procter &Gamble.
Also, a quick Google search for “graduate jobs for 2:2 degree holders” will bring up tons of job search sites which will provide you with options to choose from.
10. CONSIDER OTHER AVAILABLE OPTIONS
You may need to do some critical thinking about options that are open for you. In some cases, students finish with low grades because they chose the wrong course. And in such situations, it may be very difficult to compete against other motivated graduates of the same or similar courses.
Are there other career options available for you to delve into? Have you considered entrepreneurship, multi-level marketing, sales jobs, etc? Do you love fashion designing, estate management, information technology, etc? Are there menial jobs you have handled in the past that can fetch you big money if you decide to go fully into it e.g, maintenance jobs, food services, dry cleaning jobs, etc.
11. START A BUSINESS AFTER UNIVERSITY
If Steve Jobs and Bill Gates can do it with no degree at all, imagine what you can do with a 2.2 (Second Class Lower). Just because no one wants to hire you because of your grade does not mean you can not hire yourself. You should believe in yourself and your abilities if no one else does. Your pass degree shouldn’t stop you from exploring the entrepreneurial world.
A lot of people have turned the challenge of being rejected by business owners into a motivating factor that helped them to build empires. You can do it too. Start small and work hard.
There are so many factors that will make you succeed as an entrepreneur and your class of degree isn’t one of them. By surveying your immediate environment and creating avenues to meet people’s needs, you’re a step to becoming a successful entrepreneur.
Starting up might be tough, but with determination, dedication and consistency, you will surely make it.
Even if you decide not to move forward in the end, having a flutter in the small business world will look great when you mention it in your CV.
In conclusion, having a 2.2 (Second Class Lower) is not the end of the road for you. If you must excel, you don’t need to sit back brooding all day long. First, you need to work on your mindset and think positively. Having done that, you will have to think critically. Not all graduates really wish to work for organisations, there are many that wish to be self-employed regardless of their grades. If you wish to get into the labour market with 2.2 (Second Class Lower), then you have some work to do.
Acquire new skills, gather experience either by volunteering or internships. Enrol for a postgraduate study or get more certifications. This will help to add more value or rather, enhance your employability as a 2.2 (Second Class Lower) degree holder. Not forgetting that building a strong network will also increase your chances of getting employed. This is why you should not take contacts and connections for granted.
While it is not impossible that you land the big dream job in a top organization on your first trial, the chances are very slim. Fortunately, the significance of grades diminishes gradually as you acquire relevant job experience. Never feel discouraged if you have to start from a humbling work background. It may come from an internship or volunteer experience.
It may be a frustrating one-man business. The pay may appear too little for your comfort. The employment may be on a contract basis. It doesn’t matter. Squeeze out as much experience as you can. All those experiences from the so-called dirty jobs can add significant weight to your resume in your next big job hunt.
I’m a realistic person and so, I don’t believe in pampering words. The fact is this, don’t expect a sudden breakthrough immediately. If it happens, rejoice. If it does not, keep developing yourself. Exercise some patience and continue to work hard and ensure you surround yourself with mentors would have faced similar challenges and overcame
You should try and get one or two mentors that can share their experiences and guide you appropriately in your career pursuits.
You can work in your dream organisation and experience job satisfaction even with a 2.2 (Second Class Lower) degree. All you need to do is to use what you have read in this article.
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Chioma Oparah is a very talented and passionate freelance writer that has dedicated her skill in helping young minds to self-discovery. She has 4 years of experience in the field of content writing.