Degree classification....Would you hire a 3rd class graduate?

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Basically, as the thread title asks, would you hire someone with a 3rd class degree?

Does the grade matter, or is the fact they have a degree enough?

If you wouldn't even consider someone with a 3rd, why?

I know some people say theyre not worth the paper they're written on, but what about individual cases and cicumstances....afterall surely not all 3rd class holders are lazyabouts spending all they're days boozing, right?

Also, some may be bright but uni was just not right for them?

Would you give them the chance to explain themselves or just write them off completely without even getting to know more about them?

I know a lot of employers who couldn't care less about grades and don't discriminate on this....but also a lot who treat 3rd class holders like some kind of 2nd class citizens...
 
I wouldn't write them off. It really depends on the job and whether they have the skills, the temperament and/or the potential to fit into the company. I would, however, be interested in why they got a third - I'd ask them whether they enjoyed studying for their degree and what they got out of it in the hope that they'd explain. As you say, there could well be a good reason that wouldn't affect their ability to do the job.
 
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I agree slightly about considering the institution, but does that mean everyone from a 'community college degree course' or 'former polytechnic' automatically written off because they didn't go to a top 20 uni?

With regards to the grade....don't they even get a chance to explain why they got a 3rd? They can't put personal circumstances (i.e. illness, family breakdown, whatever) on a CV....so why are they dismissed before they even get to 'defend' themselves?

I can imagine the majority of 3rd class holders would have wasted their time but my concern is for those who didn't. but don't get a look in.

(For the record I'm not discussing myself!)
 
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I did a post graduate course from Cambridge Uni and there there was a very inteligent, practical and thoughtful guy who had only got a third.

He had spent a lot of his time as an undergraduate potholing though!

He got a good job with a good company, but left later to do something more entrepreneurial.

I met some with better degrees, for top univetsities who were really not that bright and needed things explaining slowly.

All a top grade really shows is that someone has been focussed and wokked to reach the standard. But that is no bad thing, and they may turn out to be excellent employees. Others may have sailed through with an uncanny aptitude and be too clever to settle into an employed position.

Best to talk to them to see if they are what you want

Educational results are not really too good a predictor unless you need someone with that particular knowledge. There is a lot more that goes into finding a great employee which is not tested.
 
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Liybpg

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Nov 8, 2009
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From my experience, I am not even sure how you get a third degree. You have to be not very bright and not care about studies at all - bad combination.

Employers need some evidence that you are able to do the job well, if you have just graduated and don't have much work experience and all you have is your degree - this is pretty much the only evidence they've got of how good you are. It may be not the best measure, but it does show how you can motivate yourself (even if you don't like it) and how clever you are.

If all you've got is a third and not much work experience, there's no evidence really to show that you are a worthy candidate. Some employers might think differently, but I guess the majority will follow this logic.
 
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In my opinion it really depends on how the person comes across and if this adds up with their degree. If someone has a 3rd and shows a slight feel of being lazy then it should probably tell you something.

However if someone came to me with a decent reason why they got a 3rd then I see no reason not to employ them. For example, I originally did my degree in Physics but after a year or so it became apparent that I didn't really want to be a physicist. So I started to run my IT business while at uni. I didn't get a third, but my attention was definitely shifted to more applied knowledge in IT than my degree; which in an employee I would find more appealing than having a 1st.
 
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Ok so some above are saying that it depends on how they come across - but aint they got to get to interview stage first?

You are sitting with over 100 applications in your hand, you have stated degree level - all other criteria are met by everyone - and you are telling me that you wouldnt pass over those with a third??

And why put special circumstances, hell lets just put that for every exam you study - just in case!!

And yes, which and where you got the result from too will affect your decision regardless of all the good intentions those above say wouldnt affect them.

Being realistic, of my three brats, I have one at a top ten Uni, I have one about to go to a top 20 Uni and the third, well he is too young yet.

Its all about managing expectations - and you expect someone with a certain degree to be at a certain level and if they also have a degree from a well known and acknowledged top Uni, you will favour them!!
 
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mit74

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Jun 4, 2010
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The computing degree I have was too easy and those in my year who got a third have all been either the lazy ones who couldn't be bothered to do anything or get involved or the ones who weren't simply bright enough and found even simple tasks such as basic maths or basic programming too challenging. So no it's likely I wouldn't employ someone with a third. Anyone who displays any interest or passion for IT work would not get a third unless there were extreme circumstances.
 
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TotallySport

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Jul 18, 2007
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If someone wrote a good cover letter, they would get an interview, the number of good cover letters we get is very few indeed, so a CV doesn't necessarily need to have good qualifications, then at the interview they would need to be able to demonstrate their ability and standards.
 
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movietub

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Nov 6, 2008
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Unless the candidate is applying for a job that really requires a degree then I would always see any degree only as an extra indication that the person is suitable for the job and has some apptitude for the skills involved.

But a third? That really is a universities way of saying 'everyone gets a prize'. Like the cuddly toy you win at a fair which is worth 50p after playing an impossible to lose game for £3 a go. It's not a prize, it's just an example of a poor return for 2-3 years of life.

For any job where a first or second is not an absolute requirement, then a third is less relevant than just about any other effort the candidate could make to impress me.

For example, lets say I'm hiring someone to merchandise our ecommerce website. I have two candidates both equal in every way except one has degree in ecommerce something or other, but its a thord class degree. The other has no degree at all.

BUT the other person decided that instead of going to uni, they would work 12 months for another firm at minimum wage alongside a merchandiser, and they have left with a glowing reference. Which do you think I would choose?

And the kicker is, the person that went and got the experience earned about the same in one year as the first person paid each year for 3 years to get a lesser result. So my choice is between a person that either wastes time and money then fails, or a person that is honest enough to realise they perform badly academically but feels they can prove they are skilled in a practical way in 1/3 the time.
 
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benjamin_c

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Jun 3, 2009
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Degree's arn't that hard, i've managed to get 2:1's in the last 2 years and i've left most of the work untill the night before deadline (typical student in that respect) the only people who get 3rds and low 2:2's are the one's who just don't attend or just don't have the ability to do the course.
A degree shouldn't be the only factor used to choose an employee though as i know people who constantly get high level 1sts in all of their work but they lack common sense and the ability to think outside the accedemic guidelines they have been tought, and i know people without a degree who have so much potentual and could do most jobs a graduate could do to an equal or even better standard.
If i were employing someone i would rather employ someone without a degree at all than with a 3rd as unless they have special circumstances to justify it the chances are they're just lazy sods who didn't attend lectures and did most of their assingments by copy n pasting from wikipedia and then changing the words to avoid red flagging by plagiarism software, i would consider a 2:2 and 2:1 applicant if they had experence or other key skills which would be of benefit, but i would look further into 1st class candidates as i would want to ensure that they have practical skills and common sense as well as accedemic ability.
In summary, my opinion is that a degree what ever the grade is a small part of an employees profile and any employer who only considers the grade of a degree as the only deciding factor whether a candidate is suitable for employment needs to wake up. one final point i'd like to make is due to such large numbers of people going to uni now there will be a surplus of graduates so in professions where a degree is preffered, applicants with the better grades will certainly be better placed to get work, and i can see that it will soon get to the point where employers are specifying that applicants must have masters this will be the corporate answer to filtering through the mass of graduates. there will always be more people wanting work than businesses looking for workers.
 
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Wholesale-Dealer

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Jul 22, 2010
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in my opinion skills matters more than the grade i have seen many graduates in my professional having good grades from reputable universities but they can't match the quality of the skills of some normal students from average universities
 
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Jeff FV

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Jan 10, 2009
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Supply & Demand.

With far more graduates than jobs, recruiters are applying filters. If a degree is a requirement then the first filter will be degree classification and anyone with a 3rd (&, increasingly, a 2-2) will be filtered out at this stage without the application letter being read. If this still leaves a significant pile of candidates then the next filter will be Uni, with possibly anyone who didin't attend Oxbridge or a Russell Group uni being rejected. This may now leave a pile of letters thin enough to be read.

20 years ago - when the number of graduates was far fewer than today - a third was acceptable, but in today's market it is probably not. I would rather employ someone with 3 years work experience - in any form of work, just demonstrating that they can get up & turn up each morning - than someone with a third.

Jeff
 
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