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Lack of UCAS points letting me down :( Watch

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    Hi guys,

    I finished a BSC hons degree in computer networks last year with a a high 2.1 (67%) but due to my rubbish one A level (D) and 2 rubbish AS's (C and E) I don't seem to be even eligible to apply to most descent graduate jobs I come across...

    The fact is that I didn't really mature till a few years after college (7 years ago) and now I am paying for it. I was capable at all the subjects that I studied but due to that lack of maturity and quite serious issues at home I missed a lot of college and didn't really revise for my exams back then.

    Can anyone advise me on what they think I should do?

    Can I take (a) quick course/exams or something to get some points?

    I am very capable at IT but don't want to do a long course at a lower level than my degree and furthermore I really want to get on the job ladder.

    I would appreciate and input, thanks!
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    If you have a degree in Computing then you should be able to retake the A-Level and get an A with your eyes closed, then take the exams to two other related A-Levels. So you could do, for example, Computing, Applied ICT, Statistics. There's three A-levels in the bag. Or you could just lie and hope they don't ask for proof, or just apply for things which don't require UCAS points.
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    Thanks for the quick response Einheri!

    Would it make sense to do 3 A level exam's in IT related subjects?
    Isn't there a BTEC or something that I could take as a single subject to make it look a little more legitimate? Any Ideas on how quick (assuming I knew the syllabus) I could get it done?
    Surely coursework would mess up chances of doing them quickly?

    BTW The above questions aren't aimed specifically at you Einheri!

    On a side note I didn't study an IT related A level the first time round...
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    (Original post by cazmaj)
    Hi guys,

    I finished a BSC hons degree in computer networks last year with a a high 2.1 (67%) but due to my rubbish one A level (D) and 2 rubbish AS's (C and E) I don't seem to be even eligible to apply to most descent graduate jobs I come across...

    The fact is that I didn't really mature till a few years after college (7 years ago) and now I am paying for it. I was capable at all the subjects that I studied but due to that lack of maturity and quite serious issues at home I missed a lot of college and didn't really revise for my exams back then.

    Can anyone advise me on what they think I should do?

    Can I take (a) quick course/exams or something to get some points?

    I am very capable at IT but don't want to do a long course at a lower level than my degree and furthermore I really want to get on the job ladder.

    I would appreciate and input, thanks!

    Apply for the jobs anyway and ignore the UCAS points. If necessary (ie an online form stops your application if you put in too few UCAS points) , ring HR beforehand. Otherwise apply, it is a filter that is usually applied by a human reading your application, and if they see more recent activities and qualifications they like the look of they will ignore A levels, especially if they were 7 years ago.
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    Thanks for the advice!

    Getting quite depressed with this whole application gig!

    I guess I'll just have to stay positive!
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    I'm in the same boat as you unfortunately. I got 2 A levels D and E, and no AS's. I went so far as to complete a Masters in Advanced Software Engineering from Kings College London and got a Merit after having obtained a 2.1 in Computer Science from University of Bedfordshire.

    I'm almost 100% certain employers are rejecting me based on my A levels/UCAS points. It's unfortunate but it looks like a Masters graduate has to now redo his A levels because of the absolute crap system in place. My failure at A levels also had nothing to do with my own doing (I was beaten up mistakenly in an alleyway, and once something like that happens, you kinda give up on life, but I had to pick myself back up). For me, I look at it as an advantage that I am a determined person but how does one convey that on an application form which doesn't care if they filter straight away based on A levels. Pathetic.
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    (Original post by akhan789)
    I'm in the same boat as you unfortunately. I got 2 A levels D and E, and no AS's. I went so far as to complete a Masters in Advanced Software Engineering from Kings College London and got a Merit after having obtained a 2.1 in Computer Science from University of Bedfordshire.

    I'm almost 100% certain employers are rejecting me based on my A levels/UCAS points. It's unfortunate but it looks like a Masters graduate has to now redo his A levels because of the absolute crap system in place. My failure at A levels also had nothing to do with my own doing (I was beaten up mistakenly in an alleyway, and once something like that happens, you kinda give up on life, but I had to pick myself back up). For me, I look at it as an advantage that I am a determined person but how does one convey that on an application form which doesn't care if they filter straight away based on A levels. Pathetic.
    Try and think about the logic of that from the employers point of view. Why would an employer be rejecting a Masters degree candidate on the basis of their A level grades? There are two reasons - firstly, because they want candidates that have proven academic strength at all stages of their education or secondly because they want to filter out weak candidates.

    If you are being rejected by an employer because you do not have a continuous history of academic excellence, taking your A levels when you are about 23, and have completed a Masters degree does absolutely nothing to change that.

    If they use it as a filter to root out weaker candidates, then you need to contact them and ask them if this is an automatic filter or a human one. I have no point scores to my A levels (took them too long ago!) but I have asked HR in very many companies (PwC, Capgemini, OW, RB, McKinsey, Bain, BCG, Deloitte and half a dozen others I can't remember now) and they ALL said that a human being reads every CV and makes a decision based on all the facts available. In which case, they are either still making the decision to reject you based on the first option above, or because there is some other weakness in your application.

    I'm sorry, but employers are rarely complete idiots. If you have a Masters degree in a relevant subject, they will not exclude your application on the basis of your A levels. You need to take another look at how you are completing your applications, what you are applying for etc. Don't waste time re-sitting A levels.
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    (Original post by threeportdrift)
    Try and think about the logic of that from the employers point of view. Why would an employer be rejecting a Masters degree candidate on the basis of their A level grades? There are two reasons - firstly, because they want candidates that have proven academic strength at all stages of their education or secondly because they want to filter out weak candidates.

    If you are being rejected by an employer because you do not have a continuous history of academic excellence, taking your A levels when you are about 23, and have completed a Masters degree does absolutely nothing to change that.

    If they use it as a filter to root out weaker candidates, then you need to contact them and ask them if this is an automatic filter or a human one. I have no point scores to my A levels (took them too long ago!) but I have asked HR in very many companies (PwC, Capgemini, OW, RB, McKinsey, Bain, BCG, Deloitte and half a dozen others I can't remember now) and they ALL said that a human being reads every CV and makes a decision based on all the facts available. In which case, they are either still making the decision to reject you based on the first option above, or because there is some other weakness in your application.

    I'm sorry, but employers are rarely complete idiots. If you have a Masters degree in a relevant subject, they will not exclude your application on the basis of your A levels. You need to take another look at how you are completing your applications, what you are applying for etc. Don't waste time re-sitting A levels.
    As much as I would love to believe that there is some weakness on my application other than my A levels; I have had my applications and CV checked by some reputable people, and they all said it's fine so i'd love to say you were right, but this is not true.
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    (Original post by akhan789)
    As much as I would love to believe that there is some weakness on my application other than my A levels; I have had my applications and CV checked by some reputable people, and they all said it's fine so i'd love to say you were right, but this is not true.
    OK, so you are a Masters degree holder, you can put together a strong CV, you've done your research on employers so you are pretty clued up about the whole employment process. What rational reason can you suggest for an employer turning down a strong applicant with a strong academic record, but poor A levels?
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    (Original post by threeportdrift)
    OK, so you are a Masters degree holder, you can put together a strong CV, you've done your research on employers so you are pretty clued up about the whole employment process. What rational reason can you suggest for an employer turning down a strong applicant with a strong academic record, but poor A levels?
    There are hundreds or thousands of applicants who have the same and enough UCAS points?
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    (Original post by AlH123)
    There are hundreds or thousands of applicants who have the same and enough UCAS points?
    Then make your application stronger - but A levels won't do it.
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    (Original post by cazmaj)
    Hi guys,

    I finished a BSC hons degree in computer networks last year with a a high 2.1 (67%) but due to my rubbish one A level (D) and 2 rubbish AS's (C and E) I don't seem to be even eligible to apply to most descent graduate jobs I come across...

    The fact is that I didn't really mature till a few years after college (7 years ago) and now I am paying for it. I was capable at all the subjects that I studied but due to that lack of maturity and quite serious issues at home I missed a lot of college and didn't really revise for my exams back then.

    Can anyone advise me on what they think I should do?

    Can I take (a) quick course/exams or something to get some points?

    I am very capable at IT but don't want to do a long course at a lower level than my degree and furthermore I really want to get on the job ladder.

    I would appreciate and input, thanks!
    decent*.
    and its not all about ucas points, try and make your application stronger in other places man
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    (Original post by AlH123)
    There are hundreds or thousands of applicants who have the same and enough UCAS points?
    This is the other rational reason I would give. The only thing i'm considering doing now is some kind of professional certification such as Sun Java or Microsoft certs. If that doesn't work, then going backwards might only be the way forwards for me. Good luck to the OP.
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    (Original post by threeportdrift)
    Try and think about the logic of that from the employers point of view. Why would an employer be rejecting a Masters degree candidate on the basis of their A level grades? There are two reasons - firstly, because they want candidates that have proven academic strength at all stages of their education or secondly because they want to filter out weak candidates.

    If you are being rejected by an employer because you do not have a continuous history of academic excellence, taking your A levels when you are about 23, and have completed a Masters degree does absolutely nothing to change that.

    If they use it as a filter to root out weaker candidates, then you need to contact them and ask them if this is an automatic filter or a human one. I have no point scores to my A levels (took them too long ago!) but I have asked HR in very many companies (PwC, Capgemini, OW, RB, McKinsey, Bain, BCG, Deloitte and half a dozen others I can't remember now) and they ALL said that a human being reads every CV and makes a decision based on all the facts available. In which case, they are either still making the decision to reject you based on the first option above, or because there is some other weakness in your application.

    I'm sorry, but employers are rarely complete idiots. If you have a Masters degree in a relevant subject, they will not exclude your application on the basis of your A levels. You need to take another look at how you are completing your applications, what you are applying for etc. Don't waste time re-sitting A levels.
    And you believe that? Sorry I'm not trying to be funny but as a software engineer who has worked on similar web systems that kind of logic is stupidly easy for a the web programmer to build into the form and with so many graduate applications it saves them time. I wouldn't be suprised if they told you that just to pacify you assuming (correctly) that you wouldn't question it any further.

    Sorry but I'm just saying because I know companies that DO filter automatically and given that the min ucas points are clearly stated for a reason (often in the job adverts) and that any programmer would be an idiot if she/he didn't include them in the logic. The OP deserves to know and my advice would be to not waste time on the forms as they're long and take time you could spend applying to smaller firms, getting experience and side stepping in the future maybe to the company you really want to work for.

    OP if you're really that bothered about grad schemes it may be worth taking Alevels (as someone already said here they'd be a walk in the park after your computing degree).
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    (Original post by stoney)
    And you believe that? Sorry I'm not trying to be funny but as a software engineer who has worked on similar web systems that kind of logic is stupidly easy for a the web programmer to build into the form and with so many graduate applications it saves them time. I wouldn't be suprised if they told you that just to pacify you assuming (correctly) that you wouldn't question it any further.

    Sorry but I'm just saying because I know companies that DO filter automatically and given that the min ucas points are clearly stated for a reason (often in the job adverts) and that any programmer would be an idiot if she/he didn't include them in the logic. The OP deserves to know and my advice would be to not waste time on the forms as they're long and take time you could spend applying to smaller firms, getting experience and side stepping in the future maybe to the company you really want to work for.

    OP if you're really that bothered about grad schemes it may be worth taking Alevels (as someone already said here they'd be a walk in the park after your computing degree).
    I don't believe a human reads every application either. I was rejected by PwC very very soon after applying, within maybe an hour at most, and this was a Sunday evening.
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    (Original post by TheProdigy2k9)
    decent*.
    and its not all about ucas points, try and make your application stronger in other places man
    If you're going to criticize someone else's spelling then you can at least spell correctly yourself, use proper grammar, punctuate and capitalize. Just for you:

    And it's not all about UCAS points. Try and make your application stronger in other places, man.
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    Have some of mine.
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    (Original post by Einheri)
    If you're going to criticize someone else's spelling then you can at least spell correctly yourself, use proper grammar, punctuate and capitalize. Just for you:

    And it's not all about UCAS points. Try and make your application stronger in other places, man.
    didn't know i made a spelling mistake?
    so **** youuuu
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    you*
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    Lol...

    I appreciate the advice guys!

    decent*.
    and its not all about ucas points, try and make your application stronger in other places man
    On the spelling police thing, if you weren't scrutinising others 4am spelling of a homophone then you might read what they were saying, I said "I don't seem to be even eligible to apply to most descent graduate jobs", not I think my UCAS points are responsible for me not getting jobs.

    Anyway...

    I have to agree with the people who are of the opinion that many applicants are filtered out solely on the basis of UCAS points. Even if an application gets viewed by an actual person it surely is not a stretch of the imagination to see them wanting to reduce their load on the basis of low UCAS scores and with the modern day electronic medium for applying the applicant is further restricted to draw attention to any reasons or alternatives for these UCAS scores (eg. a small "NB Please see reasons for low scores in 'Section B'" hand written beside the scores). While I think that some may not take recently achieved A Levels in the same regard as ones achieved just after school, I think they are almost certain to increase chances for the applicant to proceed.

    I think I just need to get more applications out and perhaps follow the advice from earlier to try calling the HR department of the company.

    For the minute I am going to continue trying for graduate jobs but the looming need for food and shelter will probably have me working wherever the hell I can soon enough!

    Thanks again for all the input! Happy Christmas guys! :wavey:
 
 
 
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