Is there any point in doing a degree with a criminal record?

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OJ S
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#1
Report Thread starter 9 years ago
#1
Well, I got into a lot of trouble when I was younger and was arrested for all sorts of things including assault, criminal damage, theft, shoplifting, stealing cars.....(had a bad upbringing yada yada) I went to a young offenders institute for 6 months for affray when I was 17 which I am kinda glad I did because that made me turn my life around and I havent been in trouble since (10 years).

All my convictions are now spent but obviously they will show up on an enhanced CRB.

Ive been offered place at Durham Uni this year on the Foundation degree course for Accounting and Finance. I am still in 2 minds wether to do this or Economics.

Is it even worth doing a degree with the record I have. I mean will EVERY decent employer ask for an enhanced CRB?

Would it be easier getting a job with an economics degree or an accounting degree with the record I have?

Ive been offered a job in the army and am bashing my brains what to do. Id rather do uni but not if its gonna be a a waste of time.

Any advice would be grateful.
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donuticus
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#2
Report 9 years ago
#2
Absolutely it is worth doing. The fact you have been out of trouble for ten years and all your convictions are spent coupled with the fact you then got yourself together and got into University shows hat you have pulled your life together.

Yes some occupations could possibly be unavailable to you a lot of employers would look at the fact that you have clearly put all that behind you and have set out to change your life. Even if your record does preclude you from some jobs having the degree will open far more doors than not having one would close.

For what it's worth well done on getting offered a place at Durham.
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Scienceisgood
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#3
Report 9 years ago
#3
Don't see why not.

As the years go on, I doubt employees will look at criminal records that happened 10 years ago unless it was something like rape/murder.
Simple spats of drug use or thievery I don't think will play much part after so long.

Then again, everyone has their own means of employing people. If I was the employer, I wouldn't think of it at all 10 years ago.
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mr tim
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#4
Report 9 years ago
#4
It really depends on the employer. If they want to look at your criminal records that happened 14 years ago or so (when you look for a job after your degree), then they may have both sides.

I think Durham University saw that you have had a criminal conviction and that they offered you a place, not every University may do that. Although maybe you haven't done anything criminally wrong, and even if you don't do it during your degree. then maybe you could still do it in the future, and I think maybe some employers will have this in mind.

So its just a wait and see, but I don't think all decent employers will take this and say no.
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threeportdrift
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#5
Report 9 years ago
#5
(Original post by OJ S)
...........
You are best off asking HR people in specific jobs. If you have a record of any violence, then working with children is likely to be a problem, so you can probably dismiss teaching at primary or secondary level. If you have any record for dishonesty, than you can almost certainly write off anything in finance - which is a consideration given your degree option.

There is absolutely nothing stopping you get a degree, and making a professional career of it afterwards. However teaching and finance are particularly sensitive and relatively unforgiving. That said, there are always exceptions, but they will be hard to find. Outside that, relatively few careers require ECRB/CRB checks, or require you to disclose spent convictions.

I'd suggest you are better off doing Economics, which is a strong and flexible degree. It will give you more options that A&F, especially more options that won't worry about spent convictions.

Presuming you are about 27 and without a degree aren't going into the Army on a commission, I'd advise trying the foundation year of Economics at Durham and seeing what it's like. If it suits fine, if not, then consider the Army. I wouldn't give up an offer from Durham for soldier entry into the Army.
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IRL
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#6
Report 9 years ago
#6
Unfortunately employers are often too stubborn to realise people have changed their life around. I lost a good job once after a background check, as I've been arrested a couple of times, for nothing major either.
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Luxray
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#7
Report 9 years ago
#7
(Original post by OJ S)
Well, I got into a lot of trouble when I was younger and was arrested for all sorts of things including assault, criminal damage, theft, shoplifting, stealing cars.....(had a bad upbringing yada yada) I went to a young offenders institute for 6 months for affray when I was 17 which I am kinda glad I did because that made me turn my life around and I havent been in trouble since (10 years).

All my convictions are now spent but obviously they will show up on an enhanced CRB.

Ive been offered place at Durham Uni this year on the Foundation degree course for Accounting and Finance. I am still in 2 minds wether to do this or Economics.

Is it even worth doing a degree with the record I have. I mean will EVERY decent employer ask for an enhanced CRB?

Would it be easier getting a job with an economics degree or an accounting degree with the record I have?

Ive been offered a job in the army and am bashing my brains what to do. Id rather do uni but not if its gonna be a a waste of time.

Any advice would be grateful.
well I think its great that you have turned your life around and would say go to uni. I don't think it would be a waste of time because when it comes to job applications thats when you could try explaining how you have changed and have a positive outlook on life so it could sort of work in your favour. But you won't know until you try.
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xoxAngel_Kxox
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#8
Report 9 years ago
#8
Well you'll still have a criminal record whether you get a degree or not, so surely a degree would be better than no degree. Plus it was such a long time ago I should think that at least some employers would overlook it now.
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im so academic
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#9
Report 9 years ago
#9
(Original post by IRL)
Unfortunately employers are often too stubborn to realise people have changed their life around. I lost a good job once after a background check, as I've been arrested a couple of times, for nothing major either.
Employers have the right to accept or reject people based on criminal convictions. If you don't like it, tough.
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joefoxon
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#10
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#10
Thing is, wouldn't most places expect you to be open about things like that from the start? A lot employers may fire you if they find out at a later date, because it makes their company look bad. But if they know everything from the start, it gives you the chance to put your own positive spin on it, and they can help you with any problems you may still have.

The University will undoubtedly know your situation anyway, so I'd suggest speaking to someone there about how your past may limit your future. They'll probably know more than anybody here will
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dreadnaut
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#11
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#11
Any employer with half a brain will realise it was a long time ago and that you've got yourself on track since then. To get a place at Durham is a very big achievement.
With regards to the jobs you can get, employers will treat the two degrees broadly the same. If you have a decent CV either will get you to the interview, but its up to you to do well from there on in. No employer's decision is purely going to be on your course alone. (Obviously there are some exceptions, with econ you couldn't really go for specialist accountant roles and vice versa).

If the idea of the army appeals to you, why not go to uni and join the officers training corps?
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IRL
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#12
Report 9 years ago
#12
(Original post by im so academic)
Employers have the right to accept or reject people based on criminal convictions. If you don't like it, tough.
They also have the "right" to accept or reject based on sexuality, age, gender, skin colour and so on. If you don't like it, tough.

Yes, it actually happens that people are rejected on those grounds, as are people without criminal 'convictions' but have a criminal record.
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joefoxon
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#13
Report 9 years ago
#13
(Original post by IRL)
They also have the "right" to accept or reject based on sexuality, age, gender, skin colour and so on. If you don't like it, tough.
No they don't... Some law thing or something...
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im so academic
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#14
Report 9 years ago
#14
(Original post by IRL)
They also have the "right" to accept or reject based on sexuality, age, gender, skin colour and so on. If you don't like it, tough.

Yes, it actually happens that people are rejected on those grounds, as are people without criminal 'convictions' but have a criminal record.
It's illegal to do so (but very difficult to prove).

Also - you can control whether you got a criminal conviction or not. You can't control your skin colour, sexuality, age, gender etc.

Shouldn't have done the crime.
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OJ S
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#15
Report Thread starter 9 years ago
#15
Thanks everybody! Alot more positve replys than I was expecting!

This has definitely made my mind up and I will be going for it

Think I will go for economics as my record could prevent me from becoming a chartered accountant even if I have a degree. Or so ive read?

Thanks again! (hope my future employers are as forgiving!)
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~ Purple Rose ~
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#16
Report 9 years ago
#16
As long as you are honest about your criminal record to potential employers, they should give you the opportunity to discuss it, and they will be able to see from the dates anyway that you have moved on. Don't let it stand in the way of what you really want to do, people get into all sorts of careers with criminal records.
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threeportdrift
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#17
Report 9 years ago
#17
(Original post by OJ S)
Think I will go for economics as my record could prevent me from becoming a chartered accountant even if I have a degree. Or so ive read?
I think that is right, or if not prevent, certainly narrow down your options.

Have you seen this? Might be worth keeping handy in the future.

http://www.nacro.org.uk/data/files/n...031500-181.pdf
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IRL
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#18
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#18
(Original post by im so academic)
It's illegal to do so (but very difficult to prove).

Also - you can control whether you got a criminal conviction or not. You can't control your skin colour, sexuality, age, gender etc.

Shouldn't have done the crime.
I don't have ANY criminal convictions. I have been arrested, though. Why should that put a black mark against my name? Not that it's a worry. Only enhanced CRB checks are a problem. There's a big difference between a criminal conviction and having a criminal "profile" for being arrested. Under the eyes of the law I have never committed a crime, although as a result of a couple of arrests I have been through the court system and as a result I have a "criminal record" for cautions I have received (NOT CONVICTIONS) and my DNA/fingerprints are on the database PERMANENTLY, simply for being arrested.

I have NEVER been found guilty of any crime. This is really a violation of human rights.

Being arrested does not equal breaking the law. You're arrested on grounds of suspicion in most cases.
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im so academic
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#19
Report 9 years ago
#19
(Original post by IRL)
I don't have ANY criminal convictions. I have been arrested, though. Why should that put a black mark against my name? Not that it's a worry. Only enhanced CRB checks are a problem. There's a big difference between a criminal conviction and having a criminal "profile" for being arrested. Under the eyes of the law I have never committed a crime, although as a result of a couple of arrests I have been through the court system and as a result I have a "criminal record" for cautions I have received (NOT CONVICTIONS) and my DNA/fingerprints are on the database PERMANENTLY, simply for being arrested.

I have NEVER been found guilty of any crime. This is really a violation of human rights.

Being arrested does not equal breaking the law. You're arrested on grounds of suspicion in most cases.
How do you know your prospective employer rejected you on those grounds? There were probably better applicants than you.

What did you get arrested for? You don't get arrested for **** all.
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jacketpotato
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#20
Report 9 years ago
#20
You will be fine.

Employers are not allowed to carry out enhanced CRB checks unless the job involves a regulated activity (e.g. working with children or other vulnerable people). If your convictions are spent they won't come up on a standard check. I wouldn't mention the convictions at all.
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