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    In my college a couple of people (out of like 20) graduate with a 3rd. Unfortunately I went to one of those places that publishes the full name of a graduate and the degree classification in the year book. I know that those people aren't stupid, in fact one of the people who graduated with a 3rd is one of the smartest people I have ever met. I wonder what they do now.
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    (Original post by clungemagnet)
    In my college a couple of people (out of like 20) graduate with a 3rd. Unfortunately I went to one of those places that publishes the full name of a graduate and the degree classification in the year book. I know that those people aren't stupid, in fact one of the people who graduated with a 3rd is one of the smartest people I have ever met. I wonder what they do now.
    I find this sentiment bewildering. If there's a course, run by experts in the field, and you obtain the lowest classification possible, then surely that doesn't make you clever? I feel like this is just people convincing themselves that they are not to blame for their degree... in some cases that might be true (especially with extenuating circumstances), but if you worked hard and you got a 3rd, it either shows that the rest of your year was stupendously above average and you want to like, Harvard... or the other more obvious conclusion.

    As far as what you can do with a third, it depends. The only person I know who got a 3rd was the son of a business owner who worked with his father anyway. He didn't get the 3rd because he was an idiot, but because he was lazy and far too rich to care. He's now back in his home country working for his father.

    A 3rd class degree skews people's perception of you, but it's not impossible to alter that image.

    Imagine a first class graduate with no real world experience. He walks into the real world, and applies for jobs for the first time. He applies to graduate schemes but finds that he gets rejected from every single scheme he applies for because he lacks relevant experience. After a lot of rejections and painstakingly long applications, he learns how to write his CV and apply to places where he has a chance.

    Compare the above to a graduate with a 3rd, who also has no real life experience. What is so different about both scenarios? One has a higher degree grade. So what? Other stuff like personality, first impressions (on paper), eye contact, body language, facial expressions and networking factor into the chances of success. Yes, of course a 3rd will filter you from graduate schemes, but what's the difference between automatic filtering and being rejected automatically for lack of experience? There's a slim chance that the first class graduate gets a job but it's so slim you might as well disregard it.

    That is what the current graduate market has become. It's no longer about your grade... it's about how far ahead you thought and whether or not you acted on it and achieved something before everyone else. Thinking ahead and trying hard to secure some relevant experience (or just getting lucky) means you're far less likely to be unemployed, regardless of your degree classification. Actually, I'd probably argue that a classification contributes literally nothing as long as you're the right person for the job. (That's not to say that the wrong classification won't hinder you).
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    (Original post by wanderlust.xx)
    If there's a course, run by experts in the field, and you obtain the lowest classification possible, then surely that doesn't make you clever?
    Nor does it make you stupid... No exam can really tell you how stupid someone is as you have no idea what level of effort they put into it. It may show that the people the OP refers to were incredibly lazy however.

    It doesn't necessarily show that the rest of the year were above average either. I don't know how all universities do it, but I know on my course it's theoretically possible for the entire year to get a first or the entire year to fail. The results aren't standardised (which is how it should be - that would be incredibly unfair if they were).
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    (Original post by wanderlust.xx)
    I find this sentiment bewildering. If there's a course, run by experts in the field, and you obtain the lowest classification possible, then surely that doesn't make you clever? I feel like this is just people convincing themselves that they are not to blame for their degree... in some cases that might be true (especially with extenuating circumstances), but if you worked hard and you got a 3rd, it either shows that the rest of your year was stupendously above average and you want to like, Harvard... or the other more obvious conclusion.
    Consistency would be a proof of the good grading system, wouldn't it?

    Scenario 1: GCSE 10A*s, AS/A 3A*s, BA/BSc 3rd, MA/MSc Distinction. If I see a CV like this, provided that there are no extenuating circumstances, it is not the candidate's fault, but the institution's.

    Scenario 2: GCSE 5As, 2Bs, 2Cs, AS/A ABC, BA/BSc 1st, MA/MSc Pass. This candidate is literally boring.

    Scenario 3: GCSE 2Bs, 3Cs, 1D, As/A CC, BA/BSc 1st, MA/MSc Distinction. Maybe this person has found her niche?

    Scenario 4: GCSE 5As, AS/A CC, BA/BSc in English 2.2, MA/MSc in Finance Distinction. This candidate has probably received bad career advices in school (for choosing English) and her grades were hugely influenced by subject-specific factors.
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    (Original post by callum9999)
    Nor does it make you stupid... No exam can really tell you how stupid someone is as you have no idea what level of effort they put into it. It may show that the people the OP refers to were incredibly lazy however.

    It doesn't necessarily show that the rest of the year were above average either. I don't know how all universities do it, but I know on my course it's theoretically possible for the entire year to get a first or the entire year to fail. The results aren't standardised (which is how it should be - that would be incredibly unfair if they were).
    Yeah you're right. A third still changes how people perceive you though, since the general public (which includes employers) will be heavily grade-focused.

    (Original post by clungemagnet)
    Consistency would be a proof of the good grading system, wouldn't it?

    Scenario 1: GCSE 10A*s, AS/A 3A*s, BA/BSc 3rd, MA/MSc Distinction. If I see a CV like this, provided that there are no extenuating circumstances, it is not the candidate's fault, but the institution's.

    Scenario 2: GCSE 5As, 2Bs, 2Cs, AS/A ABC, BA/BSc 1st, MA/MSc Pass. This candidate is literally boring.

    Scenario 3: GCSE 2Bs, 3Cs, 1D, As/A CC, BA/BSc 1st, MA/MSc Distinction. Maybe this person has found her niche?

    Scenario 4: GCSE 5As, AS/A CC, BA/BSc in English 2.2, MA/MSc in Finance Distinction. This candidate has probably received bad career advices in school (for choosing English) and her grades were hugely influenced by subject-specific factors.
    None of this means anything without context. No employer will sit there and look at your educational profile and scrutinise it this heavily. As an A level or university student, I hoped they would. Hell, I was convinced they would. But they don't.

    For the first scenario, how did you come to the conclusion that it's now the fault of the institution? That makes it sound like you put more weight on A levels than you do with a degree to measure general aptitude. Really? Wouldn't you measure general aptitude with their CV and what they've achieved and not just draw farfetched conclusions from grades listed in their education section?

    As for scenario 2, how is that candidate boring? Again, there's no mention of volunteering or previous experience. Combine those grades with some big companies and good jobs and you have a fantastic CV.

    With scenario 3, I see something totally different. If I see a student achieve CC at A level and then go on to get a 1st without extenuating personal circumstances, I'm going to assume it's a doss subject or a doss university. It's a huge leap to make, especially if at A level (the standardised form of assessment) the candidate was scoring a heavily average grade.

    Finally, scenario 4. Yes, okay.

    Again, it all means nothing without context. What I'm trying to say is that for any decent employer a grade alone won't seal the deal. It's the overall package. What you come across as on your CV, first impressions at your interview, lasting impressions after your interview and even the test scores you achieve. Focusing on one grade when preparing for the job market is as meaningless as preparing the right font. Past a certain point, scrutinising becomes a futile effort.
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    (Original post by wanderlust.xx)
    None of this means anything without context. No employer will sit there and look at your educational profile and scrutinise it this heavily. As an A level or university student, I hoped they would. Hell, I was convinced they would. But they don't.

    For the first scenario, how did you come to the conclusion that it's now the fault of the institution? That makes it sound like you put more weight on A levels than you do with a degree to measure general aptitude. Really? Wouldn't you measure general aptitude with their CV and what they've achieved and not just draw farfetched conclusions from grades listed in their education section?
    The education is used to screen the candidates. That's all. It's a way for employers to decide whether to interview that candidate. The reason why I personally think the degree classification is a bit misleading is that 70% of grads leave with a 2.1. Although a Masters doesn't add any value to your CV in itself, it seems to be more accurate reflection of the candidate's abilities. 5 - 20% Distinction, 20% Merit, 75 - 60% Pass. That makes it so much easier to screen applicants.

    For the extracurricular, if your degree subjects do not tick all the boxes- like leadership potential, team working etc., they tend to look at your cover letter or extracurricular activities. As you say, relevant work experience gives an applicant an edge, but relevant work experience is not required at the screening stage. Your interviewers might care a lot about your relevant experience.

    It's all relative in the job market. An interesting thing is that some firms let their associates and analysts choose who to interview. The HR is not involved at all. So it depends on who's looking at your CV. Imagine a Chinese applicant with a degree from a university in China, did her Master's here. If this CV gets looked at by a French analyst who isn't familiar with universities in China or sympathetic to Chinese applicants (for whatever reason), this candidate won't stand a chance. But if this gets looked at by a Chinese analyst, this might hugely change the probability of the candidate's getting an interview (not a job).
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    (Original post by wanderlust.xx)
    Yeah you're right. A third still changes how people perceive you though, since the general public (which includes employers) will be heavily grade-focused.
    This is obviously true for graduate schemes (where there is often a requirement for a 2.1), but in my experience the importance of degree classification in employment (outside of graduate schemes) is overstated- and especially exaggerated here, unsurprisingly for a student-based forum.

    Perception of the quality/rigour of the course undertaken and, to a lesser extent, choice of university are perhaps more important in many cases.
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    (Original post by wanderlust.xx)
    I find this sentiment bewildering. If there's a course, run by experts in the field, and you obtain the lowest classification possible, then surely that doesn't make you clever? I feel like this is just people convincing themselves that they are not to blame for their degree... in some cases that might be true (especially with extenuating circumstances), but if you worked hard and you got a 3rd, it either shows that the rest of your year was stupendously above average and you want to like, Harvard... or the other more obvious conclusion.
    I suspect very few people who genuinely work hard get a third. (Going on my degree, which is Maths).

    That said, two years ago I would have agreed with the statement in bold, but I just got a 2:2 in my second year without any extenuating circumstances, and I do understand why it happens, even if I don't excuse it. I'm working hard this year, and if I can get a 2:1 or first then in some ways I'd be glad I got a 2:2 because it taught me a lot.

    I have to admit that getting an average of a 3rd over three years seems like quite a feat, but there are less than obvious reasons why it happens, so if it was someone I knew I'd just not give them credit for what they didn't do, rather than actively thinking badly of them, if that makes sense. Obviously employers can't take that risk.
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    1. get a job
    2. take a gap year before starting anything and thinking about what they want to do
    3. further education e.g. masters, PhD or another degree
    4. work experience/apprenticeships/placements
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    (Original post by callum9999)
    Nor does it make you stupid... No exam can really tell you how stupid someone is as you have no idea what level of effort they put into it. It may show that the people the OP refers to were incredibly lazy however.

    It doesn't necessarily show that the rest of the year were above average either. I don't know how all universities do it, but I know on my course it's theoretically possible for the entire year to get a first or the entire year to fail. The results aren't standardised (which is how it should be - that would be incredibly unfair if they were).
    Exactly I've met some people at my university who are getting firsts and they simply have no common sense at all sometimes.
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    I graduated with a 2.2 and still managed to land my dream job in marketing. The trick is to look at Smaller (SME) companies. They care more about your personality and the quality of your application than your grade.

    mod note- no links please.
 
 
 
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