Feeling completely lost and drained from my current predicament Watch

David199
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I would love it if someone could offer some advice to help me feel a bit more hopeful about my career path and where I am going because right now I'm beginning to feel lost and drained from it all:

So I recently finished my Physics Degree and attained a Pass non-honours degree. At first, I was incredibly proud of myself and excited to start my career in the real world as I was beginning to loathe my course of study and felt my valuable skill of being very persistent had paid off!

I did not want to follow a career in Physics, however, after a great deal of research came across Business and a Business Analyst role as a potential job title. So I set out to apply for Business Analyst Graduate Schemes online.

I quickly realised that I was too underqualified to apply for any graduate schemes due not attaining a minimum of a 2:2 to proceed with the online application forms. I did not want to lie so I continued to search with no prevail.

I then thought maybe if I cannot get a graduate scheme, maybe I could do an apprenticeship. After applying for a couple of these it was very evident that I would not qualify for funding based on my Pass degree.

This left only one other option: I must look for a 'proper' job, which turns out requires 2+ years experience to even get your foot in the door.

I am effectively at this point unemployable. Of course, I could go out and get a retail based job, however, this is not where I want to be and after working so hard on my Physics degree I feel almost cheated by the system.

I am normally an incredibly persistent individual and I am not stupid, I just picked a degree that I feel I did struggle with and if I had picked another subject I would not currently be in this scenario.

My final solution which I contemplated greatly was going back to university to attain a masters in a relevant field that I am interested in ('Business' or 'Business with (Something.)' Because I have a Pass degree I cannot simply apply for a masters; I would have to do what is called a "Pre-masters" or "Graduate Diploma" which would be a three-month course and then be accepted onto a years masters course in the respective field. I have, however, found it incredibly difficult to find these courses as they seem to be far and far between.

Has anyone else been in a similar situation as I, either going through it now or have been in the past? Could anyone highlight any possible universities that might offer a route in for me? I need some encouraging words or some guidance to help me progress and not give in!

I look forward to hearing from you,

David
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Reality Check
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Hi. The problem you have as I see it is the Ordinary degree - as you've found, this effectively disbars you from graduate programmes and progression on to further study without a load of faffing about with pre-Masters courses. What you don't say anywhere in your post is the reason for the Ordinary - I think this is the key. Were there mitigating circumstances which led to the result, and how have these been used to ameliorate your position? Of course, mitigating circumstances do not change the degree class, but I'm interested to know why you ended up with an Ordinary rather than an aegrotat or something. What is the transcript like? Is it essentially strong apart from one set of exams which led to the result?

An ordinary degree is not the end of the world, but it does take some creativity to overcome Having a strong CV can mitigate some of it, but I totally understand that to get some experience on your CV you need job offers, and you're not receiving job offers because of the ordinary... A catch 22.
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OxFossil
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Yes, that pass degree is a killer. As you have found, it's difficult to think of any course that you could get further funding for.

If you are thinking in terms of vaguely relevant employment, have you considered the NHS? Health Care Assistant type roles (typical wage £16k) are frequently advertised and with that work experience, you might also get some contact - albeit tangential - with health science roles such as radiography, OT, lab work etc?
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David199
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(Original post by Reality Check)
Hi. The problem you have as I see it is the Ordinary degree - as you've found, this effectively disbars you from graduate programmes and progression on to further study without a load of faffing about with pre-Masters courses. What you don't say anywhere in your post is the reason for the Ordinary - I think this is the key. Were there mitigating circumstances which led to the result, and how have these been used to ameliorate your position? Of course, mitigating circumstances do not change the degree class, but I'm interested to know why you ended up with an Ordinary rather than an aegrotat or something. What is the transcript like? Is it essentially strong apart from one set of exams which led to the result?

An ordinary degree is not the end of the world, but it does take some creativity to overcome Having a strong CV can mitigate some of it, but I totally understand that to get some experience on your CV you need job offers, and you're not receiving job offers because of the ordinary... A catch 22.

Hi Reality Check,

Thank you for your response.

The biggest problem I had was understanding any of the course; I was interested in Physics when I started but towards the end, I could barely follow what was being said. I worked tirelessly to achieve the best I could and I was happy at first because the way I looked at it was, a pass degree was better than no degree, however, this seems to not be the case anymore.

As I have said, I will not be pursuing a career in Physics because of this reason. I do feel that just because I did not achieve a higher qualification does not mean I will lack any ability if studying business or in a career in a business. I feel my communicative skills which I did not get to use so broadly in my degree will be far more useful in approach with business.
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David199
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(Original post by OxFossil)
Yes, that pass degree is a killer. As you have found, it's difficult to think of any course that you could get further funding for.

If you are thinking in terms of vaguely relevant employment, have you considered the NHS? Health Care Assistant type roles (typical wage £16k) are frequently advertised and with that work experience, you might also get some contact - albeit tangential - with health science roles such as radiography, OT, lab work etc?
Thanks for the response OxFossil,

I would not mind working for the NHS however, I do not feel a care assistant is a correct role for me. I feel radiography, OT, lab work etc. would be way too similar to my degree which I want to avoid at all costs, however, you bring up an important point. It may be worth looking at a business analyst role within the NHS. There is no harm in applying either way!
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threeportdrift
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(Original post by David199)

I quickly realised that I was too underqualified to apply for any graduate schemes due not attaining a minimum of a 2:2 to proceed with the online application forms.

This left only one other option: I must look for a 'proper' job, which turns out requires 2+ years experience to even get your foot in the door.
The two 'dead ends' you suggest above are simply false - you aren't looking effectively. It takes a decent level of software to forcibly block progress on an online application form. The majority of employers certainly do not have such software, so you can complete applications without having the minimum qualifications. Granted, you may not be competitive, but even the 'sweeping' systems are human, if you had something to make up for your poor degree grade, you could be competitive - so actually it is your lack of experience that would bite here.

You need to improve your online searches for jobs you can apply for to resolve this issue and find more opportunities.

A 'proper job' does not require 2 years experience, otherwise how would anyone ever start a career? Again, you simply aren't looking in the right place for job opportunities, making the most of your skills and experience, and pursuing applications regardless.

You need to improve your job research skills. You need to think very carefully about your skills and what they suit you for, what evidence of relevant skills you can give an employer, and you need to improve your application technique so that you make the most competitive applications you can. If you can do something that is adding skills to your portfolio while you are doing this, so much the better.

Get in contact with your Uni careers service, they can help you out with all of this.
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David199
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(Original post by threeportdrift)
The two 'dead ends' you suggest above are simply false - you aren't looking effectively. It takes a decent level of software to forcibly block progress on an online application form. The majority of employers certainly do not have such software, so you can complete applications without having the minimum qualifications. Granted, you may not be competitive, but even the 'sweeping' systems are human, if you had something to make up for your poor degree grade, you could be competitive - so actually it is your lack of experience that would bite here.

You need to improve your online searches for jobs you can apply for to resolve this issue and find more opportunities.

A 'proper job' does not require 2 years experience, otherwise how would anyone ever start a career? Again, you simply aren't looking in the right place for job opportunities, making the most of your skills and experience, and pursuing applications regardless.

You need to improve your job research skills. You need to think very carefully about your skills and what they suit you for, what evidence of relevant skills you can give an employer, and you need to improve your application technique so that you make the most competitive applications you can. If you can do something that is adding skills to your portfolio while you are doing this, so much the better.

Get in contact with your Uni careers service, they can help you out with all of this.
Hi Threeportdrift,

Thank you very much for your response as I took a lot from what you have said and I can see where you are coming from, however, I have a few things to add:

I am not saying I couldn't apply for these different graduate schemes but when the job description says "must have attained 2:2 or above in any discipline" I feel they wouldn't have put that in if it was not the case.

I see where you are coming from with regards to job searching skills, however, I would appreciate some guidance as to who can help me other than my university careers service. I have already spoken with my university careers service many times over the years; they have improved my CV, showed me different pathways to take my career but I am still lost. Could you advise where else I could get this sort of experience/expertise? I do not feel this is a skill you can learn on your own, correct me if I am wrong.

I feel confident to tell you my skills without shying away from "I don't know what my skills are." These have been outlined in my CV where appropriate to a given vacancy. I have been applying for jobs of all types since June 2016.
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OxFossil
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(Original post by David199)
Thanks for the response OxFossil,

I would not mind working for the NHS however, I do not feel a care assistant is a correct role for me. I feel radiography, OT, lab work etc. would be way too similar to my degree which I want to avoid at all costs, however, you bring up an important point. It may be worth looking at a business analyst role within the NHS. There is no harm in applying either way!
Ah, I see. I can understand why, but you are obviously narrowing your options further. As I am sure you will have heard before, once you are in a job, it's easier to find other opportunities than when you are standing outside, pressing your nose against the window! Good luck anyhow.
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threeportdrift
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(Original post by David199)
...........
Open a thread in the CV Help forum where we can talk specifics in a private thread. If you upload a CV with the job advert you wrote it for, we can use that as a starting point.

You can apply for anything you have at least 60% of the attributes for, though you will probably only be competitive with 80%+. Mandatory things are rarely as mandatory as they say, especially if you have other skills/experiences that might make up for it.
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