Failed an exam and now my degree is capped-- job prospects? Watch

ryan_001
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I'm in an MSc program at Imperial and I failed one of my first exams. The university's rule is that if you have to resit an exam-- even if you technically passed the class with a failing exam grade-- your entire degree gets capped at a pass. As an international student, I'm not use to the pass/merit/distinction system, so I don't feel that distressed so long as I do well the second time and can move on. Don't get me wrong, it's disappointing. I did really well in the class but the exam was a flop because I messed up my calculations at the beginning and it ruined the rest of my work.

So here's the question-- I'm interested in staying in the UK for work. How bad does a 'pass' degree look? I assume employers will still look at how well I did in my individual classes... Should I be more concerned than I am?
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ryan_001
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(Original post by J-SP)
Depends on what kind of job you are looking for.

Some employers will care, others won’t. If you need a work permit, it would be better to secure a job before you get your overall degree grade anyway.
That's a really good point. Because the MSc is a one year program, we're all applying now anyway and only a couple of employers have asked to see a transcript.
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natninja
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For a masters nobody will care most likely
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josh_v
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This may well only be relevant to the areas I applied for but I'd also agree that typically most employers (for graduate schemes) arent that interested in masters degrees. I was speaking to HR where I work recently and she said that whilst a masters degree is a bonus on an application, it doesn't make up for poor undergrad results (i.e. a 2.2 undergrad with an excellent masters degree wouldnt get through because the requirement is a 2.1 or better undergrad degree).

It's frustrating to have your masters capped. I had the same. I was well on track for a strong merit with a distinction in my dissertation. Had an absolute terrible time in one exam and got a low 40%, and capped at a pass. However, if youre applying to grad roles where the requirement is a 2.1 undergrad degree it shouldnt be a problem. It may be a problem if the roles youre applying to require a masters degree and youre competing against others who have merits and distinctions, but Im nt sure how common those roles are.
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ryan_001
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(Original post by josh_v)
This may well only be relevant to the areas I applied for but I'd also agree that typically most employers (for graduate schemes) arent that interested in masters degrees. I was speaking to HR where I work recently and she said that whilst a masters degree is a bonus on an application, it doesn't make up for poor undergrad results (i.e. a 2.2 undergrad with an excellent masters degree wouldnt get through because the requirement is a 2.1 or better undergrad degree).

It's frustrating to have your masters capped. I had the same. I was well on track for a strong merit with a distinction in my dissertation. Had an absolute terrible time in one exam and got a low 40%, and capped at a pass. However, if youre applying to grad roles where the requirement is a 2.1 undergrad degree it shouldnt be a problem. It may be a problem if the roles youre applying to require a masters degree and youre competing against others who have merits and distinctions, but Im nt sure how common those roles are.
I appreciate you sharing your experience and am sorry to hear you've suffered the same. I performed very well in my undergrad, so it's good to hear that receives more weight on an application. Interestingly enough, most application platforms haven't asked for a transcript, which is an extra bonus I wasn't expecting.
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josh_v
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(Original post by ryan_001)
I appreciate you sharing your experience and am sorry to hear you've suffered the same. I performed very well in my undergrad, so it's good to hear that receives more weight on an application. Interestingly enough, most application platforms haven't asked for a transcript, which is an extra bonus I wasn't expecting.
What area are you applying for jobs?

I mostly applied to risk roles in banking, and then accounting/finance/actuary roles in Big4, energy and insurance companies. Of all the applications I did, only one specifically required a masters degree. My overall application was very mixed - masters from top ranked uni, relevant intern experience but no a-levels, poor gcses, mid-2.1 undergrad from mid ranked uni.

I got through to a few ACs at some of the banks (although no job at a bank). If you have a strong overall application, I dont think being capped at a pass is going to hold you back.
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ryan_001
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(Original post by josh_v)
What area are you applying for jobs?

I mostly applied to risk roles in banking, and then accounting/finance/actuary roles in Big4, energy and insurance companies. Of all the applications I did, only one specifically required a masters degree. My overall application was very mixed - masters from top ranked uni, relevant intern experience but no a-levels, poor gcses, mid-2.1 undergrad from mid ranked uni.

I got through to a few ACs at some of the banks (although no job at a bank). If you have a strong overall application, I dont think being capped at a pass is going to hold you back.
Nice, congrats on how you've progressed in your job hunt so far!

I'm applying for Business Analytics/ Business Intelligence and some Data Science (depending on what their programming skill requirements are).

Mainly applying to tech companies. You're right, with good credentials it shouldn't be a problem. Hopefully it won't hurt my chances for my dream job but nothing worth fretting about
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maths_tripos23
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Relax dude for masters it doesn’t matter as much at all..make sure you just pass. Employers at the masters level just want you to pass and having a masters is something special..no one cares about education as much at that point and a masters from imperial (I’m assuming you’re doing maths/cs) or something along those lines. Employers will know you’re smart.
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CocoOnionRin
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I think the grade does matter if you are seeking for a competitive job. These days, there are plenty people who are doing Masters and employers would compare candidates by what they achieved during Master (together with their undergrad degree). Personally, I am not familiar with the tech industry but from what I experienced is that having a bachelor degree (or even Master) today doesnt mean anything since everyone goes to uni these days. My friend at uni has a sister who did a undergrad STEM subject at Yale and Master at Imperial but after she graduated, she was still unemployed for almost a year. And for me, failed to get the job during my gap year (sep2017-feb2018). I got a 1st Bsc Pharmacology from KCL last summer and had a last minute decision on taking a gap year as I changed my mind about doing Grad Med. Since then I was trying to get jobs relating to bioscience field, roles like lab technician/research assistant but failed to do so. Also tried to apply for graduate schemes at big pharmaceutical companies but the schemes were also open for people with Master (minimum Merit level) and obviously I had not much hope after AC.
When it comes to get a job, your educational qualifications are just stepping stones, if you have a high grade in general (both undergrad/master), this will definitely put you higher but more importantly is your work experience in the relevant field and the way you present yourself in personal statement/during interview.
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maths_tripos23
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Lol yeah because you study biomedical sciences, no offense but that’s not very employable. The above guy studies either computer science or maths(masters level) and to be truthfully honest these are probably the most employable subjects around. Maths since data science invovles tons of stats and you can specialize in applied maths and do data science and CS because everything is computer based these days...a masters in either of these fields (maths with coding experience) will make you literally the most employable person ever. Oh please Yale undergrad you can walk into banking/consulting with your eyes closed. Don’t take this personally but biomedical sciences sounds fancy but it’s not very employable at all these days. But hey not all of us can do really toiugh subjects. Biomedical sciences is just memorizing 🤷🏾*♂️...it’s the basic version of medicine. People who do CS/Maths/Physics at a place like imperial walk into jobs in central London mate.
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CocoOnionRin
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(Original post by maths_tripos23)
Lol yeah because you study biomedical sciences, no offense but that’s not very employable. The above guy studies either computer science or maths(masters level) and to be truthfully honest these are probably the most employable subjects around. Maths since data science invovles tons of stats and you can specialize in applied maths and do data science and CS because everything is computer based these days...a masters in either of these fields (maths with coding experience) will make you literally the most employable person ever. Oh please Yale undergrad you can walk into banking/consulting with your eyes closed. Don’t take this personally but biomedical sciences sounds fancy but it’s not very employable at all these days. But hey not all of us can do really toiugh subjects. Biomedical sciences is just memorizing 🤷🏾*♂️...it’s the basic version of medicine. People who do CS/Maths/Physics at a place like imperial walk into jobs in central London mate.
I understand that the industry I want to get in is different to yours but I am just sharing my thoughts and what I've gone through. I knew quite a few ppl who graduated with bioscience/medicine degrees and got into banking. Personally, I am not interested in banking or become a consultant and I don't want an office-type job so I never tried/wanted to apply those anyway. I don't think it's fair to say that "biomedical sciences" are not employable because not only this is a broader term for all the biomedical subjects (e.g. biomedical engineering/pharmaceutical/gene cloning etc.) but also these jobs require ppl with master degrees (sometimes master might only regarded as entry-level). That's why I am going to do a MPhil in translational biomedical research at cambridge this october and eventually a Phd afterwards. Of course, compare to ppl with maths etc., pursue a career in the "bioscience area" would take a lot of time, effort and money but if that's what I want then I need to work for it . Also, if biomedical sciences are just memorisation, tell me how can you "memorize" to create a new drug?
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maths_tripos23
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(Original post by CocoOnionRin)
I understand that the industry I want to get in is different to yours but I am just sharing my thoughts and what I've gone through. I knew quite a few ppl who graduated with bioscience/medicine degrees and got into banking. Personally, I am not interested in banking or become a consultant and I don't want an office-type job so I never tried/wanted to apply those anyway. I don't think it's fair to say that "biomedical sciences" are not employable because not only this is a broader term for all the biomedical subjects (e.g. biomedical engineering/pharmaceutical/gene cloning etc.) but also these jobs require ppl with master degrees (sometimes master might only regarded as entry-level). That's why I am going to do a MPhil in translational biomedical research at cambridge this october and eventually a Phd afterwards. Of course, compare to ppl with maths etc., pursue a career in the "bioscience area" would take a lot of time, effort and money but if that's what I want then I need to work for it . Also, if biomedical sciences are just memorisation, tell me how can you "memorize" to create a new drug?
Lots of respect to that, don’t have much to say. Cambridge Mphil is mad respect.
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Fatou97
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Did your university let you graduate?
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