Why do people obsess over getting firsts when most companies just want a 2:1? Watch

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CrimsonTyphoon
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#41
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#41
I got a First whilst juggling a weekend job, placement and internship in my final year. Why aim for 2:1 when you can aim for excellence? Everybody and their dog graduates with a 2:1, few people graduate with a first.

Mine was on principle. I came to do one job and I did it
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IrrationalRoot
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#42
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(Original post by SophieSmall)
Loads of reasons.

But I do just want to say getting a first doesn't necessarily even make a person intelligent. I know someone who just graduated with a 1st in a stem degree from a top uni. And she has 0 critical thinking skills. Doesn't believe in evolution and is against vaccines.

Employers want a lot more than a number on a piece of paper.
Usually it does mean they’re fairly intelligent at least, and the person who gets a first is very likely to be more intelligent than the one who gets a 2.1. Not every degree tests critical thinking and other such skills, especially STEM degrees.
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SophieSmall
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#43
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(Original post by IrrationalRoot)
Usually it does mean they’re fairly intelligent at least, and the person who gets a first is very likely to be more intelligent than the one who gets a 2.1. Not every degree tests critical thinking and other such skills, especially STEM degrees.
Really depends on the stem degree, but in her case. It absolutely is a degree that should require critical thinking as it is research heavy...which absolutely should mean a good critical thinker. If someone like her was able to get a first....I honestly question whether critical thinking was high enough on the priority list for the university. And if it's not...that kind of makes me question their academic and research standards.
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sophia5892
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(Original post by APersonYo)
Okay, but you will look terrible on your CV when you've done 0 volunteer work or societies and just spent all day studying.

Shows lack of interest and time management skills.
As others have pointed out, getting a first doesn’t mean studying all day and doing nothing else.
Why not do it all if you can?

In final year, I had 3 temp-style paid jobs (up to 20h/week), was treasurer of a society, mentored exchange students, volunteered at a local high school, took part in an extra-curricular translation competition in two languages, and regularly went to the gym.
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Sahyun
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#45
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It's like a projectle you know; even if they miss, they will surely hit that 2:1
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FloralHybrid
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#46
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Asking that question on a student forum - Where for the most part, students actively participate in conversations about studying, and come here to ask questions etc - Is gonna give you some really biased, and tbh predictable answers.

Why settle for an A/B when you could get an A*? If it’s not important to you, fine. But it looks better to have the best grades you can achieve as it shows commitment, particularly to employers.

Plus, if you aim for a first but still achieve a 2:1 - That’s fine. It’s given you room for error. If you aim for a 2:1 and get a 2:2, well you did a whoopsie.
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Little Popcorns
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#47
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Some places want firsts or give priority to those with firsts
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prophetkid
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#48
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(Original post by APersonYo)
Okay, but you will look terrible on your CV when you've done 0 volunteer work or societies and just spent all day studying.

Shows lack of interest and time management skills.
I have a 1st class degree (I studied a lot) AND have volunteered/worked/been involved in SU activities - I've been in 2-4 positions at any one time during my degree. Plenty of students do the same/similar. Sorry.
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DeveloperCSS
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(Original post by shameful_burrito)
Do you honestly think someone with a 1st class degree wouldn’t have the upper hand advantage over someone with a 2:1 when applying for the exact same job? Aim to have everything better than the competition, your degree being one of those things.


2.1 with work experience is greater than 1st with no experience. Person with 2.1 would essentially end up getting the job. There are plenty of students after degree with a 1st and still can't get a job because they got no experience.
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shameful_burrito
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(Original post by DeveloperCSS)
2.1 with work experience is greater than 1st with no experience. Person with 2.1 would essentially end up getting the job. There are plenty of students after degree with a 1st and still can't get a job because they got no experience.
Who said the person with the 1st class has no experience? Put 2 people applying for the same job. Both with work experience, etc. One has a 2:1 the other a first class. Who gets the job?
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Nihilisticb*tch
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#51
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Why do people want 3 As at A level when lots of unis will accept BBB? The answer is that it's better to do well than to just do alright. Having a first will give you an advantage and widens your options, albeit by an arguably small amount. People are ambitious and want the sense of achievement of getting a first
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Princepieman
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(Original post by Sahyun)
It's like a projectle you know; even if they miss, they will surely hit that 2:1
/endthread

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DeveloperCSS
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#53
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(Original post by shameful_burrito)
Who said the person with the 1st class has no experience? Put 2 people applying for the same job. Both with work experience, etc. One has a 2:1 the other a first class. Who gets the job?
I am just saying that experience has more value than a grade at the end of the day, heard plenty of scenarios of people being unable to get a job because they don't have experience but they do have a 1st. Also Im not talking just about any sort of experience like volunteering or casual jobs to earn money on the side, Im talking about experience that is related to a degree.
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shameful_burrito
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(Original post by DeveloperCSS)
I am just saying that experience has more value than a grade at the end of the day, heard plenty of scenarios of people being unable to get a job because they don't have experience but they do have a 1st. Also Im not talking just about any sort of experience like volunteering or casual jobs to earn money on the side, Im talking about experience that is related to a degree.
If 2 people have the same experience related to their degree, the degree qualification could set them apart. There's no doubt about it. Not point in settling for a 2.1 if you can get a 1st. It improves your chances. It might not, but generally it will
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Salostar
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(Original post by Realitysreflexx)
But do you have a job? And if you do, dont take this attitude to the interview, you will walk out shicked and jobless. "But i had a first"
No attitude, just simple facts. Now, if I mentioned everything else I got up to during the three years at uni...

As for a job, had it lined up before finishing uni. Although thanks to the wife I'm now searching again for a completely different region...
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xyz94
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(Original post by Sulfolobus)
Personal standards.

Why settle for a mediocre 2:1 when you can get a 1st?
It depends on where that First is from though A 2:1 from UCL is more respectable than a First from an ex-Poly, generally speaking...
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gjd800
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(Original post by xyz94)
It depends on where that First is from though A 2:1 from UCL is more respectable than a First from an ex-Poly, generally speaking...
By whom? If employers, then this trope gets done to death on here, and the people on here involved in recruitment mostly agree that they just aren't bothered about this distinction. Some are, but it's far from the norm.
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xyz94
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(Original post by CrimsonTyphoon)
few people graduate with a first.
That's not true at all nowadays. In the humanities subjects, at least (English, Modern Languages) quite a lot of people (nearly 50% in some universities....and this is Oxbridge, not just anywhere!) come out with a First. It also depends on which courses a person chooses to take; some have a higher average grade in general than others. For example, during my finals, in one course I took, the highest mark noted that year was 74. In one course that a friend of mine was studying, however, most people scored 70 or near, and there were quite a few 80s handed out! In Law, I've heard that less Firsts are awarded, but not sure about that, since I didn't study it at undergraduate.
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xyz94
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(Original post by gjd800)
By whom? If employers, then this trope gets done to death on here, and the people on here involved in recruitment mostly agree that they just aren't bothered about this distinction. Some are, but it's far from the norm.
By the highest-earning professions; investment banking (finance in general), consultancy, law (magic circle firms, barristers' Chambers)....
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xyz94
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(Original post by DeveloperCSS)
I am just saying that experience has more value than a grade at the end of the day......
That depends on which sector/area of work we're talking about. For the highest earning professions, a good degree is necessary. You can't get into banking/consultancy/law without a good degree. Not necessarily a first, but at least a 2:1 from somewhere respectable. This wasn't the case 30 years ago, but it has been for the past 10 years or so.
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