How to get a job with a 2:2 or below degree as an international applicant?

get a job with 2:2

Not everyone graduates with a 1st class or 2:1 (or equivalent) degree. Did you know Prince Charles and JK Rowling also graduated with 2:2 degrees? Not having a 2:1 or above degree does not mean that you are less capable of doing jobs. Many factors, such as unexpected circumstances or extra-curricular commitments, can impact one’s exam performance and final results. So, if you did not achieve the grade you wanted, you should not be disheartened, and it should not stop you from chasing your career dream.

Not graduating with 2:1 or above is not a total road blocker. However, it may limit your career options, especially if you want to get into companies that require 2:1 as a minimum. On top of that, if you need visa sponsorship, finding your dream job can be even more challenging. Luckily, on UK Visa Jobs, you can filter roles based on degree requirements, and all jobs sponsor a skilled work visa making your life a lot easier.

If you do not have 2:1 or above, you should, first, understand what impacted your final results. Although many companies require 2:1 (or equivalent), they still consider your application if you can demonstrate that your results were affected by circumstances that are out of your control. Such circumstances can include:

  • critical short/long term illness or injury
  • disability
  • being a victim of crime
  • bereavement
  • sudden significant illness of a close family member
  • jury services

All these events must be relevant to the claimed impact. For example, the timing should be close to your exam or assessment, and your performance was significantly and negatively impacted. Minor issues like stress, cold or breaking up with your other half do not qualify as extenuating circumstances.

As long as you can prove that an extenuating circumstance negatively impacted your results, hence you could not achieve 2:1 or 2:2, you can still apply for jobs that require 2:1 or 2:2. You need to state this clearly on the application form or cover letter.

If your degree was not impacted by an exceptional circumstance, you will have to apply for jobs that only accept 2:2 or 3rd. The good news is, more and more companies have started flexing their requirements. Some companies even removed their degree classification requirement altogether, meaning you can apply for their graduate programmes and internships as long as you have a university degree.

It can often be challenging to find the companies or positions that accept a non 2:1 graduate and sponsor a work visa. UK Visa Jobs has solved this problem by doing all the hard work for you. You can use the degree requirement filter to easily identify jobs that accept 2:2 or only require a university degree. Positions that do not have minimum requirements or are flexible accept students from any degree background with any degree classification. Jobs are available in many different industries such as consulting, marketing, accounting, tax, engineering and technology.

Another way of increasing your chance of getting a job with a 2:2 or below degree is doing an internship that does not require a specific degree and securing a full-time job afterwards. Many companies offer their interns full-time employment if they completed their internship successfully and they will not be too strict on the degree result at this stage.

If your academics are not as good, it is also important to enhance your CV by doing part-time work, internships or volunteering work and by doing extracurricular activities. They will help you gain valuable skills and experience and give you a competitive advantage over others, especially you are competing for the same role with people who have a good academic background.