Three quarters of employers ‘require 2:1 degree’

BBC News reports on new gloom for graduate job seekers:

Intense competition for graduate jobs means that more than three quarters of employers require at least a 2:1 degree grade, a survey suggests. The Association of Graduate Recruiters says there are more graduates chasing fewer jobs – with vacancies down by 7%. Applications have soared, with an average of 69 people chasing each graduate job.

AGR commented:

Recruiters are under intense pressure this year dealing with a huge number of applications from graduates for a diminishing pool of jobs. Those of our members who took part in the survey reported a total of 686,660 applications since the beginning of the 2010 recruitment campaign. It is hardly surprising then that the number of employers asking for a 2.1 degree has shot up by 11 percentage points. However, while this approach does aid the sifting process it can rule out promising candidates with the right work skills unnecessarily. We are encouraging our members to look beyond the degree classification when narrowing down the field of candidates to manageable proportions.

Perhaps most concerning here is this figure of 78% of employers filtering out applicants who have not achieved a 2:1 degree. However, as AGR observe, it is a pragmatic response to dealing with large numbers of well-qualified applicants.

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