Do degree scores relate directly to future earnings?

The Big Survey (of over 400 graduates) carried out by Gradcore has confirmed that this is not the case. Therefore if graduates are selected based on degree score as a measure of their overall work performance/potential, talent will remain unidentified. This view is further highlighted by the recent Target Jobs Breakfast where Simon Howard from Work Group suggested that “using the 2:1 as a recruitment filter can be bias against very good candidates on the basis of gender, ethnicity or even subject of study” Also, is a 2:1 from one University the same as a 2:1 from another?
In the light of this there is a need for other measures of graduate employability to be available to graduate recruiters. Two evolving offers are the HEAR (Higher Education Achievement Award) and Skills Awards.
The HEAR has a wide range of potential benefits but it is unclear how easily it will integrate into and add value to graduate selection processes. The “Skills Award” or “Graduate Award” has been instigated by Universities as a means of pulling together information on work experience, volunteering and extra-curricular activity into a certificate or accreditation. Again, the challenge of consistency could mean that it is hard for recruiters to know if an award from one University is the same as an award from another.
The route through this challenge lies in the strengthening of relationships between graduate employers and Universities. Then, by working together, awards/accreditations can be co-created and, as a result, a better understanding of the specific qualities of graduates from certain courses/Universities can be developed as well as the continued analysis by graduate recruiters of what makes a successful hire in their organisations. If this happens, could a 2:1 finally become a smaller part of the overall picture?


One thought on “Do degree scores relate directly to future earnings?

  1. ColText

    Thanks for this Linda!

    There is a lot of evidence that the insistence on a 2.1 biases job selection processes against students from poorer backgrounds, many of whom are too busy working to put in the academic effort needed to attain a 2.1

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