2.2s: which employers accept them in construction, civil engineering and quantity surveying?
When TARGETjobs Construction talks to students and graduates, a common question centres on what happens to their job prospects if they miss out on a 2.1. Well, the truth is that your job search will be more difficult if you have a 2.2. However, unlike in some other career sectors, a number of firms will at least consider your application. The construction industry has always been interested first and foremost in a candidate’s skills, especially people skills, management abilities and practical problem-solving abilities.
Job hunting with a 2.2? Keep an eye on these construction, civil engineering and QS employers
- AECOM specifies a 2.1 for some of its vacancies, but just specifies a 2.2 or simply a degree for others. Schemes that require a 2.2 or above include building surveying, quantity surveying, project management and building services.
- Amey accepts a 2.2 for its graduate pathway programme and does not specify a required degree classification for its graduate management development programme.
- Babcock accepts graduates with a 2.2 and above for most of its graduate schemes. A few schemes such as project management, property management and technical and business management require a 2.1.
- BAM Construct UK and BAM Nuttall don’t specify a minimum degree grade.
- Barratt Homes requires a 2.2 or above for both its accelerated construction graduate programme and its aspire graduate programme.
- Carillion plc considers all degree classifications for its graduate programmes.
- Countryside Properties accepts applicants with a 2.2 degree.
- Croudace Homes Group doesn't specify a degree classification requirement.
- Galliford Try plc doesn't specify a degree classification requirement.
- Jacobs usually doesn’t specify a minimum degree requirement but it specifies a 2.1 or above for a few of its graduate schemes. You will need to check individual job descriptions carefully.
- Network Rail requires a 2.2 or above for its civil engineering graduate scheme.
- RWE npower has no minimum degree requirement for its schemes in business analysis and quantitative risk. A 2.2 or above is required for its engineering graduate scheme.
- Transport for London usually requires a 2.1 or above for its graduate schemes but accepts candidates with a 2.2 for its quantity surveying non-cognate graduate scheme.
However, construction, engineering and surveying jobs can open up all year round, so search TARGETjobs regularly for vacancies and check their entry requirements.
It's also worth investigating opportunities with smaller employers who may be able to be more flexible when it comes to your degree result.
Competing against the job applicants who have a 2.1
Even when applying to these employers, you’ll still be up against students who have a 2.1 or a first and so you’ll need to give recruiters good reasons to progress your application beyond the initial stage. Basically, you need to write an outstanding application. Convince recruiters that you have the desire to work in the industry, coupled with the skills to do well.
- Demonstrate your commitment to a career in the industry. Clearly outline what you have done to further your interest in construction: your industry-related work experience or volunteering, any industry initiatives you’ve taken part in as part of your course or outside of it, such as the Construction Open Doors Weekends and student competitions run by professional bodies such as RICS.
- When writing about your industry-related work experience/volunteering, say what you did on your placement and what skills you developed. Help recruiters to visualise you thriving in the workplace.
- When writing about your non-industry work experience, identify the skills that are relevant to the construction industry and say how these skills will be useful to you in the role. For example, if you shelf-stacked at a supermarket, you would have multi-tasked when interrupted by customers with enquiries and when working on site you will need to multi-task when faced with interruptions and unexpected events
Will a postgraduate degree cancel out a 2.2?
This really does depend on the individual employer. ‘We normally ask students to have a 2.1 in a relevant discipline,’ says Melissa Hopper, graduate recruitment manager at Mott MacDonald. ‘However, if you have a 2.2 at undergraduate level but a distinction in an MSc, we would still consider you as it shows that you are able to work to a higher academic level.’ But there is no guarantee that other employers will feel the same way. Before deciding to embark on postgraduate study in an attempt to make up for your undergraduate results, contact a range of employers to get a feel for whether it is worth the expense and time.
What if I have mitigating circumstances for my 2.2?
If your 2.2 is due to genuine mitigating circumstances, for example bereavement or a period of illness, you can usually still apply to the employers that normally require a 2.1. ‘We look at genuine circumstances that have prevented the students from obtaining the grade they were hoping for,’ says Melissa. ‘Each case is looked at on an individual basis.’ To confirm whether 2.1-seeking employers will consider your application, look at their graduate recruitment website or contact the recruitment team (via email, phone or face to face at a careers fair). Also read our advice on how to approach employers about mitigating circumstances and what to say.