The tough graduate jobs market can make students feel under pressure to achieve a 2.1. Meeting this standard will make finding a graduate engineering job easier; however, if you can’t achieve this, don’t despair. Even among leading engineering employers, there are still plenty who will consider graduate engineers with 2.2s.
In fact, the number of employers changing their minimum degree classification requirement to a 2.2 increases every year as they recognise the importance of other factors, such as the skills and qualities gained through activities beyond your degree.
Graduate schemes open to engineers with 2.2s in 2019/20
The following employers accept applications from engineers with 2.2s for at least some of their graduate schemes. NB this is not an exhaustive list!
- AECOM: accepts graduates with 2.2s for a large number of its graduate roles.
- Airbus: doesn't specify a grade requirement for a fair few of its engineering graduate programmes including graduate electrical systems engineer, antenna mechanical engineer and military satellite communication engineer.
- Associated British Foods - Grocery: accepts graduates with a 2.2 for its engineering graduate scheme.
- Atkins, an SNC-Lavalin business: often accepts a 2.2 or above at masters level, but some roles require a 2.1.
- AWE: doesn't mention any degree classification requirements on its careers website.
- Babcock International Group: a 2.2 is the minimum requirement for most of its engineering schemes such as naval architecture and civil, structural, design, aerospace, mechanical, process, safety, systems and electrical and electronic engineering.
- BAE Systems: accepts 2.2s or above for its engineering graduate schemes.
- Balfour Beatty: asks for a 2.2 or above for its technical graduate schemes.
- BOC: a 2.2 MEng (or equivalent) in chemical, mechanical or electrical engineering is the minimum requirement for its graduate engineering scheme.
- Caterpillar: asks for candidates with a 2.2 or above.
- DSTL: doesn't state that it requires a specific degree classification on its website.
- EDF Energy: accepts a 2.2 at postgraduate level for its engineering graduate programmes.
- First Group: accepts 2.2s in electrical, electronic, mechanical or aerospace engineering.
- Ford Motor Group: accepts applications from candidates with a 2.2 or above.
- Jaguar Land Rover: a 2.2 is the minimum requirement for all of its graduate schemes.
- Lloyd’s Register: asks for candidates with a 2.2 or above in a degree that is recognised by the Engineering Council (you will either need an MEng or a BEng and an MSc)
- Lockheed Martin: doesn't mention any degree classification requirements.
- MBDA UK: accepts candidates with a 2.2 for all of its graduate schemes.
- Metaswitch: accepts applications from all degree classifications.
- Ministry of Defence – Defence Equipment & Support: asks for candidates with a 2.2 or above.
- Mott MacDonald: accepts graduates with 2.2s for its electrical engineering scheme.
- National Grid: accepts applications from those who have achieved or are on track to achieve a 2.2 or above.
- Network Rail: accepts candidates with a 2.2 or above in a degree that is accredited by the relevant body for its civil, mechanical and electrical and electronic engineering schemes.
- nucleargraduates: accepts engineers with a 2.2 or above.
- Severn Trent: accepts all degree classifications but does ask for an accredited degree.
- Siemens: asks for a 2.2 or above for its UK graduate programmes.
- Thales: doesn't specify any grade requirements.
- Thames Water: a 2.2 is the minimum requirement.
- Transport for London: accepts applications from candidates with a 2.2 its fire engineering and engineering and technology graduate schemes (the degree needs to be accredited).
- UK Power Networks: a 2.2 is the minimum requirement.
Don't forget about opportunities with smaller employers too, who may often be more flexible on your degree result.
Competing against engineering job hunters with 2.1s and firsts
Keep in mind that your application will be competing against those of graduates with 2.1s and firsts. To be offered a place on the graduate scheme, you’ll therefore need to outperform these candidates in other ways, both at the application and interview/assessment stages. Use TARGETjobs Engineering’s advice on applications and interviews and work experience to ensure that you present yourself in the best possible way and demonstrate your commitment to a career in the employer's industry.
What if I have mitigating circumstances for my 2.2?
If your 2.2 is due to to genuine mitigating circumstances, for example a period of illness (more than just freshers' flu) or bereavement, you can usually still apply to those employers that normally ask for a 2.1. BP's first step in the application process, for example, gives you the option to state whether there are mitigating circumstances for your degree result. So, if you spot that an employer you want to apply to states that it requires a 2.1 or above, don't give up just yet. First, have a closer look on its graduate recruitment website (particularly the FAQ section if it has one) to see if it mentions mitigating circumstances. If not, contact the recruitment team (either over email, phone or face-to-face at a careers fair) to ask if they would consider your application. You can also read our advice on how to approach employers about mitigating circumstances and what to say.