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Here’s how much you’ll earn from your grad job whether you get a first, 2:1 or 2:2

And we’ve got the data as well in case you fail your degree


The upcoming two weeks of lecturer strikes have been called off which means the holidays are over. Now you’ve got to face the grim reality of actually looking at your weekly readings on Blackboard, dragging yourself to your 9am lecture and potentially even contributing in a seminar.

But is it really worth it? Everyone and their mum has drilled into you how important it is to get a 2:1. And so you’ve likely worked yourself into the ground for three years, pulling all-nighters in the library and creating endless Google Docs filled with lecture notes (which you probably won’t look at again), all to avoid getting a dreaded “Desmond”. But what’s the pay off? Is there really such a difference between getting a 2:1 and a 2:2 when it comes to grad job salaries?

Well the reality is the difference is perhaps less than you’d expect. Jobs site, Adzuna, has analysed all of the grad jobs advertised last month on its site as well as the degree class these jobs asked for, to work out what salary you can expect to earn based on the degree score you come out with.

Grad jobs which specify a first class degree – £30,420

Well the reason why everyone bangs on about getting a 2:1 is because very few grad jobs will demand you have a first. Of the 14,357 grad job vacancies listed on Adzuna last month which required a degree, only 129 specified graduates must have a first – that’s less than one per cent.

However for those of you who have very admirably given up on a social life in final year and are pushing hard for a first, the reward for jobs requiring a first is a £30k average salary which is just shy of the £33,000 median UK salary.

Grad jobs which specify a 2:1 – £28,427

This is it, this is what it was all for. If you are working for a 2:1 which, let’s be honest, is probably 90 per cent of people reading this article, the average salary you should hope to earn is £28,427. Also good to know if you’re applying for a job which asks for a 2:1 and they are offering significantly less than this – you are being shortchanged!

Grad jobs which specify a 2:2 – £28,391

Right this confuses me. Between the grad jobs which specify you need a 2:1 compared to those asking for a 2:2, the difference in average salary is just £36. You’re telling me I sat in the library until 2am working for a 2:1 so that I could walk out with the average extra earning potential of thirty-six measly British pounds.

What is the point? I mean seriously what is the point? That’s the equivalent of five flat pints of Amstel in London. I want a refund.

Entry level jobs where no degree needed – £21,494

Okay, I’ve resorted to calling these entry level jobs. Not really sure you can call it a grad job if you then don’t actually graduate with a degree. Anyway whatever you do, if you’re already into your third and final year and you’ve racked up a healthy amount of debt, don’t tank your degree now.

Not only are the student finance repayments going to be that bit more bitter, but when you compare that you could have been earning almost £7,000 more if you’d just half-arsed your way to a 2:2, you’ll really reconsider why you didn’t just use ChatGPT to help get you over the line.

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