In this blog, CLL’s Senior Careers Consultant, Chris Manley, discusses the benefits of studying a 2+2 degree.
We always knew that the future was unpredictable, but it feels more true than ever now. So why write a blog about the value of studying a 2+2 degree now, when things are so topsy-turvy? Well, because I still think that if you are asking ‘Is it worth studying a 2+2 degree now?’ the answer remains ‘Yes.’ Here’s why I think so:
Studying isn’t just about employment. Although for almost everyone it is crucial to think about the likely return on investment (and I’ll come to that), 2+2 students and graduates often talk about the value of their degree in proving (sometimes to doubting family or friends) that they can study successfully at degree level (and at a top university no less); in learning new information and ideas; and in the sheer satisfaction of the thinking, discussing and writing at this level.
But here’s the thing: Employers like all that too. They like people who can get to grips with new ideas, who have sophisticated methods for solving problems, who are familiar with using facts to make their case. And although many non-graduates have these skills, a degree is an external validation that you are likely to have them, which employers will appreciate.
Because employers like a degree as evidence of these general skills, the number of employment areas where a graduate could contribute is enormous. In practice 2+2 students frequently end up in a wide range of support roles (including in education, welfare, housing and customer service) or project management/higher level administration type roles. This is partly related to the choice of subject study, but previous experience and personal preference play a part, and 2+2 students who wanted to go in another direction – a graduate scheme with a large corporate organisation say, or journalism, or human resources… – would find that they had skills to show off in an application.
And that’s not all. Since 2+2 students tend to be returning to study after a break (or sometimes, impressively, studying which they more-or-less started from scratch as adults), they are likely to have bags of other experience to show off alongside their studies. This is often significant experience of work (and some 2+2 students use their degree to get promotional opportunities in their current area of employment), and it could also be outside of work – for example any parent who has managed to get four different children to three different educational establishments and get to their own job on time when six things went wrong before breakfast, is likely to have the sort of problem-solving and time-management skills which, if expressed well, most graduate employers could really see the value of.
And a degree is often needed for further study. If you are interested in study related to a particular job then do check the details, since not all degree options are designed to link with all areas of further study (for example for a post-graduate teaching qualification you would normally need to be sure that your undergraduate degree had enough content related to the school curriculum). A 2+2 degree can and does provide access to significant areas of further study. See other blogs in this series for people who have used their 2+2 as a launch pad to go on to the highest university qualification of all, the PhD.
Anyone who tries to predict the future shape of the jobs market, particularly in the next few months, is more likely to be wrong than right, I suspect. But if the number of jobs does reduce significantly for a longer period of time, being able to distinguish oneself by having a degree is likely to become more important.
Study at degree level is expensive. It is also time-consuming. These are clearly not things to be considered lightly. So do lots of research and ask lots of questions. But there you are – six reasons why Warwick’s 2+2 degree is worth considering seriously.
If you are interested in finding out more about the 2+2 degree pathway, book an open call with one of our recruitment team and have your questions answered.