6 Reasons Why Discrimination Against 2.2 & 3rd Class Graduates Should Stop



This is based on personal opinion only. In the course of my young & growing career, I have interacted with many graduates and employees. I have met extremely good, hardworking and smart persons who graduated with 2.2 or 3rd class. However, many are not even given the chance to showcase their ability as they are often not considered in many recruitment opportunities.
However I must say, I will never discriminate against anyone on the basis of graduating with a 2.2 if or when I own my company. Here are the reasons why 2.2 (and lower grade) grads can perform equally or even better than others with higher grade:

1. Many are actually very smart. Some are even smarter than some 2.1 grads out there. Not all that finished with a 2.2 or 3rd class did so because they weren’t academically sound enough. Financial pressures, playfulness, sickness, victimization, missing exam sheets, family issues, disillusion, influence of bad friends, etc can cause students not to reach their full academic potential. A friend of mine finished with a 2.2 largely due to financial stress while in school. Today, he is a successful network engineer in one of the telecom coys. Let me even take it closer. A relative of mine finished with a 3rd class in civil engineering due to victimization. Today, he is a COREN registered engineer with many years of engineering experience to his name. He now has a registered consulting firm. I can go on and on to reel out successful 2.2 and 3rd class graduates but I will stop here. It’s gravely erroneous to assume that all 2.2 or even 3rd class grads aren’t as smart as others.

2. Succeeding in the workplace requires more than academic ability – As a matter of fact, success in the workplace is determined more by one’s soft skills than by academic ability. Soft skills such as presentation skills, persuasion skills, decision making skills, ability to learn fast, attitude, persuasion skills, people skills, etc. are much more important than school grades. These are skills that are not learnt in the classroom.

3. They have more to prove
– Of course they do. They know that many look down on them because of their grades. They know that too much emphasis is placed on paper certificate. So they demonstrate more determination to show that they aren’t push-overs. This is a key driving force for successful career-minded 2.2 and 3rd class graduates I have met.

4. Most have acquired additional hard skills / training – I have met several 2.2 graduates that have amazing skill sets that I can only envy. Many 2.2 grads out there are augmenting their grade with other requisite skills, aptitude and certifications. While many (not all) 1st class and 2.1 grads may rely solely on their certificate to do the ‘magic’, many 2.2 and 3rd class graduates are working and learning new skills to enhance their employability and survive the highly competitive labour market. This is applicable to all graduates. However, 2.2 grads tend to be more aggressive in their zeal to survive the competitive environment. All the skills, training, certification and aptitude gained in the course of boosting employability play significant roles in helping them succeed in life, and in the workplace.

5. Most have learnt from their past errors – This applies to those who finished with 2.2 or 3rd class due to avoidable reasons. People who learn from their past mistakes usually develop strong motivations to correct their errors and succeed. Give a man who is motivated a task to complete and he will excel beyond expectation. Another relative of mine graduated with a 2.2 for purely avoidable reasons. After staying at home for almost a year and realizing his past mistakes, he searched deep and discovered his passion. He enrolled for a software training program with APTECH, and began to build his network. Today, he is one of the leading software engineers with one of the 2 major Nigerian online shopping firms in Nigeria.

6. They tend to show great zeal and commitment
– The smart ones hardly misuse opportunities. They know how tough it can sometimes get for them and many brace up for the challenge. Over time, experience counts more than grade. Thus, they show incredible commitment in the workplace in order to gain relevant experience and reduce the undue impact of their grade. While most 2.1 or first class graduates have their eyes open to ‘bigger’ opportunities, 2.2 grads tend to be more loyal in a firm so as to establish themselves, gain relevant experience and boost their work/career profile. Little wonder some firms that used to be die-hard fans of 2.1 graduates now consider 2.2 grads (with relevant NYSC experience or Masters degree).
A year after I joined my first place of work (a multinational FMCG coy), two 2.2 grads were considered and hired amongst several 2.1 and 1st class graduates. The two put in extra efforts and commitment at work. They have since become high fliers and have risen ahead of their colleagues with 2.1 and 1st class degree.

Who says 2.2 graduates can compete with others in a corporate organization?

DISCLAIMER: I am not encouraging students to finish with 2.2 or lower grades. As a matter of fact, I graduated with a CGPA extremely close to a first class and will always advise students to finish with at least a 2.1 or Upper Credit. I am only insisting that 2.2 graduates can equally do well in the workplace.

Xfire is a graduate of one of the notable public universities in Nigeria, with working experience in the FMCG and petroleum industry. He currently works as an engineer in a multinational oil company in Nigeria. He is passionate about guiding people to achieve their dream careers, and he is known for his pragmatic approach towards career and life issues

Source: Jarushub