University is a stressful time of your life. Not only are you working towards deadlines and studying for exams, but you’re also navigating the world on your own for the first time. As a result, every uni student wonders: how much will my marks matter after uni? Is it worth putting in all the effort for a first, or is a lower mark just fine? The answer will vary from individual to individual, but here are some basic guidelines on when marks matter and when they don’t.
What matters more than marks
Typically, marks aren’t going to be the first thing an employer looks at. What they’re most concerned with is that you have relevant skills and experience for the role. This means that in terms of future employment, it’s a good idea to spend time on internships, work experience and relevant extracurriculars as well as studying.
The 2:1 cutoff
One thing that’s worth noting when considering how much marks in uni matter is that there are some graduate job opportunities that require a 2:1 degree or higher as part of their specification. These tend to be in fairly competitive fields. So, having a 2:1 or higher can open the door to apply for these types of opportunities. However, most jobs don’t have a mark specification and it will normally rank low on their list of priorities.
Could it be a tiebreaker?
If you were up against a candidate with the exact same qualifications, could a difference in marks cause one candidate to be chosen over another? Possibly. But there are a wide range of different variables that might serve as a tiebreaker instead. Things like how you came across in your interview or extra skills you have under your belt are just as likely to influence this decision.
It’s pretty clear that marks are not the most important factor when applying for jobs. However, this doesn’t mean that putting low effort into your uni work is a good idea. It’s still important to have a good knowledge base in your area of study and a track record of applying yourself to difficult problems. Going into an interview, talking about a relevant assignment or topic from your course can help convey your enthusiasm for the subject. It’s also a good way to show you’re hard working. So it doesn’t not matter — just don’t fret over the numbers too much.
See also: Best Websites To Look For Graduate Jobs