Is My 2:1, 2:2 Or Pass Degree a death sentence?

I just graduated with a 2:1 degree! Good news or subtly bad news?

In my opinion, I’d refer to them as safe zones, a little bit there, a little bit here, not exactly on the spotlight but definitely good enough.

A lot of disappointments are cropped in persons with very high CGPA that weren’t high enough to clinch a first-class cutoff mark. So many cases of almost there, but eventually not there.

Hey! It’s not a thing to beat yourself up about. I mean sometimes, we have ‘nearlys’ that make it seem our bests did not just pay off. But here’s the bright side of being on a second-class upper division.

  • Effort is still very much appreciated still; With the way a first-class is almost hard to come by, it is assumed that a 2:1 (second-class upper division) is no easy feat either. There’s evidence of effort and something your employer can be interested in as well.
  • You are not on the spotlight; Yep! For persons with a lot of tensed nerves for interviews and job callings, Relax! Your interviewer is not expecting you to know it all like is expected of the first-class graduate.
  • A lot of scholarship opportunities are still open to you; A lot of study-abroad scholarships have minimum requirements of a 2:1 and that is good news. You’re still in for some opportunities to study abroad but with a bit of competition.
  • Second-class degree holders are accepted virtually everywhere and that is something to be thankful for regardless. Jobs, further studies, etc., it is totally achievable.


I’m going to be very blunt here; No! It isn’t and it’s awkward why you think it is.

‘What is she even saying?’

I am trying to tell you that these are just grades! They represent your performance level in your academic field of learning; Your ability to retain what you’ve been taught and reproduce them on paper, in writing.

It is sad that society judges a person’s level of reasoning and capability solely on the individual’s capability to earn an ‘A’ in an examination that is testing an entirely different thing.

The fact is, most times, real life situations are the actual examinations and there is no guarantee that an ‘A’ student on paper will be an ‘A’ class performer in real life situations. Does it even make any sense?

I wouldn’t tell you that you’ve got the worst result or have gotten to a dead end, I will only remind you that your 2:2 tells a lot about your opportunities to excel in other angles of life.

I’ll share a story; A certain friend, name withheld, graduated from a well-known Nigerian University with a pretty low 2:2, yes, really low. She couldn’t apply for too many scholarships, neither did job openings favour her.

Some very fateful day, she stumbled on a job opening, in a firm she had always wished to work in. It was a highly selective one. They had made it quite clear; they were taking nothing lower than first-class degree holders, or at most a competitively high 2:1-degree holder.

For some reasons, my friend had landed herself a 2:2(second-class lower division), not exactly because of a lack of genuine effort, but for the inability to reproduce her knowledge accurately on paper during exams. She did ‘KNOW’ what was to be done, but was unable to prove that with her grades.

To my utmost surprise, she took the bull by its horn and turned up for that interview. A case of ‘what’s the worst-case scenario?’ I had even tried giving her preps on how to accept the rejection I was already envisaging; it was that scary.

Well she went straight there and nailed the interview like a pro. It was all smooth and bubbly until her CV was requested and to the bewilderment of the interview panelists, they had before them, a 2:2-degree holder.

You could tell the kind of tension in the room when she was asked to go home and await their reply afterwards. Oh well! Believe it or not, she got a positive one!

We must realize that the real essence of getting an education is to have knowledge; Knowledge that could be applied to real life problems. When you’re unable to offer this, it is absolutely impossible for a job recruiter to want to hire you, because, in essence, the recruiter is looking for someone with knowledge most times and not just a high form of qualification.

So, there you go! Your 2:2 is still super valid!

“Oh, someone is actually waiting for me to pass a final verdict on 3rd class and pass degree holders…”

Okay, on a really serious note, I’m no motivational writer so I will definitely tell you as it is. The result speaking for itself says a lot of negative things about your performance in school.

The saddening part of every academic result is that the stories and happenings that lead to them, is never published alongside the scores.

Is My 2:1, 2:2 Or Pass Degree A Death Sentence? 1
Is My 2:1, 2:2 Or Pass Degree a death sentence? 3

A lot of things may have contributed to a third-class degree or pass, asides unseriousness. A lot! It could be the lack of zeal or passion, intellectual issues, life transforming challenges, etc. Whatever it is, or was, the degree is not a death sentence and there are ways to remedy it.

If the result was gotten as a result of a lack of interest in the course of study, it is advisable you chart a new course in a path you’ll most likely be interested in.

Because of our speed to get into the university and avoid sitting at home, we sometimes fail to realize we settle for things we eventually will have to struggle with in the near future.

Do something you have an actual passion for. Is it within the school wall, go get it! Outside of them, go get it still! You must keep on moving either ways. Do not let a hitch or perceived failure stop you from reaching greater heights in your life.

These days, some Nigerian Universities offer remedial programs for improvements on degree results that are too low for an application to a master’s degree. Give it a second genuine attempt if you must and get it done.

In all, like I previously mentioned, grades do not define a person regardless.
What you make of your degree is solely up to you. This is the point where your actual career path begins and you have just been licensed to start.

Always remember, that each individual has a different path and yours doesn’t have to happen in the same way. You have one major tool to become a better person, use it optimally. Wallowing in self-pity or deciding to rest your oars, will take you nowhere. There’s a lot to learn after receiving tertiary education, if you can, do learn even more.
Get a master’s degree, add a doctoral to it if you can.

The higher you go, the better chances you stand to make an even more positive impact on the society. We are all here to transform lives and leave this planet better than we met it, don’t let a degree result withhold you.

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