Graduate employers are being urged to scrap their minimum requirement of a 2.1 degree.
Of 600 students and graduates polled by graduate careers site Milkround.com, more than half (58%) said they want employers to scrap the minimum requirement where it is used, arguing that job suitability cannot be judged solely on degree classification.
Many graduate employers use a 2.1 degree as a benchmark for their recruitment and, according to Milkround, 2.2 and third-class degree graduates submitting applications online will often be rejected.
Milkround.com spokesperson Mike Barnard said: "Any recruiter who enforces their 2.1 minimum risks missing out on non-academic talents that could be vital to a role but not associated with the level it says they achieved on their degree certificate. No institution is the same so it's also important recruiters understand a 2.1 degree from one university may not be comparable to a 2.1 degree from another."
Eva Malecki, graduate recruitment manager at Centrica, said: "We do not have a 2.1 cut-off as we believe that accepting applications from graduates with a 2.2 or above will enable us to attract and assess a larger, more diverse graduate pool, especially as the value of a degree classification can vary from one institution to another.
"To secure the best talent for our business, we look beyond a degree classification; job history, activities and interests outside of university, and competency-based examples are just as important to show us that an applicant has skills beyond their degree."