"educated to degree level" on job spec

(30 Posts)
scarletmonkey Fri 25-Aug-17 13:42:00

I'm currently applying for new jobs. There have been a few positions come up that specify "educated to degree level" without necessarily requiring the degree to be job relevant, just to have that level of education.

A few years back I was working my way through a self funded degree with the OU, after the tuition fee rises, I couldn't afford to continue and ended up leaving with a diploma of He. In hindsight I should of probably got a loan to complete the last bit, but ho hum, I made what I thought was the right decision at the time.

I'm looking at jobs similar to my role that have the "degree" requirement, and I wonder whether I should bother applying or not. I'm nearly but not quite there in terms of the education requirement, but I would have over a decade of experience in the field.

FWIW, my dip subject isnt related to my current job role, but so many jobs just have that " hold a degree" requirement. Even if your degree is in psychology and you were applying for an admin post.

I just wondered whether I'm likely to be considered for these types of jobs if I have a dip (ie 2/3 of a degree) and 10+ years job related experience. Or would it just be a massive waste of everyone's time?

OP’s posts: |
ScarletBegonia1234 Fri 25-Aug-17 13:47:18

I would apply as you have nothing to lose. As to whether they would consider you...it depends on the kind of place you are applying; e.g. if the application is going straight to the person recruiting there may be leeway but some places which get high number of applicants such as university or large companies may filter applications via HR or a recruitment agent first. They may just remove all applications which don't hit all essential requirements before they even get seen by the decision maker

Polarbearflavour Fri 25-Aug-17 14:45:04

I have a DipHe in Adult Nursing. I always say that it's equivalent to a degree. I'm currently working in a job that said degree level on the job advert. smile

squadronleader87 Fri 25-Aug-17 14:56:00

A well written job-spec should also have 'or equivalent experience' as a criteria. I work in the public sector and we have to be quite open with our job-specs to ensure good candidates aren't disadvantaged by needing a degree or similar. Put another way, your 10yrs experience could be more valuable compared to someone fresh out of university with no work experience.

Certainly, when I recruit I review all aspects of the application before making a decision. I appreciate this may not be the case in larger companies or where HR do the first trawl.

You've got nothing to lose by applying.

Moanyoldcow Fri 25-Aug-17 16:18:49

Neither my husband nor I have degrees and work at professional level where degrees are always asked for on job specs.

If it's not essential to do the job apply - no reason not too.

I do (now) have a professional qualification though which is relevant to my role.

zippydoodaar Fri 25-Aug-17 21:44:25

I think for some jobs a lot of companies will use it to limit the candidate pool.

PA jobs often ask for a degree now as there are so many candidates applying so they can be really choosy.

scarletmonkey Fri 25-Aug-17 21:46:05

Thank you all for your replies. From the sounds of things it's worth a try. I've not applied for a couple of jobs in the past because of the degree issue.
But, if I can drawn attention to my experience and years worked in the sector and perhaps they might look on the dip more favourably, especially as I did it alongside FT employment.

Sometimes I do wonder if they might see my application and be a bit "urgh, did she not even read the job spec, we asked for a degree" hmm

I suppose I will have to start having more of a punt on some things, too many jobs I'm writing off because maybe 10-20% of the job specification I don't quite fit criteria or don't feel confident in doing.

I've been with the same company over 10 years, taking the plunge for change is a bit scary and I'm doubting myself.

Thanks all

OP’s posts: |
Moanyoldcow Fri 25-Aug-17 22:15:19

Employers are looking for a good mind and someone who will fit into the business.

My current job asked for a fully qualified accountant or one with relevant experience. I was considerably less qualified on paper that the other 4 that were interviewed but they thought I would fit well, was able to do the role and decided to give me a chance. I've been there two years and the role was a lovely £9k payrise and I very nearly didn't apply because I didn't meet all the 'essential' requirements.

It's not just about the paperwork / get a kick ass application and cover letter and you'll have a good chance if you have relevant experience.

zippydoodaar Fri 25-Aug-17 22:15:57

What's the role?

I think you'd have a better chance if it's specific experience. For things like admin, candidates are ten a penny.

Moanyoldcow Fri 25-Aug-17 22:16:05

Also, if you can grow into the role rather than do it all immediately it's more appealing as it means you won't get bored in 6 months.

scarletmonkey Tue 29-Aug-17 21:15:20

zippy the role in working in NHS finance, I currently work in HE finance. There is some quite a lot of similarity between the roles, and obviously there is quite a lot of cross over in terms of training NHS students, research and shared use of machinery etc.

OP’s posts: |
BuzzKillington Tue 29-Aug-17 21:19:41

When we are recruiting, we go through the application form with a checklist on which we score points.

Sorry, but if the job requires a degree, only the applicants with a degree would get through this art of the selection process.

BuzzKillington Tue 29-Aug-17 21:27:06


wheresmyphone Wed 30-Aug-17 23:18:05

Hi: assuming you are a lady....I remember reading some research....male candidates feel qualified to apply for a job if they meet just 30% of the criteria, female candidates do not apply if they do not meet 70% of the criteria.

zippydoodaar Thu 31-Aug-17 06:18:33

I would apply.

You are educated to degree level although you only did 2/3 of it. I'd put something along the lines of...

Although I was unable to complete my OU course, I am educated to degree level completing two years of a three year course thereby gaining me a blah blah blah.

If no one else has a degree you will have the edge over them.

SamiZayn Thu 31-Aug-17 06:39:47

I'd call them and ask

gamerwidow Thu 31-Aug-17 06:43:41

In my experience (NHS) it's a degree or equivalent experience. If you tick the boxes elsewhere I don't care about the degree.
In a lot of cases the degree part of the job spec is to get the job through at the right band during the banding phase. It's nigh on impossible to get the panel to band the job at a 6 or 7 without the line in there.

BarchesterFlowers Thu 31-Aug-17 06:45:15

I would apply too. I recruit directly and I wouldn't necessarily bin your application.

I actually think OU study looks really good as often people have worked at the same time a studying so it shows commitment.

gamerwidow Thu 31-Aug-17 06:46:18

Also if you match 80% of the job then it's always worth applying. If you saw some of the rubbish I get sent for applications you wouldn't be worried about me taking yours out of the pile grin

gamerwidow Thu 31-Aug-17 06:49:33

Final tip when applying make sure you give examples of your experience in every area of the job description! We're not allowed to infer experience when shortlisting so unless you say ' I have experience managing budgets doing ...' etc. I won't be able to give you a mark for that section.

annandale Thu 31-Aug-17 06:50:52

Ugh I hate this. I wish someone would take a company to court over it as I believe it's ageist to require a nonspecific degree. Many years ago when I wrote job descriptions I would insist on putting 'graduate equivalent'. Tbh I would put the PGDip in the degree space as many people won't know the difference. If you don't get interviews I would focus on smaller organisationsize who can be more flexible.

NeverTwerkNaked Thu 31-Aug-17 06:51:44

Apply!! What's to lose?
I applied for my current job even though i didn't meet one of the essential criteria. smile

UsedToBeAPaxmanFan Thu 31-Aug-17 06:56:49

OP if a job spec lists 10 essential criteria, men look at it and think " great, I'll apply for that. I meet at leat 7 of the essential criteria". Women look at it and think "no, I can't apply fe that, I only meet 7 out of the 10 criteria".

You've got nothing to lose by applying apart from the few hours filling in the application. If you don't get shortlisted because you don't have a degree then so be it, but don't not apply because of that.

Good luck!

MoonPower Thu 31-Aug-17 07:06:05

Go for it.
I would employ someone who had relevant experience and who interviewed well over someone who had an irrelevant degree every time!

TheDrsDocMartens Thu 31-Aug-17 08:13:29

I agree with annadale it's not always relevant and frustrating for those with the right experience for 10 years to be rejected against a new graduate.

I was working in a job where I did 50% x and 50% y. A job came up that was 100% y and I didn't get an interview as I didn't meet the degree requirements. The successful candidate (out of 3) was a graduate in abc who I then trained...

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