One of the UK’s biggest graduate recruiters is to remove degree classification from the entry criteria for its hiring programmes, having found “no evidence” that success at university was correlated with achievement in professional qualifications.
Accountancy firm Ernst and Young, known as EY, will no longer require students to have a 2:1 degree and the equivalent of three B grades at A level to be considered for its graduate programmes.
Instead, the company will use numerical tests and online “strength” assessments to assess the potential of applicants.
Maggie Stilwell, EY’s managing partner for talent, said the changes would “open up opportunities for talented individuals regardless of their background and provide greater access to the profession”.
“Academic qualifications will still be taken into account and indeed remain an important consideration when assessing candidates as a whole, but will no longer act as a barrier to getting a foot in the door, she said. “Our own internal research of over 400 graduates found that screening students based on academic performance alone was too blunt an approach to recruitment.