Careers Advice

You Are Not Your Degree

ScotGrad vacancies often include recommended degrees for each role, but what ScotGrad employers are really looking for is a certain set of skills and qualities a suitable candidate should have. With that in mind, there are plenty of opportunities that could be perfect for you but that you may have already dismissed.

Published: 09/04/2019

Graduation celebration

Firstly let's look at what it takes to successfully apply to a ScotGrad role:

    1. A thorough understanding of the job description and person specification
    2. Detailed research into the company and role
    3. A tailored CV and application

And looking at a type of role in more detail, an employer seeking a graduate to undertake a business development project will likely ask for some of the following skills:

    • Ability to work to deadlines
    • Attention to detail
    • Flexibility in response to changing demands under pressure
    • Project management experience
    • Personal management skills
    • Analytical skills

A marketer may be asked to demonstrate the following:

    • Ability to write engaging content for all marketing channels including social media, website, newsletters, and press releases
    • Understanding of social media and its appropriate use for business
    • Analytical/evaluation skills including use of appropriate tools such as Google Analytics to inform reports
    • Effective communication skills, both written and verbal
    • Understanding of an audience and how best to target them

Looking at these lists, you’re likely now realising you have evidence to demonstrate plenty of those skills. If you have a psychology degree, for example, you have a thorough understanding of character traits that can help you to understand an audience. If you have studied English Literature, you have excellent communication skills and the ability to write engaging content.

But it doesn’t stop there… maybe your degree isn’t directly relevant at all, but you’ve volunteered at the weekends during university working for a charity, helping them to run successful events and publicise them. Perhaps you’ve worked on a research project in your degree which involved developing a research proposal, setting the parameters of your study, setting measures to evaluate it, and then testing your hypotheses. If you’ve completed a dissertation as part of your degree, chances are you have completed this process.

Some vacancies require specialist skills, i.e. engineers, software developers, strategists, etc. and the employer needs someone who can hit the ground running with skills that can only be gained from practical experience or a degree in that area, but for many, you’ll see that ScotGrad employers are becoming more flexible in their approach and are open to applicants who can meet the requirements through other means. You’ll still need to have a degree to apply to our vacancies, but take advantage of the flexibility.

Remember to think outside the box when it comes to your examples. Be as clear and concise as possible, documenting your approach to the task including tangible outcomes, and be clear about why your examples are relevant.

It’s your job to convince the employer you’re the right candidate for the job, and the first step is to believe that you are. Take a look at our advice pages and other blogs for more top tips.

Find current vacancies on our graduate placements page.