Direct hire or grad schemes


I graduated in 2008 with a 2:2 in Economics I narrowly missed a 2:1 and did look at a few schemes i did get shortlisted for a few but managed to fail the numeracy tests im aware im should have practiced perhaps more. I dont have much confidence in applying not just due to the tests but also interviews i was wondering would i be better going into a direct hire role and then working my way up in a business instead. I would like to work in a role where it is related to my degree but i constantly feel those with 2:1s or maths alevel are much stronger contenders than me. I was careful when i applied and didnt go for jobs which said 2:1 or above and directed my attentions to things such as retail banking and energy but again i think i need some advice on numeracy tests and how good a chance i stand with graduate schemes. im currently doing a temp job for the government and at least im getting some experience in this role although im im in human resources.

if anybody cud give me ideas of which way i could go be much appreciated.


(1) You need to practice numerical tests if you decide to apply for more graduate schemes because if you fail these, you then have no chance of getting to interview stage.

(2) You can get on to good graduate schemes with a 2.2 - perhaps not top level employers such as [[Big 4]], but certainly smaller accountancy firms and retail banks. People with maths degrees aren’t in any better position than you are. Economics is a good degree, and usually for graduate schemes the degree discipline is not important at all.

(3) Your present experience in the public sector is good. I’d recommend the public sector right now as a way to go to everyone - importantly, jobs in the public sector are far more secure than the private sector and furthermore, the work life balance is good, the pay structure is reasonable, the training is well structured and there is a clear path to promotion. With your experience in public sector, you would probably do well in applications to things like the Treasury finance scheme, or TfL, etc.

(4) Direct hire is fine and totally worth considering. I’d suggest you make both grad scheme apps and direct apps, go to interviews, get a feel for employers, and pick the employer you like most. Don’t worry too much about having to get on to a grad scheme necessarily. Grad schemes are good, but they aren’t the be all and end all by any means.

Good luck.