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How important are honours degrees?

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Old 02-04-2013, 04:52 PM
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Hi,

I am a fresh grad from one of the top Australian uni. I've had interviews with several companies already (foreign bulge-bracket and mid tier banks, consulting firm), but failed to make the cut at the last stages of the interview process.

I have a finance degree (decent GPA), was invited to take up honours, but turned it down because I didn't want to spend more money and wanted to quickly take up a job in S'pore. However, now that most graduate jobs have seemingly disappeared, I'm contemplating entering the civil service.

Thus, really, how important are honours degrees in the public sector; and should I go back and read honours, or wait it out and look for a private sector job?

Any comments are much appreciated.

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Old 02-04-2013, 07:56 PM
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It depends on the position that you are applying for but honours degree is quite important/useful for the public sector. For some positions they will explicitly write that they require an honours or good honours (second upper and above) degree. Also, the salary in the private sector is dependent on your qualifications so having an honours degree will also allow you to have a higher starting pay.

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Old 02-04-2013, 11:34 PM
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Thanks for your reply.

The thing is my uni somewhat follows the UK system whereby our grade averages are classified into 1st class, 2nd upper, 2nd lower etc., however the bachelor itself is not written as, for example, BA(Hons.) but simply BA. (fyi, I'm a 2nd upper)

There is the option of doing a 4th year to effectively get a BA(Hons.) degree, however not many people choose to pursue that option, given the aforementioned grade average classifications and the relative costs involved.

Is my 2nd upper average thus relevant, and does the civil service look to pay to grades achieved, or simply the cert itself?

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Old 03-04-2013, 11:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dxdx View Post
Thanks for your reply.

The thing is my uni somewhat follows the UK system whereby our grade averages are classified into 1st class, 2nd upper, 2nd lower etc., however the bachelor itself is not written as, for example, BA(Hons.) but simply BA. (fyi, I'm a 2nd upper)

There is the option of doing a 4th year to effectively get a BA(Hons.) degree, however not many people choose to pursue that option, given the aforementioned grade average classifications and the relative costs involved.

Is my 2nd upper average thus relevant, and does the civil service look to pay to grades achieved, or simply the cert itself?
An honors degree, is widely understood as the 4th year of your undergraduate study. your 3 year degree is only considered as a general degree without honors.

If you can afford it and really cannot find a decent job, I suggest you go back for your 4th honors year. It will up your chances and pay by a lot especially the civil service.
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Old 04-04-2013, 06:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dxdx View Post
Thanks for your reply.

The thing is my uni somewhat follows the UK system whereby our grade averages are classified into 1st class, 2nd upper, 2nd lower etc., however the bachelor itself is not written as, for example, BA(Hons.) but simply BA. (fyi, I'm a 2nd upper)

There is the option of doing a 4th year to effectively get a BA(Hons.) degree, however not many people choose to pursue that option, given the aforementioned grade average classifications and the relative costs involved.

Is my 2nd upper average thus relevant, and does the civil service look to pay to grades achieved, or simply the cert itself?
Although you mention your Uni is among the top Oz Uni, it is still better to check whether your Uni is in the accepted list of Unis by the Civil Service. Some Civil Service Organisation can be very picky on where the degree was awarded. Some only accepts minimum 2nd Upper honours for certain jobs.

In interview, dont ever give the impression that you considered joining the Civil Service as a last resort.

For your info, the civil service grabs top local graduates while they are still in their final years. This is considered the second harvest. First harvest are those already on their scholarships.
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