PwC is removing the requirement for new recruits to have a first or 2:1 degree.
The professional services giant, one of the UK’s largest graduate employers, said it wanted to open up opportunities to students from a broader range of backgrounds and increase the socio-economic diversity of its workforce.
The expanded entry criteria will apply to all undergraduate and graduate roles, internships and placements.
“Whilst academic achievement has its place, for far too many students there are other factors that influence results,” said Ian Elliott, chief people officer at PwC. “Talent and potential is determined by more than academic grades and so removing the 2:1 entry requirement will open our roles to a greater pool of talent.”
In addition to looking at academic grades, PwC uses aptitude and behavioural testing to help assess each candidate’s potential.
PwC, together with the other ‘big four’ accounting firms — KPMG, Deloitte and EY — began to relax the criteria for graduate recruitment programmes more than six years ago, BBC News reports.
Since then, the Covid-19 pandemic has disrupted education and students from disadvantaged backgrounds often faced extra challenges.
This year PwC has recruited around 1,200 university graduates and about one in seven of them are from lower socio-economic backgrounds.