cities for graduates- other than London(6 Posts)
Hi all wasn't sure where to post this but thought I may generate some good responses here. Sorry in advance for the long post.
So I'm 26 and am in my 2nd year of university studying Anthropology + Sociology at Kent.
After my a-levels I decided I wanted a gap year, which turned into a 6 year long gap year! I was working in a hotel which provided accommodation too and really just got a little too comfortable there. Ended up working there for 2 years, then went travelling on working holiday visas so worked intermittently again in hospitality. Then came back to the UK really not sure what I was doing with my life and ended up doing a combo of pub work and nannying for a while before finally getting my act together a little more at 24 and starting my degree.
So I'll be 27 by the time I am done and looking for graduate/entry level type jobs. I am of course anxious about this, as most grad jobs will be 21/22 year olds. But having searched around a lot online my mind has been put somewhat at rest my people who similar to me are mature students, or even those who just want a career change so start from scratch in a different field in their late 20s even into 30s. I know I'll be behind a lot of my friends but hey ho can't change the past! Definitely always been one of those people who really has no idea what they want from life which doesn't help!
So anyway once I am done with my degree I'd really like to stay clear of London. I grew up in Surrey, about 45minutes from London and while enjoy it for the odd day trip really cannot see myself working there. I find the hustle and bustle of it quite stressful and generally have never really clicked with the vibe of the city. Not to mention the insane cost of rent. Even on the outskirts I'm looking at £6/700 for a single bedroom in a shared house- up north one could rent an entire flat for that money!
So apart from London what would you say are the best cities for graduates/entry level jobs?
I don't have much keeping me down south so am not too worried about having to start over. I understand I'd have to put a lot of effort into finding friends as adult friend making is not the easiest thing. But London definitely isn't "for me"
I'm considering Manchester, Bristol, Leeds, or maybe even Belfast?
Any input or advice would be amazing. Thanks in advance.
I think you will need to convince any employer that your work experience puts you above younger grads. That’s your usp isn’t it? I know a recent sociology grad who is training in HR now. I would suggest you fine tune what sort of job you want. You may struggle in some sectors because your degree may be less relevant than other degrees. Once you know what area of Work you want, try and get some experience of work in that field.
I don’t think employers particularly prefer 21/22 year olds. They do want people who understand work, are willing to be trained, and have good interpersonal skills. All the cities you mention are great and the first three all have at least two large universities churning out grads looking for jobs. You need to be able to compete with them.
To be honest, I would apply for any job you think sounds even remotely interesting, wherever it is based, and once you have an offer consider whether or not you want to accept and, if so, where you would live.
Thanks for the responses. Given me some food for thought !
You need to think about it the sorts of jobs that interest you first and just apply for them wherever they are - you have the huge advantage of being flexible so it opens up a lot more opportunities. “Graduate entry job” as a generic aim is meaningless - what sectors/ industries interest you? What type of work would you like to do - project management, customer service, behind the scenes support, IT....? Big company, small entrepreneurial employer?
Follow your interests and the rest will come naturally. I don’t know many graduates who picked a location first and a job second. In fact many end up working in all sorts of unexpected places for first jobs. Once you get more experience in your chosen field you can start to narrow down future jobs by location.
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