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Posted by
19 Oct 2015
A recent article in The Guardian discussed how graduates could potentially be better off "up North”, and as I moved from the vibrant city of Bristol back up to Yorkshire eight months ago I found that as a graduate with six months of experience behind me that the range of opportunities in the North were vast. With the amount of universities in the Northern area it is no wonder that the graduate market is booming with roles that are available to graduate with minimal working experience.

The article also discussed how many graduates want a job in our capital and its true, no argument, there are plenty of graduate roles and the competition is very high within London. Graduates are not just competing with people who attended universities within the city itself but also from graduates nationally and internationally. London is definitely the place to be to make your mark in the city where the "streets are paved with gold” and an ideal location for any ambitious graduate looking to have a successful career.

So successful that according to a recent BBC News article the average graduate should be earning at least £45k basic salary after six months out of university! What graduates do not realise is that those type of roles wherever you are in the country are rare, however because students are fed this line many graduates will simply wait it out until a role like this floats their way. From speaking to friends who are currently either looking for work or have found a job in London, the harsh reality is that London is a eat or be eaten environment for the new grad and the cities in commutable distance from London are running low on good graduate roles with many businesses channelling their resources into the London market.

On the other hand, big businesses are available here in the North. The Northern powerhouse is not just the latest government slogan but a reality. This perception is vastly hindered, however by stereotypical thinking and media scaremongering which portrays the North as a desolate dreary place full of people with funny accents. However, after moving from Bristol back to Yorkshire I secured my position with Sellick Partnership in just two weeks. Conversely, a friend of mine had one month to bag himself a trainee accountancy role straight out of university with his Masters in Mathematics. The amount of roles available to him were extremely high especially in the finance sector. To me, this proves that the graduate market is back on track and that the "Northern Powerhouse” is becoming more attractive to the graduate market.

In terms of quality of life in London, salaries are high with the average graduate salary at £27,000 per annum however the cost of living is higher with the price of rent frequently at £1,500 per room, per month in a flat. £1,500 per month in the North can get you a very nice 4-5 bedroom house to rent around the Leeds and Newcastle areas. These relatively low living costs have allowed my partner and I to buy a house a year after graduating from university. Although the average salary is lower, what you can get for your money is vastly increased.

On a personal level I think there are plenty of opportunities for graduates in any location but it's the lifestyle of that location that is important. I joined Sellick Partnership because of the amazing culture and opportunity to grow that it provided to me which has resulted in a major promotion only six months into the role. But at the end of the day graduate roles as are becoming more frequent all over the country with the graduate market improving year on year. However with competition being so high is it the job the graduates are after or is it location, location, location?

Do you think London is still the only viable choice for a graduate or do you believe the North can now compete with the capital? I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.  Alternatively, please browse our current roles available in our offices nationwide here
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