Graduate careers in London
Central London - The City is the epicentre of London's legal activity, as well as being the focal point for the city’s tourism, leisure and entertainment industries. Many graduate training schemes run in the area. The district of Soho is an active media and creative cluster that is home to many small and large organisations, including the Soho Media Group and the National Gallery.
East London – not to be confused with the East End – includes the boroughs of Barking, Hackney and Tower Hamlets. Canary Wharf is situated in East London, which is home to businesses such as HSBC and J.P. Morgan. It is a changing area, which is ideal for recent graduates in search of affordable housing.
What is now West London was once a series of villages, each with its own distinctive character. These communities have retained many of their idiosyncrasies – just think of the famous market at Portobello Road, for example. That’s not to say that West London hasn’t embraced progress: in fact, it’s seen rapid development thanks to government and private investment, as well as the growth of small and technology-based businesses. It’s now home to Heathrow airport, Wembley Stadium, Park Royal, numerous modern business parks stretching into the Thames Valley and over 50,000 companies, including Heinz and the Diageo.
North London contains a small proportion of the city’s industry, but many graduates choose to live here because of the relatively low rent prices and easy commutability. There are several local graduate employers, particularly in finance and social work, such as Barnet Council. It is easy to commute outside London, so Watford-based graduate recruiter Camelot is a popular choice, as are airlines, such as Easyjet, which operates from Luton and Stansted. The retail industry is also significant, and many companies such as Marks & Spencer run highly regarded graduate recruitment schemes throughout London. London Zoo may employ researchers and offers ongoing work experience opportunities.
With excellent transport links such as the DLR and London Tramlink, and plenty of shops and cafés, South London is a haven for graduates seeking a livelier pace of life. Its busy atmosphere attracts a mix of cultures and nationalities. Many private sector businesses in areas including Southwark, Kingston, Sutton and Wandsworth operate in the sales and marketing, software and finance sectors. The South Bank is home to many employers including EY and ITV. The public sector employs teachers, social workers and nurses to accommodate the district’s large population.
Central London: The prestigious London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) scores top marks for law and economics, and ranks highly for history, politics and business studies. It is also among the top four social science institutions in the world. The University of the Arts London has colleges spread out across central London and is the largest arts university in Europe. It offers postgraduate courses in art and design that are highly regarded.
East London: The University of East London (UEL) is split between its Docklands and Stratford campuses. Its School of Architecture and the Visual Arts is highly rated, as is its sociology research. Each of the university’s eight schools offer postgraduate degree programmes, which encompass everything from art and design to finance and psychology. Queen Mary, which is part of the University of London and includes the London School of Medicine and Dentistry, is a member of the Russell Group.
West London: Imperial College – based in South Kensington – is among the world’s leading universities. Specialising in science and technology, its postgraduate research is rated across the board. West London is also home to Brunel University, where high-quality work in economics, business and environmental science is ongoing. You’ll also find a wide range of postgraduate courses at nearby Royal Holloway, part of the University of London (in Staines), Kingston University (in Kingston upon Thames), the University of Roehampton (near Richmond) and the University of West London (in Ealing).
North London: City University is highly regarded for its postgraduate courses in nursing, midwifery, social research methods and music. London Metropolitan University is London’s largest unitary university, with over 30,000 students. It offers further study in areas as diverse as biomedical science, marketing and management.
South London: London South Bank University runs well regarded courses in health, education and town planning. Lewisham-based Goldsmiths College, University of London, attracts creative types with its recognised excellence in the arts.
- Baker & McKenzie LLP, Blackfriars (Law)
- Linklaters LLP, Moorgate (Law)
- Civil Service, Whitehall (Public sector; Government; Research and statistics)
- The Bank of England, Moorgate (Banking and finance)
- HarperCollins, Hammersmith (Publishing)
- EDF Energy, Victoria (Analysis; Technology; Finance; HR; Consulting)
- Future Publishing, Westminster (Publishing)
- Amnesty International, Whitehall (Not-for-profit; Charity work; Sales; Administration)
- Metropolitan Police, London (Public sector)
- Selfridges and Co, Oxford Street (Retail; Management)
- British Petroleum, Canary Wharf (Finance; Trading; IT)
- HSBC Bank plc, Canary Wharf (Management; Financial services)
- McGraw Hill, Canary Wharf (Financial; Publishing; Marketing; Administration)
- Thomson Reuters, Canary Wharf (Financial services; Journalism; Television)
- Teach First, Southwark (Teaching)
- Accenture, City of London (Consulting; IT)
- Ernst & Young, Lambeth (Accounting and finance)
- J.P.Morgan, Canary Wharf (Financial services)
- Atkins, Cheapside (Design; Engineering; Consultancy)
- Metropolitan Housing Partnership, Southgate (Marketing; Social work; Finance; Law; HR)
- Barnet Council, Barnet (Public sector; Government; IT; Social work; Education; HR)
- Easyjet, Luton and Stansted (Travel and tourism; IT; Engineering)
- Scholastic, Euston (Publishing)
- Zoological Society of London, London Zoo, Regent’s Park (HR; Research; Maintenance)
- National Council for Voluntary Organisations, Islington (Not-for-profit)
- Marks & Spencer, throughout London (Retail; HR; IT; Design)
- Mace Group, Moorgate (Construction)
- IBM, South Bank (Engineering; Finance; IT; HR; Sales)
- Morgan Stanley, Canary Wharf (Banking and investment)
- Penta Consulting, Wallington (Recruitment)
- Wandsworth Council, Wandsworth (Public sector; Government)
- Nationwide Building Society, throughout London (Financial services)
- EA Worldwide Acquisitions, Southwark (Sales; Marketing)
- South London and Maudsley NHS, Lewisham (Public sector; Healthcare)
- Transport for London, throughout London (Transport; Logistics)
- Battersea Arts Centre, Battersea (Arts; Event management)
- Diageo, Park Royal (Manufacturing; Food technology; Retail; HR; Finance)
- Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, Kensington (Public sector)
- North West London Hospitals NHS Trust, throughout west London (Public sector; Healthcare)
- Heinz, Hayes (Retail; Manufacturing; Food technology; Sales; Finance)
- University of London, throughout London (Education)
- Ealing Council, Ealing (Public sector)
(Note: these employers may not be currently recruiting. Their names have been provided as a guideline to the type of work available and what areas to look in.)
It’s within commuting distance of…
- Romford – 18 miles
- Kent – 39 miles
- Milton Keynes – 50 miles
Browse vacancies and work experience opportunities on TARGETjobs
Browse vacancies and graduate jobs in London and the south east