where graduate jobs are available in the UK and the pay on offer

Where in the UK are you most likely to get a graduate job?

Find out about graduate employment in different parts of the UK and the rest of the world, and the graduate starting salaries on offer.

London is the country’s biggest hotspot for graduate recruitment, as you might expect, and offered just over half of all vacancies available from employers belonging to the Association of Graduate Recruiters (AGR) in the 2015/16 recruitment season.

According to the edition of the AGR's recruitment survey published in September 2016, 50.4% of graduate vacancies available from its members in 2015/16 were based in the capital. This represents a rise compared with 2014/15, when 45.9% of graduate vacancies on offer were in London.

The proportion of graduate vacancies based in the south east fell in comparison with 2014/15, from 6.9% to 4.6%. Other areas where there were falls in the proportion of graduate vacancies include the south west (6.2% to 1.4%), Wales (2.3% to 1.3%), the north west (6.2% to 2.6%) and the north east (3.8% to 1.9%). There were increases in the East Midlands (3.9% to 5.1%), east of England (3% to 5.9%), West Midlands (7.7% to 8.8%), Yorkshire and Humberside (5.6% to 7.6%) and Scotland (5.1% to 5.9%).

AGR members are typically large, multinational companies that recruit large numbers of graduates, and it's important to bear in mind that there are also graduate employment opportunities with small businesses across the UK.

Vacancies and starting salaries by region in 2015–2016

Here’s the breakdown of where graduate jobs with AGR members were based in 2015-16, plus the median expected starting salaries. Graduate pay in London was higher than elsewhere in the UK, at £29,500.

  • London 50.4% £29,500
  • West Midlands 8.8% £25,000
  • Yorkshire and Humberside 7.6% £25,000
  • Scotland 5.9% £26,207
  • East of England 5.9% £25,384
  • East Midlands 5.1% £25,000
  • South East 4.6% £26,000
  • North West 2.6% £25,000
  • North East 1.9% £25,000
  • South West 1.4% £25,000
  • Wales 1.3% £25,750
  • Northern Ireland 1.2% £23,500

Flexibility will increase your chances of getting hired

You will increase your chances of finding employment if you are willing to be flexible. Many big graduate recruiters have offices across the UK, and vacancies are more likely to be oversubscribed in the big cities. This means those who are happy to work in other locations, such as Reading and Southampton, are in a relatively strong position to get hired. You should also consider applying to smaller businesses, often referred to as small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), to maximise your chances of employment.