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 under half of all vacancies available from employers belonging to the Association of Graduate Recruiters (AGR) in the 2014/15 recruitment season.

According to the edition of the AGR's recruitment survey published in September 2015, 45.9% of graduate vacancies available from its members in 2014/15 were based in the capital. This represents a slight rise compared with 2013/14, when 45.6% of graduate vacancies on offer were in London.

The proportion of graduate vacancies based in the south east fell in comparison with 2013/14, from 11.2% to 6.9%. In other areas there were modest increases in the proportion of graduate vacancies, including the south west (4.7% to 6.2%), East Midlands (3.3% to 3.9%), East of England (2.5% to 3%) and Wales (1.6% to 2.3%). London and the south east continue to account for more than half of the graduate jobs on offer from AGR members, at 52.8%.

The proportion of graduates recruited to vacancies overseas fell sharply from 7.8% in 2013/14 to 1.8% in 2014/15. This falls far short of the high levels of overseas vacancies seenback  in 2011/12, when graduate jobs outside the UK accounted for 9.8% of all vacancies offered by AGR members.

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 2014–2015

Here’s the breakdown of where graduate jobs with AGR members were based in 2014-15, plus the median expected starting salaries. Graduate pay in London was higher than elsewhere in the UK, at £28,500.

  • London 45.9% £28,500
  • West Midlands 7.7% £25,000
  • South East 6.9% £25,500
  • North West 6.2% £25,000
  • South West 6.2% £25,000
  • Yorkshire and Humberside 5.6% £25,000
  • Scotland 5.1% £25,000
  • East Midlands 3.9% £24,000
  • North East 3.8% £24,750
  • East of England 3.0% £25,000
  • Wales 1.6% £24,500
  • EMEA (Europe, the Middle East and Africa) 1.1% £28,000
  • Rest of the world 0.4% (salary information not included)
  • US 0.3% £25,000

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.