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Leeds: A Fantastic Graduate City

 12th Jun 2018

Leeds is a great place to start your career
It’s coming to that time of the year again. Exams are on the horizon. The thought of graduation for a large-share of the university’s student population looms large. The inevitable questions that you’re asked by friends and family is whether you’ve secured a job after graduation, and if so where you’ll live as you move on from Leeds?
Should you have fall into the fortunate bracket of students that have bagged a job upon graduation the most likely response as to where you’ll live next year will most likely be London. After all, some two thirds of Russell Group graduates start their career in London. This makes rational sense given the sheer wealth of opportunities for career progression in the capital. However, whilst there is no doubt that London is, and will remain, and unrivalled location of job opportunities for budding young graduates such as ourselves, I firmly believe that we are being too narrowed minded in our geographical pursuit of a graduate job. There are various locations up and down the country that offer exceptional opportunities for graduates, and we have one situated right on our doorstep. 
Leeds boasts a wide range of economic accolades as a ‘place to be’ sort of city. At present Leeds in the UK’s fastest growing city by economic output, with the economy forecast to grow by 21% over the next ten years. Moreover, in 2016, Leeds saw the fastest rate of private sector jobs growth of any UK city and has the 3rd largest jobs total by local authority area. All of this should signal something to us graduates- jobs! Make no mistake about it, Leeds is not London and nor do I think it will it ever be, but I strongly believe that Leeds will provide a young graduate with a wealth of job opportunities for the foreseeable future. 
Another pull factor that makes Leeds a very attractive place to start your career is the cost of living. Having money in your pocket post-graduation is a welcome relief to many, but the fact of the matter is that once you discount for rent and travel costs there are few ‘core’ UK cities that actively compare to Leeds on the grounds of cost of living. For example: according to Zoopla the average price of a two bedroom flat in Leeds City centre in 2017 was £805 per calendar month, compared to £2,526 per calendar month in Central London. With latest redevelopments by Canal Wharf and New Dock Leeds, there are an abundance of new and affordable flats right in the heart of the city.
(New Dock)
From a leisure perspective Leeds isn’t short of great pubs and bars to spend your hard-earned cash. You could be after a cold pint down at the 305 year old Whitelock’s Ale House, or perhaps a cocktail with friends after work on the roof top bar at Belgrave Music Hall. As a graduate Leeds offers you cultural variety, such which you might not have been exposed to as a student. 
As graduation looms for many of us we’ll have to start to think about where our future career will take us. In a geographical sense, London is the obvious answer. But in a city where a dwindling share of our salary will remain in our pockets, now seems a more than appropriate juncture to ask ourselves where else could we be that offers job opportunities and life satisfaction? Leeds offers that in abundance! So if you aren’t sure where your post- graduation life will take you, why not start it where it all began a few years ago? 
By Matthew Brown.


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