Things to consider now about graduate life

Even if ‘student life’ might seem within touching distance, ‘graduate life’ or ‘adult life’ probably seems a long way away! For most people, the student experience will be at the forefront of their mind when choosing a university. However, recent statistics show that 55% of graduates stay within the same region after university, many of whom may find work and make their home there.

Therefore, while it might not be your top priority right now, it may still be helpful to consider ‘graduate life’ in the place you go to university. This might include the kind of jobs available and house prices; the local culture and quality of life. If you start a family in the region, things like local schools and healthcare will become more important too.

You probably don’t need to worry too much about what ‘graduate life’ might be like in a region, especially as many graduates from across the country migrate to the major cities like Birmingham, London and Manchester. However, this may still be a factor in your decision, so we have included some suggestions to help you find out more.



Over the past 30 years or so, the UK economy has moved away from traditional manufacturing and towards services and technical expertise. Indeed, across the UK 83% of jobs are now in services. As well as this, the proportion of the UK workforce that are graduates has risen from 25% in 2002 to 40% in 2017. Taking a simple view, this means that there are more graduate jobs and more graduates to fill them.

As the table below shows, graduates are more likely than non-graduates to be employed in public administration and health, as well as in banking and finance. While many graduates do go into other industries – such as science, manufacturing or computing – these may be in more specialised technical roles.

Whatever your degree, there is a wide range of graduate jobs across the country. If current trends continue, many of the new jobs created are likely to be graduate jobs, although the rise of computing and coding may mean that new jobs are available to non-graduates too. For ideas of career prospects for graduates check out the links below:

Milkround Top Graduate Schemes

Graduate Fast-Track


Regional Variations

As well as the type of job you might go into as a graduate, there are also regional issues to bear in mind when thinking about graduate life. For example, you can use the following interactive maps to research different indicators for salaries, housing and quality of life around the country.

Interactive Map of Salaries by Region

Interactive Map of House Prices by Region

Interactive Map of Quality of Life by Region


How to find out more about graduate life

One helpful way of finding out more is to speak to teachers, siblings, friends or family contacts who may have lived in the place or studied at the university you are interested in. However, bear in mind that, depending on when they were there, they might not be the most up-to-date.

Another helpful way of finding out more is to look at publicly available data on student life. This might include a university’s own website or alumni magazine; articles or features by newspapers and websites; or graduate-focused websites such as GradMag, Milkround, or Student Ladder.

You can get started with some effective independent research just using Google or YouTube. So, to find out more about graduate life, you might want to think about:

  • Employment – e.g. types of jobs, average salaries
  • Housing – e.g. house prices, areas for young professionals
  • Quality of life – e.g. green space, schools and hospitals

Building on the above data, we have created a detailed profile of two regions, which you can access via the links below. We will be adding more regional profiles over the coming months.

East Midlands

North West