Home UNITED KINGDOM Top Cities in the UK for Job Opportunities

Top Cities in the UK for Job Opportunities


The number of international students in the UK has consistently increased over the years, and individuals are looking out for the best working cities with plenty of job opportunities. Every year, universities in the UK welcome students from around the globe because of their education standards, great learning environment, and high employment rate for graduates. However, there are several top cities in the UK for job opportunities while and after studying.

Furthermore, getting a job as an international student in the UK has been better since the government modified post-study work visas. This means that all international graduates can now remain in the country for up to two years after completing their studies. Meanwhile, students in the UK can now search for an appropriate job, work, and start their international career fully.


However, no two workplaces in the UK are the same, but some specific attributes bring them together. While London and Manchester are known as the big cities, there are other cities in the UK for job opportunities. Cities like Edinburgh offer a great work-life balance.

Furthermore, choosing the top cities in the UK for job opportunities can be a bit complicated and overwhelming. Factors like quality of life, job market, salary, and culture opportunities contribute to improving overall work satisfaction. In this article, we have listed and discussed the top cities in the UK for job opportunities. These cities offer great work opportunities and economic benefits as well. So keep reading!

Best cities in the UK to live and work

If you intend to study in the UK or have just graduated from a UK university. Finding a good-paying job and settling in will be your top priority. However, quite a few factors may affect your choice of cities in the UK for job opportunities.

Below, we have compiled a list of top cities in the UK for job opportunities and high quality of life. Let’s dive in!


1. Sheffield

Sheffield is one of the cheapest cities to live and work in the UK. This city offers you an affordable living whereby you’ll still have a high reservable income even after paying rent and utility bills. However, Sheffield has thriving public and private sectors that provide many vacancies. Additionally, this northern city has a flourishing industrial past and is a fascinating city with great nightlife. There are also many activities for entertainment and leisure to keep you fun-filled. Sheffield might appear like a meek and humble place to take the prestigious Startups Cities Index crown.

Although the cost of living is increasing, Sheffield is an excellent and economical choice for workers or start-ups. It ranks in second place for the lowest commercial rent. Also, if you are a worker in Sheffield, you may pay an average of £41 per month for your bus pass. But why ride the bus when Sheffield also has an abundance of scenic walking routes among emerald-green Yorkshire hills? Furthermore, this city is an excellent place to start a business; it’s big enough to see the numerous opportunities but small enough to feel that you can make a difference.

2. Glasgow

Glasgow is Scotland’s largest economic city, home to roughly 20,000 SMEs. The city outshines other cities in terms of its employment opportunities, good quality of life, and affordable accommodation. It also performed well across the board, with a good mix of green spaces, leisure facilities, and cheap cost of living.

Furthermore, the increase in superfast broadband speeds has made working from anywhere possible and easy for SMEs in the UK. But residents of Glasgow don’t have to worry about this specification. Generally, Glasgow is a city with a particularly large tech community, and fantastic internet, ranked third for 4G download speeds. Still, it’s not all about practicality, which is another advantage of choosing Glasgow. However, the city has a high recycling rate and aspiring net zero targets, making it a great place for sustainability. As a worker here, you’ll feel a sense of community in Glasgow, probably above any other city you’ve stayed in.

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3. Liverpool

The post-pandemic situation has affected employee priorities. With the new business policies, many employees want to live in areas that aid remote working. However, Liverpool has ranked high as the best city for digital infrastructure.

Therefore, it is the perfect and excellent location for individuals who want a hybrid working method. It scored well for 4G, had the fifth-best average internet speed, and has 5G capability to top it off. Additionally, Liverpool is an outstanding choice for small businesses, with many available parks and an affordable cost of living.

4. Bristol

Another in our list of top cities in the UK for job opportunities is Bristol. In the Business ideas for 2022, sustainability was highlighted as a big pull factor for consumers and workers in the UK. Therefore, the southwest captivating city is one of the most sustainable cities in the UK with a net zero target for the coming years.

Furthermore, Bristol is one of our list’s cleanest, greenest, and most eco-friendly spaces. Due to its smaller population, Bristol accommodates lots of thriving small businesses. Even though the post-pandemic situation brought about some economic difficulties, it has helped nurture over 300 fresh-faced startups in just two years. In Bristol, the unemployment rate is particularly low, and a highly skilled workforce is a big brag. These factors have made Bristol a prominent place for talented workers to make their mark.

5. Leeds

After Birmingham comes to Leeds, which has the second-highest working adult population. However, you never can say why this city has so many workers and what has captivated this buzzing hive of workers. Could it be Leeds’ creative student population? Or is it probably its significantly low living cost?

Ooh, maybe it is near to the beautiful Yorkshire Dales? Or all of the above? However, with all the extraordinary aspects, the city of Leeds is climbing up the list in the coming years. Especially with investments from top-shot industries in the country. Furthermore, Leeds has one of the biggest new businesses, with its close-knit business community increasing by 6% in the past year.

6. London

London has a good number of employment opportunities for international graduates. Working in London, you may earn an average salary of £25,905 per year as a graduate. However, London is arguably one of the top and best cities to live in, not only in the UK but globally.

It has great prospects for a substantial pay rise as the average salary in London is almost 53% higher than graduate salaries. Furthermore, this most vibrant city in the UK has abundant opportunities for leisure, entertainment, and socializing. Although the cost of living in London is very expensive, renting accommodation is very expensive. It’s the most expensive among other cities. Nonetheless, London is home to some of the top-ranking universities globally. This beautiful city is one of the UK’s most desirable places to live and work.

7. Cardiff

Cardiff might be the only entry from Wales in our top list, but it’s worth it and makes up for that in qualifications. The city came in eighth for its startup-friendly average business rate of £1,000 per year. However, workers who are raising young children are also well-placed in Cardiff.

Cardiff is a beautiful spot, home to plenty of easily accessible parks, and green spaces, and has a low childcare cost of £223 per week. This city is also Wales’s major site for economic and business services centers. Therefore, employing 22% of the city’s workforce. As an entrepreneur in Cardiff, I hope to expand and build an impressive business bank account. If not in a place like London, Cardiff is also a great and exciting choice of location.

8. Newcastle

Newcastle stands tall for well-being and is a low-cost city that affords workers numerous social and professional bonuses. Geordies can claim the fastest commute time of all the cities on our list. However, in less than 20 minutes, you’ll get to work in Newcastle. Although it is due to it being one of the few cities that could boast of a metro. After a hard and long day at work, Newcastle is still the perfect place to unwind. Meanwhile, its pole position for beautiful green spaces and a serene environment makes it possible. With many leisure and hospitality businesses, it’s also a great location to establish a bar/cafe spot. From a well-being perspective, Newcastle is an excellent choice to start a business since the younger population are your startup employees.

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9. Edinburgh

You will find a significant number of university students in Edinburgh. This could be why the city is one of the best for highly skilled workers. A high percentage of its population also boasts qualifications of NVQ4 which you can use to take on apprentices.

Furthermore, if you’re a business owner in Edinburgh, you’ll have limited stress trying to recruit great talents and capable hands. But as it’s placed first overall for talent, besides being the best at recruiting, skilled workers in Edinburgh also get retained. This beautiful city in the UK ranks second for green spaces and third for leisure and hospitality.

There are many entertainment spots for its talented workforce to enjoy, another employment opportunity for international students. Edinburgh has a village feel, which means the community is welcoming and works closely together. The vibrant atmosphere draws some of the world’s best talent into the city; it’s a great place to live and work.

10. Manchester

Do you remember? Manchester is the city that introduced the world to Joy Division, acid house music, and bucket hats. Now the city has found a new niche as one of Europe’s fastest-growing digital and tech hubs. However, it’s a particularly great place for tech workers to live and work.

Manchester’s active business network is another reason it ranked fourth for Gross Value Added. This indicates the value of goods and services produced in an area with an outstanding growth rate of 5.8 annually. Furthermore, the city is also called the Warehouse City since plenty of spacious co-working offices exist. Perfect for flexible working. Additionally, Manchester is in the second-best region for accessing finance, a major consideration for driving startup success. Over the years, a great city has been created through hard work, a city that supports new businesses. It also provides employment opportunities for Manchester residents to partake in the success of the city’s growth.

11. Birmingham

Birmingham is the second-biggest city outside of London in the UK. It has, however, made substantial waves in our index. Meanwhile, the city is home to an average of roughly 6,000 SMEs which is more than second-place Leeds.

This implies that job seekers in this city are open to various choices. Also, Birmingham has the highest number of business locations, which gives workers the liberty to choose where to work from. But if you are not cut out to rent, you can also take a flexible office work strategy and get the best co-working space.

The previous year (2022) marks the start of a golden decade of opportunity for Birmingham. With the arrival of HS2 this decade, investment will continue to flow into the city, strengthening the economy and creating job opportunities for residents.



London might have once been considered the top destination for work-life balance. But the cost of living in that city is too expensive and can’t be compared with the fantastic offers other cities have in stock. I hope this helps you better understand the top cities in the UK for job opportunities. As well as the best cities for a good working life for small business owners and their employees. Good luck!