Where should you start your career? In focus: Belfast
The historic city of Belfast is the capital of Northern Ireland and one of the most exciting places to live in the whole of the United Kingdom.
Although traditionally associated with activities like shipbuilding - highlighted by the fact that the RMS Titanic was constructed in the city – today, Belfast can be considered a truly modern city, as well as a major UK centre for industry, business, law, the arts, sport and politics.
For many graduates, one of the most important considerations during the post-university period includes employment prospects. Fortunately, Belfast offers a great variety of career possibilities. The annual Belfast Job Fair brings employers and job seekers together and is a great way of finding graduate opportunities in almost any field.
The city is considered a major centre for business, with many of the local corporations being happy to take on recent graduates starting out in their careers. The city similarly has strong links with industry, meaning you should be able to find job opportunities in areas as diverse as architecture, the media, law, digital technologies and healthcare.
For many years, the city has had a strong retail sector, but a large-scale redevelopment process, focusing particularly on the Victoria Square region of the city centre, has expanded the number of retail jobs further. In turn, this has helped to drive economic prosperity in the region.
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In general, Belfast is considered to be a car-dependent city, especially when compared to cities like London. A study from the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency found that around 77 percent of all journeys within the city are taken via car, with just 11 percent occurring via public transport.
For those who do not own or travel by car, the city is well-served with a reliable public transport network. Translink Metro and Ulsterbus, for instance, provide comprehensive bus services around the city, with some routes extending into nearby towns like Dundonald and Newtownabbey. Meanwhile, taxis are plentiful and easily affordable for short trips.
The city is also served by two different airports, which make it simple to travel to mainland Britain and beyond. Belfast International Airport caters for domestic, European and international flights, with destinations including New York and Las Vegas, while the George Best City Airport primarily covers domestic flights.
A graduate looking to rent a property will find that prices are cheaper than in many other parts of the United Kingdom. For example, it is possible to rent a three-bedroom terraced house on the outskirts of the city for around £450 pcm (€576), while a two-bedroom flat in the popular Stranmillis area will still only set you back around £500 pcm (€640).
Belfast also represents an exciting prospect for first-time buyers, with plenty of affordable housing options. A two-bedroom flat or terraced house within the city can often be purchased for around £100,000, and there are even three-bedroom semi-detached properties available for a little over £150,000.
Dining and Entertainment
In terms of night-life, the city is packed full of excellent bars and clubs, from the 80’s nostalgia of the Culture Club, to the more traditional atmosphere in Berts Jazz Bar. Moreover, Belfast is home to many restaurants, with examples including India Gate, which offers great Indian food, and The Barking Dog, providing a more casual experience.
Historically, Belfast has had a strong connection with the arts and there are plenty of places to check out live performances. For music lovers, the city boasts world-class venues like the Odyssey and Waterfront Hall, which are regularly visited by the big names in music, as well as by comedians and other entertainment companies, like WWE.
If you would rather check out smaller bands, the Oh Yeah Music Centre hosts performances from up and coming indie, rock, punk and electronica acts, while occasionally being visited by established performers. Alternatively, for performance art lovers, the city has one full-time theatre, The Lyric, as well as venues like the Grand Opera House.
Apr 28, 2016 at 9:50am PDT