Where should you start your career? In focus: Edinburgh
Edinburgh is a thriving city, especially for graduates starting their career. Maybe the big move to Scotland is for you?
Jobs in Edinburgh are generally plentiful: the Scottish capital has a population just shy of half a million, and it is the centre of the Scottish economy and government. Edinburgh happens to be a great city for those searching for graduate jobs in the public sector: NHS Lothian is the city's largest employer, and doesn't just employ doctors and nurses: managers, administrators and other clinical staff all have roles here. The next largest employers are the City of Edinburgh Council (employing people in all types of roles, from Human Resources to waste management, library services, museum work, benefits administration, and more) and the University of Edinburgh. Graduates concentrating their job search in the private sector are also amply provided for: the financial services sector is strong, with the Royal Bank of Scotland Group, Lloyds Banking Group, and Standard Life all having headquarters in the city.
Much more compact than sprawling London, Edinburgh is generally very walkable - but bikes are less popular in the city centre due to the city's hilly landscape. Lothian Buses run an efficient service, connecting the city with the airport as well as the suburbs with the centre of town. Night buses run until 4.30am, with most routes beginning and ending on Princes Street. Edinburgh trams now also connect the airport with Waverley Station and provide a modern, fast, and clean service. Every tram has staff on board to check tickets and help passengers; while super fast free wifi means that you can stay connected as you move about the city. Even better, Edinburgh trams are trialling a new "Red Eye" service, meaning that trams will be available late at night and into the early hours.
Generally affordable, Edinburgh is a compact city with distinct areas in which to live. The old Town is historic, with flats in tenement buildings, while the grand Georgian New Town offers slightly more spacious accommodation. Generally, those looking for graduate jobs in Edinburgh don't need to worry too much about commuting times, as the transport system is affordable and quick. Around 90% of the city centre's housing is in old tenement buildings, while those willing to spend a little more on a larger place often choose leafy Morningside (home to J.K. Rowling), Dean Village, or Leith (the setting of Trainspotting - but it's come a long way since the 1990s). Expect to pay more to live in the New Town or the West End, although house shares can make living in more exclusive areas of Edinburgh a very viable option.
Dining and Entertainment
Not many capital cities can boast an extinct volcano in their centre, but Edinburgh has can: climb Arthur's Seat for amazing city skyline views. If all that hiking makes you hungry, Hemma is a Swedish-run bar and restaurant at the foot of Arthur's Seat, offering up delicious hearty breakfasts, freshly baked goods, and a variety of cocktails. Gin bars have recently made a massive resurgence in the city too, with The Jolly Botanist among one of the best. Meanwhile, Edinburgh Castle, Edinburgh Zoo, and the Scottish Parliament aren't just for tourists: everyone should visit them at least once (while the latter offers free tours). Similarly, The National Museum of Scotland and the Scottish National Gallery are world-class establishments which don't charge for entry.
Those who like movies are advised to spend time at The Cameo, reportedly one of Tarantino's favourite cinemas. A great date venue, The Cameo offers thoughtfully curated movie seasons as well as the latest releases, and is worth visiting for its bar alone.