Where should you start your career? In focus: Newcastle
Today, Newcastle is a thriving city and the largest in the north-east of England.
For centuries, Newcastle was associated with the coal and shipbuilding industries - whilst this has mostly gone - this bustling city has benefited from plenty of economic investment and regeneration in the last twenty years. The 'Angel of the North' is a famous gigantic statue near Newcastle, which many see as symbolising this rebirth. Newcastle is a city with a strong sense of identity, and the distinctive local accent and nickname for people living in the area is 'Geordie.'
Newcastle has a reputation for being a vibrant student city and the low cost of living is making the city highly attractive for an increasing number of graduates.
Newcastle certainly offers plenty of graduate employment opportunities. There is a strong retail sector, so graduates interested in working in retail or fashion might be well-suited to find employment here, as there are several large shopping centres in the city centre, such as the Eldon Square Shopping Centre.
Newcastle has a small central business district providing some career opportunities in the financial sector. Graduate employment opportunities are increasingly plentiful in Newcastle and include corporate headquarters, education, digital technology, retail, tourism, healthcare, and cultural centres.
Newcastle's city centre is compact so it is easy and pleasant to walk around. If you are new to the city, you could pick up a free walking guide from one of the Tourist Information Centres - and follow the routes suggested to really get to know the city. There are plenty of taxis and buses catering for students and graduates - the buses offer many cheap deals, such as a Day Rover. You can buy a special 'Angel' ticket to visit the famous 'Angel of the North'. Quaylink buses are an easy way of getting around the Newcastle - Gateshead areas. You could also use the speedy and efficient Metro system, which covers the city centre, the coastal areas, the airport, the suburbs and the bar scenes.
Accommodation in Newcastle is cheaper than much of the rest of the UK so is a big drawing point. You can rent a three-bedroom terrace house in a suburban area for as little as £286 PCM. If you want to live in the city centre, a one-bedroom house can be found for under £500 per calendar month. If you are thinking about buying a property, Newcastle is a sensible location for first-time buyers, as there are plenty of new starter homes which are very affordable for young graduates. A smart two-bedroom flat, for example, can be found for around £130,000.
Dining and Entertainment
If you are looking for a city which is lively and full of entertainment, then Newcastle is the city for you. Newcastle is the undeniable centre of nightlife in the north-east. Geordies like to see themselves as hard-core party animals with plenty of stamina, and the town is full of students trying to compete. This makes for a great night-time atmosphere which can compete with any of the larger UK cities. There are many bars and restaurants in Newcastle, as well as nightclubs. Popular clubs include Digital, Liquid and Basement.
Newcastle has lots of concert venues, such as the O2 Arena, so there are plenty of gigs and live events. Highly-rated restaurants include the Moulin Rouge Café and Grill, the Quilliam Brothers, the House of Tides and Raval restaurant. Many nightclubs and bars have student nights, so if you are a graduate you may wish to avoid these! Other key events for which Newcastle is famous for are the annual Great North Run and The Hoppings, Europe's largest travelling fair, which arrives every year in June for two weeks of fun.