16 Moving your future

Finding a job often involves moving to a different city or even a different country. So a simple way to improve your job prospects is to broaden your job search (chapter 8) and consider all the alternatives, geographically and otherwise. Some of the alternative options are outlined in chapter 9. This chapter looks at some UK alternatives to London.

Like many capital cities, London dominates the economy of its country. There are clearly some fantastic employers offering great opportunities in London but they do not represent everything that is on offer in the UK. There are plenty of good career options outside of capital cities like London if you don’t want to live and work in a huge metropolis. The transition to remote and hybrid working also means you don’t have to live in a large city. Not just London Image by Sharon Dale (Dale 2018)Like many capital cities, London dominates the economy of its country. There are clearly some fantastic employers offering great opportunities in London but they do not represent everything that is on offer in the UK. There are plenty of good career options outside of capital cities like London if you don’t want to live and work in a huge metropolis. The transition to remote and hybrid working also means you don’t have to live in a large city. Not just London Image by Sharon Dale (Dale 2018)Like many capital cities, London dominates the economy of its country. There are clearly some fantastic employers offering great opportunities in London but they do not represent everything that is on offer in the UK. There are plenty of good career options outside of capital cities like London if you don’t want to live and work in a huge metropolis. The transition to remote and hybrid working also means you don’t have to live in a large city. Not just London Image by Sharon Dale (Dale 2018)

Figure 16.1: Like many capital cities, London dominates the economy of its country. There are clearly some fantastic employers offering great opportunities in London but they do not represent everything that is on offer in the UK. There are plenty of good career options outside of capital cities like London if you don’t want to live and work in a huge metropolis. The transition to remote and hybrid working also means you don’t have to live in a large city. Not just London Image by Sharon Dale (Dale 2018)

16.1 Hit the South?

For example, if you’re seeking work or further study in the United Kingdom, there are lots of possibilities in Loxbridge (London, Oxford and Cambridge). While Loxbridge undoubtedly offers many fantastic opportunities for your professional growth and development, it does not represent all of the best opportunities that exist in the UK see figure 16.1.

16.2 Hit the North!

If you’re looking for a job in the UK you don’t have to exclusively target the South (London) to find top employers, there are plenty located in the North too: Hit the North. (M. E. Smith, Smith, and Rogers 1987)

Looking for Northern jobs in the UK?

See a partial list of tech employers at git.io/manc

Northerners have often argued that Northern England offers a better quality of life than London we couldn’t possibly comment other than to say its horses for courses. The North West Tech Community calendar, provides a window on (and networking opportunities with) many of employers based in the North West technw.uk if you want to find out more. As Sharon Dale once said: its NotJustLondon (Dale 2018)

So, it’s wrong to assume that capital cities like London are where all the best opportunities are. That’s true in the UK and also in many other countries too, and the rise of working from home during the pandemic has changed our relationship with cities. You might need to consider moving your future.

This is a partial list of employers in the North West of England (aka the Northern Powerhouse) that recruit Computer Science students. This is not a comprehensive list of all tech companies in the North West, but will give you a quick flavour of employers in the Manchester, Leeds, Liverpool, Sheffield and Northern England.

16.3 Hit the East and West

It’s not just the North or the South either: You should also hit the East and the West too, don’t just look at big cities. Don’t just look at big employers. Look beyond the obvious, chapter 9 may help broaden your job search horizons.

In addition to these techuk.org and technation.io provide more information on technology businesses outside of London.

16.4 Summarising moving your future

The best jobs are not always in the obvious places. The myth that all the best graduate jobs are in London (or Paris, Berlin, Silly Valley etc) is clearly not the case, see figure 16.2.

It’s a myth that all the best graduate jobs are in London and other capital cities or centres for technical innovation like Silicon Valley, Silicon Alley or Silicon Fen. For some more misleading myths see the universitiesuk.ac.uk report on Busting Graduate Job Myths introduced in section 1.6. (Ball 2022a)

Figure 16.2: It’s a myth that all the best graduate jobs are in London and other capital cities or centres for technical innovation like Silicon Valley, Silicon Alley or Silicon Fen. For some more misleading myths see the universitiesuk.ac.uk report on Busting Graduate Job Myths introduced in section 1.6. (Ball 2022a)

So a simple way to broaden your future and open up more possibilities is to consider all the geographical options. Move your future by looking beyond the obvious:

  • Hit the North!
  • Hit the South!
  • Hit the East!
  • Hit the West!