Recent research has shown a massive surge in jobs in Peterborough, demonstrating the importance of less traditionally popular cities in helping young people find employment.
Leading economic think tank, Centre for Cities, has placed Peterborough second in a list of job creation cities over the last 100 years. Between 1911 and 2013 there has been a 373% increase in the total number of jobs created in the city.
It sits at the top of the list behind the area of Crawley, south of London, and just ahead of Oxford.
The three top areas have experienced job creation increases (perhaps surprisingly) significantly higher than that of major cities popular with young jobseekers, such as Manchester, Leeds and London.
Financial services company BGL Group has created an infographic showcasing the benefits of avoiding London or bigger UK cities in favour of and smaller cities and towns like Peterborough when starting a career.
Cheaper property prices, greater disposable income and a better quality of life are all highlighted as major benefits of launching a career in the city.
Social recruitment manager at BGL, Katie Smith, spent eight years in London working at a global advertising agency, before deciding to move from the capital to Peterborough.
“Sweaty, cramped, late London transport is a distant memory,” she said.
“Replaced with a better work life/balance and country welly boots. Out of the rat race – it’s all about quality of life – mixed in with a London pay packet.”
Expected to be one of England’s fastest growing cities by 2025, Peterborough is one of the UK government’s demonstrator cities for innovation and technology.
However London is still a major draw for many school leavers and graduates.
It boasts the top three graduate recruiters, with PwC, Deloitte and Teach First's head offices located in the capital.
Not to mention most leading financial, legal and civil service institutions offer their most competitive roles down south.
However London also offers the greatest level of competition – it’s home to the highest concentration of graduates of any region within the UK.
For those who do manage to find work, London life might not be all its cracked up to be – a 2014 Rightmove study showed London boroughs to be among the unhappiest in the UK.
Cities like Edinburgh, Manchester and Birmingham, for example, are working hard to be alternatives to the capital and to become the major recruitment hubs of the UK.
While big firms like PwC, Deloitte and Ernst & Young all have their UK headquarters in London, they all now have firmly established locations in the regional cities as well.
The northwest and the midlands are leading the fight back against the London hegemony, with High Fliers annual graduate job market study revealing that 50% of recruiters offering employment have locations in Manchester or Birmingham.
So, when you choose your move after school, it’s worth checking out all the options – some UK towns and cities might pleasantly surprise you.