Study regions where salaries are growing

A recent survey by an online jobs search provider identified a number of study regions where salaries are growing. Their findings put the city of Leeds at the top, for locations with the best paying jobs outside London.

The Adzuna survey identified notable employers located in the city, which attract graduate candidates. Close behind Leeds was Cambridge, Bristol and Manchester. London remains the leader for graduate salaries, but these are confined to a small number of specific sectors and job roles.

Why do the regions matter?

Demographic changes since the UK left the EU means that improving the economy relies on the productivity of the regional workforce. The link between where you study and where you work is evolving, so in future we may see a revival of learning and earning within the same local region.

Why has this happened?

Policy changes over the past decade by employers, and particularly public broadcasters such as the BBC, ITV and Channel 4 has led to a relocation out of London. More recently, the widespread use of remote working a consequence of the Covid pandemic, has changed business practices. The need to travel to the Capital for work is under question.

As the working population adapts to economic realities, it’s important to consider the connection between what you choose to study at masters level, and where it can lead you in the future. Perhaps it’s a good idea to widen your search for a university masters place in 2024?

Graduate roles paying the highest salaries

A number of careers attract high salaries in the UK. The number of Graduate positions in these jobs changes each year, but an annual survey by High Fliers published in February, confirmed that the number of graduates recruited in 2022 jumped by 14.5%.

It’s obvious that we would not climb aboard an Airbus A380 or undergo brain surgery without expecting the pilot or anesthetist to be qualified. UK universities provide the training needed to complete professional certification.

Traditional careers in medicine, finance, legal, computing and engineering retain their salary premium. Skilled graduates from these sectors expect to receive the market remuneration rate. Achieving the necessary abilities is tested in the form of acquiring professional qualifications.

Why study in the regions?

The UK’s heritage as an industrial powerhouse was built on the great industries of textiles, mining and transportation. While poor workplace conditions led to major societal reforms. The innovations arising from these discoveries spearheaded enormous political and cultural changes. Companies such as Rolls Royce, GKN and many others retain significant regional value to local economies.

Regional universities make a huge contribution to the local economy. This takes the form of direct employment of staff as well as indirect employment of many service providers. Universities linked to research parks benefit from the long-term investment the companies receive.

Products arising from university funded research generate income from the intellectual property earned. This happens in medicine and pharmaceuticals, as well as developments associated with environmental protection and reversing the effects of climate change.

Affordability and the student experience

Living and study costs are noticeably lower in some regions of the UK. Our wellbeing benefits from a healthy environment, and study in a region that may be close to an area of outstanding natural beauty or coastline is a winner. Obviously not every UK region has geographical advantages such as these, nevertheless the positives associated with capital city life can be balanced against the payback associated with higher costs of living.

University partnerships with local employers

Many universities capitalise on the link with regional employers. This is expressed in masters programs that include secondments or work experience as part of the teaching modules.

Examples of this include leading Business schools offering MBA’s, entrepreneurship or business analytics programmes. Local companies have a role in module design through their attendance on industry panels. They review curriculum content to ensure it is industry relevant. In return, students participate via secondments to complete original research linked to a local business issue.

Final thoughts

Study regions where salaries are growing shows that there are many advantages to choosing where to study your masters degree.

According to the old proverb, ‘All roads lead to Rome’, so over history many civilizations developed around their capital cities. As populations have expanded the importance of local cities to the economic outlook has taken on more significance. In the UK there are areas outside London becoming more attractive for business, and this leads to regional improvements and a levelling up of opportunities.

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