Graduate Life in Edinburgh

Graduates 600

If you decide to stay in Edinburgh after graduating and you’ll be joining a vast, vibrant population of ex-students. It’s a community that’s outward-looking, positive-minded and highly skilled. A higher proportion of graduates live here in Edinburgh than anywhere else in Scotland.

And it’s easy to see why.

Edinburgh is a world influencer in technology, science, financial services, the arts and business. Here, you’ll find the headquarters of financial giants like Standard Life, Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) and Halifax Bank of Scotland (HBOS). Edinburgh hosts innovative world-leading science centres such as the Edinburgh BioQuarter and Roslin Institute and is home to the Scottish Government.

Staying on after studying gives you numerous career and job opportunities with world-leading companies such as these and more.

International Graduates

As you know, Edinburgh warmly welcomes overseas studentsAfter years of living and studying in the city, many graduates can’t bring themselves to leave! An average of around 600 international graduates start their careers and take advantage of Edinburgh’s job prospects every year.

The Scottish Government actively encourages international graduates of Scottish universities or colleges to live and work in Scotland. Many choose to stay in the city, working within Edinburgh’s vital sectors, including business, science and the creative industries.

Start Your Career in Edinburgh

When you graduate, you have a world of opportunities open to you in Edinburgh. You’re living in an area that boasts the fastest-growing economy of 20 of the world’s top cities. With so much to offer, the city is a magnet for talented people:

 * Graduate opportunities especially in engineering, IT, finance, marketing and design

 * One of Europe’s top cities for the outstanding quality of life – culture, architecture, compact, walkable size

 * An abundance of successful small to medium enterprises (SMEs) offering more hands-on experience for new graduates

 * Named as a Region of Innovation Excellence by the European Commission – numerous innovative companies with global influence

 * Strong reputation for developing people with commercial skills, entrepreneurial flair, inventive minds and work ethic

 * Easy access to some of Scotland’s most impressive landscapes, by train or car. numerous leisure and sports activities – and a favourite tourist destination

Graduate Careers Help & Resources

Graduates for Growth

Recruitment consultancy specialising in the SME sector

Prospects Planner

The UK's official graduate careers website


ScotGrad is a free programme that offers paid, project-based student and graduate placements in organisations across Scotland. ScotGrad placements are focused on tangible projects, and are suitable for all degree types with roles in every sector. Graduate placements last from 3-12 months and take place all year round, and student placements last from 8-12 weeks, over the summer break.

Recruitment agencies

Recruitment agencies are an excellent source for graduates to find work. Good local companies include Search, Eden Scott and Denholm Associates. The employer pays the recruitment fees, so you don’t have to worry about investing money in your job search. Your university or college may already have strong links with an agency.

Continuing Development

Many employers believe in continuous learning and are keen to continue your development. They maintain strong links with higher and further education establishments.

Many other institutions also provide an opportunity for you to become a member of relevant professional bodies who may offer professional examinations, such as The Chartered Institute of Bankers in Scotland (CIBoS) and The Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) and The Chartered Institute of Accountants of Scotland (ICAS).

Edinburgh has an active business networking community that provides employees with a variety of personal development opportunities.

Starting a Business

If you’re inspired to start up a new business after graduating, there’s lots of support and advice available. Business Gateway provides excellent guidance to anyone looking to start their own business.  They can advise you on loans and grants and run regular, free courses on setting up, promoting and running your own business.

Why start a business in Edinburgh?

 * According to the SME Growth Factor Index, Edinburgh is in the top five places for starting a business.

 * Edinburgh is widely recognised as a knowledge and innovation city. Factors such as Edinburgh’s highly educated workforce and the concentration of knowledge-intensive industries have placed Edinburgh alongside London as one of only two ideopolises in the UK

 * Edinburgh workers are Scotland’s most productive. The Capital's hard-working employees each generate £25,900-a-year, the third-highest figure in the UK.