Birmingham is one of the best cities in the UK for graduates. With a student population of 80,000, graduates of Birmingham’s varied universities and colleges enjoy a city ready to receive fresh new talent. But it’s not just alumni of the city’s universities who can benefit from Birmingham’s exciting urban development and fertile job market. A home to the offices of huge corporate employers and smaller, creative startups, graduates from around the country are attracted to the nation’s second city. Plus, with huge redevelopment and the planning of the ultra-fast HS2 rail line connecting Birmingham to London in the works, the city is only going to become more relevant, and more prosperous, as time goes on. Here are a few top picks of perfect graduate spots in the Birmingham area.
The Jewellery Quarter
Once an artisanal powerhouse that employed over 30,000 people in the making of watches, gold, silver and other trinkets, the Jewellery Quarter in the north-west of central Birmingham has long been an industrious part of the region. Today, the area has become a hub for creative startup businesses and home-grown independent companies. The area is dotted with stylishly modern apartments and flats to accommodate a young professional cliental who want to be within walking distance of the bustling city centre.
There are a plethora of hip pubs offering great beers, cocktails and fantastic grub such as Lord Clifden, The Church and Rose Villa Tavern, as well as live music venues like Jam House and Actress & Bishop on St Paul’s Square. With trains heading to the area every 10 minutes during peak time, tons of buses and a tram line, getting out and about is easy.
A loosely defined district which encompasses much of the south-west of Birmingham city centre, Southside is a vibrant area where people from diverse backgrounds intermingle in the very heart of the city. Featuring the Birmingham’s Chinese Quarter, Hippodrome Theatre and Gay Village, as well as being directly adjacent to the Bullring shopping centre and Digbeth, there’s plenty to attract graduates to the area.
The district is great for tasting the flavours of the East, as well as street food markets, dancing at outlandish bars and enjoying vintage shopping at the fantastically graffiti-covered Custard Factory. Southside is also home to fantastic live music spots including the renowned Rainbow and The Institute. The winding back streets that join the area are teeming with apartments – many of which are housed in renovated industrial buildings
Just two miles south of Birmingham city centre, Moseley is a leafy, rustic neighbourhood with an urban village atmosphere and beautiful park. With regular bus links to the city that run all night long, its Victorian terrace houses and flats are occupied by young professionals who want a relaxed place to live. Calm and close-knit, the district has a fantastic high street lined with bakeries, whole food stores, delightful cafés, spiritualist outlets and all your general essentials. It also has great charity shops which are teeming with designer gear at discount prices and a regular Farmers Market which offers fresh local produce at competitive prices.
You can’t go wrong a quintessential British experience at The Fighting Cocks, Prince of Wales or The Village pubs, as well as stunning Moroccan food and the tastes of India just down the hill in the world renowned Balti Triangle.
Located in the Westside district of the city centre, Brindleyplace is one of the most well-developed and luxurious parts of town. Located by the picturesque Gas Street Canal, adjacent to the raucous Broad Street, it is home to many of the city’s professional employers, as well as a wide range of bars, clubs, restaurants and entertainment venues. Much of the canal side area of Brindleyplace is lined by contemporary apartment buildings, giving the area a buzzing young professional feel.
The canals are ideal for cycling the 10 minutes into work in the centre or for a relaxed weekend stroll to sample the nearby culture. The iconic Library of Birmingham is just a stone’s throw from the canals, as is the modern art Ikon Gallery and the Birmingham Repertory Theatre which hosts stunning performances. You can also soak up culture at the Symphony Hall or catch events at the Barclay Arena.
A small village-like suburb located in the south-west of Birmingham, Harborne is particularly popular with staff and alumni of the nearby University of Birmingham along with the wealthy populace of the city. This paradoxical mix of people means that Harborne has a fantastic combination of budget stores, laundrettes, takeaways and top quality charity shops, but also exceptional eateries, quaint cafés and a relaxed, mature vibe. There are several bus routes servicing the district but the centre is only a 15 minute bike journey away.
Traditionally, Harborne has been famed for its pubs, as the areas that surrounded it were for a long time dominated by teetotal Quaker communities. Today, you definitely want to head to The Plough, The Junction and The New Inn. But, for a chilled-out afternoon you can try delicious homemade ice cream at Paradise Gelateria, rich coffee at the Urban Coffee Company or cupcakes at Fallen Angel Bakery.