7+ of the Best European Cities for Graduates to Work in 2019

Need a job? Fancy living in Europe? Then why not check out these amazing cities for graduates in 2019.
Christopher McFadden

So you've just graduated from your chosen university, well done! But's what's next? Why find a job of course

But, where do you start? Perhaps you could consider relocating to any one of these following European cities? 


Which country has the most job opportunities for foreigners 2019?

Since you've just graduated from university your next career move is to enter the workforce. But where in Europe should you go? 

As it turns out there are some cities that are hands-down better than others for fresh graduates to live and work in. But don't make your decision lightly. 

Job prospects, the cost of living and quality of life are all important factors to consider before thinking about moving to a new city, or even country. This can seem like an insurmountable challenge, after all, how are you going to find out?

Thankfully for you, Resume.io, have produced a fantastic guide to help you help yourself when making such a decision. Using data from the European Commission's Eurostat program and Numbeo, they have been able to analyze each city for things like: -

  • Rent levels,
  • Cost of living,
  • The economy,
  • The local graduate community,
  • Sports and fitness facilities, and;
  • Local culture.
best european cities for graduates
Source: Resume.io

The results are fascinating and there are some very interesting "top" cities around the continent. Many are up-and-coming and are well worth considering if you are looking for a fresh start.

Interestingly, their findings are also supported by each city's student retention rate post-graduation. 

So without further ado, here are the top 7 countries for new graduates to live and work in 2019. 

1. Glasgow, Scotland, UK

best european cities for graduates glasgow
Source: lituliitu/Pixabay

Glasgow is, hands-down, the outright winner. The city currently has relatively low unemployment (5.6%) with graduates reporting an average monthly net salary of $2,171. 

By way of comparison, the average unemployment rate in the EU-28 is 6.2% as of August 2019. We'll be using this benchmark for each city for its unemployment rate. 

Average rents are in the order of $774 a month and living expenses tend to average $722 a month. The city is currently enjoying an impressive 67% + student retention rate and is widely considered to have a great social scene. 

Generally speaking, Glasgow's inhabitants report they are very satisfied with the city's sports and fitness facilities. It also has a great art scene with, among other venues, the Royal Concert Hall. 

If contemporary arts are more your thing, the city's King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut gig venue is a very popular destination. 

2. Prague, The Czech Republic

best european cities for graduates prague
Source: Matthew and Heather/Flickr

Prague comes in at a surprising second place for the best place to live as a graduate in Europe. Unemployment is a little high relatively, hovering at 6.8% with average monthly net incomes in the order of $1,290.

Unlike Glasgow, monthly expenditure is slightly higher compared to income with rents averaging $800 a month. The average cost of living is around $620 a month. 

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But its not all about money. Prague is an exceedingly beautiful and historically significant city with some of the best medieval architecture the continent has to offer.

The nightlife is also fantastic in the city. 

3. Munich, Germany

best european cities for graduates munich
Source: flyupmike/Pixabay

Munich comes in third place according to the report by Resume.io. Unemployment is very low at 3.8% and average net monthly incomes are a whopping $2,939

Munich is not the cheapest place to live with average monthly rents coming in at $1,274 and average expenses in the order of $918

But again money is not everything. It scores an average of 60% satisfaction for its social scene. Munich is also another historically significant city in Europe. 

4. Budapest, Hungary

best european cities for graduates budapest
Source: Theoria Photography

Budapest comes in at fourth place but is one the lower end of net monthly averages for income at $855. While lower, this is more than compensated by the city's relatively low cost of living at $563 a month. 

Average rents are $523 a month, so money might be a bit tight on average net rates. The city also enjoys a relatively moderate satisfaction for entertainment and culture at 33%.

Unemployment is pretty low too, coming in at 2.2%

Budapest is also a wonderful city to visit if you don't want to take the plunge and relocate there.

5. Stockholm, Sweden

best european cities for graduates stockholm
Source: Edward Stojakovic/Flickr

Stockholm ranks 5th for the best European city to live and work in for graduates, according to the report. It has great prospects with relatively low employment (5.6%) and high net average monthly incomes of $2,705

Average monthly rents are around $1,240 and average monthly expenses come in at $916. This leaves you a decent amount of disposable income a month for anything else you want to do with it.

Surveys report an average 55% satisfaction with the city's cultural and entertainment offerings too. Stockholm is also yet another historically and culturally important city in Europe. 

6. Hamburg, Germany

best european cities for graduates hamburg
Source: Rainer Nicolai/Flickr

Hamburg, Germany ranks 6th, according to the Resume.io report, for European cities to consider living in as a new graduate. Average monthly net incomes are respectable at $2,861 and rents average around $1,002 a month. 

Unemployment rates for the city are around 4.2% - - not too bad.

Living expenses are pretty reasonable at $904 a month and Munich enjoys a 52% satisfaction for its cultural and entertainment facilities. Much like Stockholm, you should have a decent amount of disposable income to do with as you please. 

Maybe you could consider overpaying your student loan? Totally up to you of course.

7. Manchester, England, UK

best european cities for graduates manchester
Source: dm1795/Flickr

In 7th place, and last from our restriction to the top 7, is Manchester in the United Kingdom. And an old industrial town that helped build the modern world, it is currently undergoing something of a revival.

Average monthly incomes are around $2,192 net, with monthly rents averaging about $948. Living expenses tend to average $785 a month and its inhabitants are 45% satisfied with the cities cultural and entertainment offerings. 

Unemployment is on the higher end hovering around 6.2% - - in line with EU-28 averages across Europe. 

Manchester is famed for its hospitality in the UK with many visitors and residents extolling the virtues of the city's nightlife

Which European country is best for work?

As we have seen, according to Resume.io's analysis. Glasgow in Scotland, UK is the outright winner. 

This, according to their report, makes it the best European city for new graduates to find work. Many existing residents are very happy with the city and around 39% say they are "very satisfied" with Glasgow's existing facilities.

It is a great place when it comes to the arts and culture and its nightlife is legendary. If you are a recent graduate you really should consider Glasgow as your first port of call for your budding career. 

But you might also want to consider some Eastern European cities too. Many have considerably lower costs of living and pretty good GDP growth too. 

Prague, Sofia, Zagreb, and Kraków are all in the report's top 15 cities. for example.

Which country has the most job opportunities?

If you are looking for high-income work opportunities you'll probably need to set your sights on cities like Munich. This is a great city for finding engineering vacancies and the city resides in one of the strongest economies in Europe - - Germany. 

At least for now

Unemployment is pretty low at 3.5% and the average worker takes home almost $3,000 net a month. 

Munich is also growing rapidly, especially in innovation-driven sectors. 

"Employment in architecture and engineering grew 41.5% from 2012 to 2017, and employment in information and communication grew 33.6%, according to data from the City of Munich Department of Labor and Economic Development." - Resume.io

How can Americans work in Europe?

If you hail from the States, you might find it a little trickier than European citizens to find work in Europe. Of course, this works both ways.

Around 1.6 million Americans currently live and work on the continent according to The Association of Americans Resident Overseas. These individuals are working as digital nomads or corporate employees, to name but a few professions. 

As understandable as the draw of the 'Old World' is to Americans, it's not a sure thing you can do it. 

"Realistically, the stringent work regulations since the formation and expansion of the EU have diminished the prospects for Americans to find work in Europe. Some European countries have also joined the protectionist trend in light of current political events." - transitionabroad.com. 

But don't let this put you off. There are still plenty of vacancies for American citizens in many roles across Europe. You will need to be very determined, well researched and network like nobody's business to find the right role and location for you. 

If you want to know more about what you need to do and what to expect, check out Transitions Abroad's informative article. 

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