Why do so many international students want to work in the UK?


There are many reasons why the UK is a popular destination for international students but for most, the top answers will be increased salary and business exposure.

International students can earn up to 463% more in the UK than they would at home.

The average starting graduate salary in the UK is £30,000. Let’s compare this to the salaries available in three of the most common countries that non-EU international students come from.
The following figures were converted into £ on 17/02/20:

  • £7,646 – China
  • £6,467 – India
  • £17,094 – Hong Kong

It’s clear that international students from these countries have a lot to gain from securing a job in the UK. In fact, the increased earning potential within certain industries creates even more of an incentive for students to build a career in the UK.  Graduates who target careers within specialised and lucrative fields can expect to receive an even larger return on their investment.

According to research produced by High Flier’s for the Times Top 100 Companies, the largest average
UK salaries are found within:


Investment banking


Consulting firms


Law firms


Oil and energy companies

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The chance to work in London – the top business city in the world

Out of 30 international cities including Tokyo, Sydney, and New York, PwC found that London remains the most desirable city in the world to work in. The strength of industries such as accounting, professional services, finance, and banking within London ensures that international students receive a good return on their investment, while also benefitting from the UK cultural experience.

Benefit from opportunities throughout the UK

While London attracts many international students and recent graduates, it isn’t the only UK destination with excellent career opportunities.


The productivity of individual regions within the UK is measured according to the increase that their production of goods and services has on the UK economy. This measure is known as gross value added (GVA). A report by the Office of National Statistics contains a detailed breakdown of the economic activity within the UK and demonstrates that significant opportunities can be found outside of London. Some significant findings include:

  • The South of Scotland, Ayrshires, Derry-Londonderry, and Liverpool regions have all experienced faster growth than London.
  • Between 2014-2017 the West Midlands and Edinburgh and South East Scotland regions grew faster than London.
  • Since 2009, the West Midlands, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, and North Wales regions have grown GVA by more than 20% (£2-10Bn+).

International students can benefit from the growth within these regions and should be reassured by the presence of career opportunities throughout the UK. While there can be no denying that London represents a key part of the UK economy, this report makes it clear that it isn’t the only destination when it comes to finding work.

A large and varied job market

There are a wide range of well-established industries that international students and graduates can choose to pursue a career in within the UK. This is due to the way that the economy is structured – The UK is the fifth biggest economy in the world and is primarily service driven. This ensures that there is always a need for talented graduates who can work within industries such as professional services, engineering, technology, and, most importantly, banking and finance.

International students who are hoping to build a career in the UK can target opportunities for graduates within industries such as:

So, you want to work in the UK? How can Job Ready English help?

Our bespoke 1-to-1 coaching programme provides international students with the support they need to improve and succeed within the UK job market. We work closely with you to make sure that you understand the application process and know how to communicate your skills to potential employers. We’ve helped our clients to secure jobs within a wide range of UK companies and organisations, including:

What’s stopping you?

People seek professional help in most aspects of their lives. So why not choose a coach for the career you’ve always wanted? Call 0203 4886472
or email mike@jobreadyenglish.com to find out how we can help you achieve your goals.