When it comes to picking the place where you will start your professional career, there are many things to consider. Of course, it is mostly important to check out not only the job market, but the competition for that job market as well. There may be plenty of jobs but there could be 25 applicants per one job and that stretches your chances a little bit coming right out of college. When you are looking at the market, make sure the jobs you look for are ones that you currently qualify for and those that you can grow into. You also want to make sure you look at the cost of living in comparison to the lower salary bracket for your job to make sure the area is affordable.
The best part about picking a post graduation city is the chance to start over and become the person you want to be. You get to choose which environment you will be in and you can make sure the job market is not too saturated so that you will have plenty of opportunities to make money. Although you have the opportunity to create something new, you do have to think about how far away you will be from your family. Some graduates want to stay closer to home while others may want to venture out a little further. This list is a good start for college graduates who are looking for a start fresh.
31 Washington D.C. has high-paying jobs
Being home to the White House, most people think you have to be in politics to live in Washington D.C., but not necessarily. While the cost of living may be slightly higher than you would want coming out of college, they do have a big job market for several types of high-paying jobs, so depending your salary, the living cost might be proportional. Plus, this city has a great nightlife so you could still have a great balance between work and social life.
30 Atlanta, Georgia has a diverse job market
If you know anything about the south, you’ve heard of Atlanta, Georgia. This southern capital is now home to over five million people. With the growing population, so is the growing need for professionals. This can be a perfect home for the college graduate because it offer a diversity of companies. So matter your field, there’s a good chance you could find something that matches your qualifications. When the population grows, so does the demand for everything else which means more quality jobs. An ideal situation for any college graduate.
29 Omaha, Nebraska has a low unemployment rate
When thinking of choosing city to start your life after you graduate college, Nebraska may not be at the top of that list. However, you should give this state a second look, and more specifically, Omaha. This urban city has a population of less than 300,000 and an unemployment rate of 3%. This state’s unemployment rate is lower than the national average, and this is a good sign for job security. When looking at this area, make sure to check the affordable housing which has been becoming more urban than rural.
28 Seattle, Washington has major companies
Seattle, Washington, also known as the rainy city, has been one of the top-rated cities to move to after college graduation. This rainy city has made the list for several good reasons, the main one being the job market is plentiful and the pay is comfortable. The city is home to many major technology and consumer companies such as Starbucks and Amazon. When looking at how major these names have become, you can see why people are attracted to moving to Seattle and making it their home.
27 San Antonio, Texas has good housing options
Everything may not be bigger in Texas, but in San Antonio, you do have a better chance of finding a job after you have earned your degree. This Texan city has been rated fifth by SmartAsset for college graduates to settle down. There are many factors that have made this city one of the best for the college grads including the price of rent and utilities. This is one of the more important things when picking a new city because you want to make sure that you are not digging yourself into a hole and will sustain a decent lifestyle.
26 Cleveland, Ohio is easy to get around
Cleveland, Ohio has more to offer than just the Cleveland Cavaliers. This city also has jobs galore to offer to those who are willing to come and settle down here. When thinking of moving to a new city, job security is very important and this city can offer that. There are several Fortune 500 companies that have set up headquarters in this town that are constantly hiring. This city has also been noted for having significantly less traffic than most cities of this size, which means less of a travel commute.
25 Orlando, Florida offers a good balance
When most people think of Florida, the first thing they think of is Miami, but the second is probably Orlando and with good reason. Orlando is not only home of Disney World, but also to a world of different jobs at different levels that makes it an ideal ground for any college graduate. When moving to Orlando, you will not only have plenty of job opportunities, but also plenty of nightlife and entertainment outside of work. Coming out of college, it may be easy to be caught up in work, but Orlando has much more to offer.
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24 Milwaukee, Wisconsin has many companies to choose from
Moving to Wisconsin after graduation may not be ideal if you are not from around the area or have never been there before. However, despite this feeling of newness, it may be exactly what you need when deciding on the next city to start your professional life. There are several Fortune 1000 companies situated in this quaint city such as Harley-Davidson and Northwestern Mutual. Outside of the major companies that are settled here, there are other opportunities to grow professionally.
23 Des Moines, Iowa has major companies
Settled in the midwest of the United States lies the city of Des Moines, Iowa. In this city, they have a population of over three million residents and it has been on a steady incline. One of the reasons to consider this city to be your new home is because rent and utilities can cost less than $1,000 a month. And with the number of Fortune 1000 companies they have in the area, finding a job should be easier than other in other cities. An added bonus when you make Iowa your home is the beautiful scenery and the landmarks they have for you to visit.
22 Buffalo, New York is a place to network
New York doesn’t have to mean small apartments and large crowds. That may be the case for New York City, but this state has more to offer, like Buffalo. This city settled in the west part of New York has become one of the more popular spots for college graduates to get a start on their professional career. Because of the close proximity to Niagara Falls, there can be a bit of tourist traffic, but that gives locals more of an opportunity to network and use it to their advantage professionally. And aside from being super close to Canada for weekend getaways, it’s also very affordable to live here.
21 Denver, Colorado has a high employment rate
Denver, Colorado is known for its beautiful snowy mountains and their National Football Team, the Denver Broncos. All of these things are true, but you also have the opportunity grow professionally. The unemployment rate in Denver has been less than the national average for the last four years, which is a key quality for graduates searching for their first job. This beautiful city has over 700,000 residents and continues to be one of the fastest-growing cities in America.
20 Consider Lexington, Kentucky
While Kentucky may not be travellers number-one spots, recent graduates should be paying attention to this state when it comes to their careers. In Lexington, you get the perks of being in a big city without worrying too much about the job market competition that comes with living in a big city. They have an unemployment rate lower than the national average and the average of rent and utilities is less than $1,000 a month.
19 Baton Rouge, Lousiana for those who like smaller cities
New Orleans is not the only city in Louisiana that is attractive to college graduates. If you recently graduated from college, going to Baton Rouge, Louisiana may be a good move to make. While looking at cities to migrate to after graduation, you should consider this underrated gem. Finding jobs in this smaller city may not be the first thing that comes to mind but because of the surrounding areas and the big industrial companies that have called this city home, you still have plenty of quality jobs to choose from.
18 Nashville, Tennessee has something for everyone
The capital of Tennessee, Nashville, has made the list of best cities to move to after college graduation because it has a lot more to offer than their country western twang. This southern city has a charm that may not be for everyone, but they do have something for everyone. The unemployment rate for Nashville has been steadily below the national unemployment rate and the rent is relatively low, but has been on the rise recently. This city is not only good for job opportunities, but outside of work, make sure to check out the Country Music Hall of Fame.
17 Lincoln, Nebraska has low rent
Another Nebraska gem has made the list and with good reason. This state capital is known for their nature trails and the state zoo. They not only have amazing things to offer outside of work, but they have a big pool of quality jobs available for recent college graduates. When looking at Nebraska, be sure to keep the weather in mind and also look at the average rent which they’ve been under $800 for the last four years. If you decide to make this capital your home, you will not be let down by the scenery or the range of jobs.
16 Madison, Wisconsin has everything a grad would be looking for
The capital of Wisconsin has been catching the eye of recent college graduates for several reasons. The biggest being that Madison is home of the Badgers at the University of Wisconsin. The spunky town has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the nation and has remained lower than the national average for some time. When it comes to deciding on whether to pick this city or not, you should also consider the average monthly rate for rent and utilities which have remained relatively low as well. Madison has become a booming city economically and for tech companies, with over 90% of their employed persons having bachelor degrees.
15 Wichita, Kansas is underrated
There’s no place like Kansas and Wichita has been drawing in a larger crowd. When you think of Kansas, maybe you think of Topeka, but there are other gems to this midwestern state. This city has been rated by Smart Assets as the 10th best city for students who have graduated college. Much of this is due to the low unemployment rate and the low cost of living. If you are worried there aren’t a lot of things to do when you get time off from work, do not fret, this city has much to offer like the zoo and a ton of museums.
14 Austin, Texas is worth the extra money
Austin, Texas can be considered to be quite a melting pot. This unique city has become a growing attraction for those who have graduated from university. Some of the attraction comes from the University of Texas being the center of this city, but there are other worthy things to visit and do in this city. If you are thinking of moving to this gem, take into account the 900,000 residents that may back up traffic a little. However, this technology hub has become a booming economy for those who have earned their bachelor degrees. The rent is a little north of $1,000 on average, but with the amenities the city has to offer, it may be worth it.
13 Kansas City, Missouri is the perfect size to start fresh
Missouri has a lot to offer when it comes to settling down to start a professional career. In Kansas, you get the best of both worlds professionally and personally. This city allows you to enjoy their theme parks all the while maintaining an unemployment rate lower than the national average. When it comes to starting in a new place, a population of around 500,000 gives you plenty of room to make new friends, but still not too much to overwhelm you.
12 Columbus, Ohio has a ton of things to do
Columbus, Ohio may be one of the more popular known cities in Ohio and with good reason. This modern city is not only the home of the one and only Ohio State Buckeyes, but they are also the home to many college graduates. This up-and-coming city has an unemployment rate of under 4.5% and an average of rent and utilities of under $1,000. Finding something to do while outside of work will be an easy task with the number of things this city has to offer outside of sports-related events.
11 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania is a good starting city
Choosing a new city to make your new home can be stressful and you should look at several factors. Although there may have been much chatter about Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. While you are taking a look further into this city, keep in mind that it is a fairly small city and is near water. Despite the population being under 500,000, they have been able to have an unemployment rate of 2.7% for those who have earned their bachelor degree. This city may be the perfect fit for your post-graduation life.
10 Cincinnati, Ohio is in need of professionals
You many only think of the Ohio River or the Cincinnati Bengals when you hear about Cincinnati, but this southwestern city has much more to offer. If you are considering Cincinnati as a possibility for your after college life, make sure to check out their affordable housing and their unsaturated job market. Getting a job in this city has become quite easy as the economy is growing and so is their need for professionals. With an average rent of less than $700 a month, living comfortably should not be a problem.
9 Arlington, Virginia is great if you’re not looking for a big city
Sitting right on the opposite side of the Potomac River from the nation’s capital sits the city of Arlington, Virginia. This city is popular for those professionals that want to live near Washington D.C. but don’t want to live in the middle of everything. Arlington is a great alternative for those who want to experience city life a short drive away and retreat back home to this city and its 300,000 inhabitants. This city not only has a great job market, but they also have a few things you might want to check out like their hiking trails.
8 MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA is cold, but worth it
Be prepared for a cold winter if you decide to move to Minneapolis, Minnesota. This city is situated northwest of the capital of Minnesota, St. Paul. When it comes to moving to Minneapolis, be sure to have all your winter gear packed up with you because the temperatures can get below freezing for much of the year. However, the city makes the most of winter and offers its locals a ton of outdoor activities to help make winter pass quickly. This twin city may be the larger of the cities but they population still rests under 500,000.
7 Boston, Massachusetts is a student favorite
The Boston Red Sox are only one of the many things that may attract you to to the city of Boston. This city is the largest in Massachusetts and the capital of the state. Not only are they the largest in population, but they also house several colleges that make this town even busier. This can be the perfect place to start your career because not only are you among those that are on the same path as you, but there are several different types of companies to choose from. The average rent can be a little high though, close $1,500, but you could always get a roommate.
6 Raleigh, North Carolina is all about management
This beautiful city is considered to be the center of North Carolina. When it comes to looking at places to move to after you graduate college, looking at the unemployment rate may be one of the biggest factors to consider. It has been reported that 46% of the workforce in Raleigh are in management, so if that’s a field you’re considering dabbling into, this might be a right fit for you. Glassdoor also ranked this city as number 4 after looking at their median base salaries, overall job satisfaction, job openings, and median home values.
5 Kirkland, Washington has that small-town feel
When you think of Washington, you think of Seattle, but this state has more to offer than the rainy city. If you look a little further, you will find the city of Kirkland, Washington and that is where the magic can happen if you are a college graduate. This city has made this list because of their low average cost of rent and utilities and because of their low unemployment rate. This small waterfront city has a population of under 100,000 people, so you will be not feel overwhelmed by the number of people or the any traffic concerns.
4 Wilmington, North Carolina has a vibrant culture
Choosing a new place to live may be a little difficult especially when starting a professional career. The coastal city of Wilmington, North Carolina may be one to consider if you haven’t already. This city has a lot to offer including an unemployment rate that is lower than the state and national average. Low unemployment rate is important when it comes to life after college because you have a better sense of job security. In a college town such as Wilmington, you will not only find a vibrant nightlife, but there have been famous television series such as “One Tree Hill” and “Dawson’s Creek” that have made their mark on this city as well.
3 Albany, New York has a ton of history
New York is famous for the city that never sleeps and their delicious New York style pizza, but if you are looking to settle down in New York without the high cost of Manhattan, Albany might be the city for you. Although this area is not one of the more recognized areas in New York, it is still one of the best for recent college graduates. If you enjoy being outdoors and learning about the history of a city, this could be a perfect fit for you. This city was founded before New York City and Boston, so there’s that old-school vibe and architecture to it you might really enjoy.
2 Jersey City, New Jersey has everything without being the middle of it all
New Jersey has a lot more to offer, especially if you are looking in the eastern part of the state of Jersey City. This quaint little city has a population of less than 300,000 but has maintained a lucrative job market. If you are worried about entertainment outside of work, don’t because they have a huge White Eagle Hall for live performances and they are right across the Hudson River from Manhattan.
1 Champaign, Illinois is quaint
In the center of Illinois you can find a small city called Champaign. This city houses less than 100,000 residents, and while it has small job market compared to other cities on this list, it also has a low unemployment rate. This smaller town is known for its higher education and home of the historic Virginia Theater. If you think this city does not hold enough for you, it is only a short drive to Chicago where you can find all sorts of fun things to do.
Sources: ajc.com, nerdwallet.com, thestreet.com, livability.com
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