10 Best Cities for New Graduates

Posted May 23, 2013 by
College students at graduation

College students at graduation. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Have you recently graduated or will soon graduate, and are looking for places to find an entry level job, an affordable lifestyle, and an active social scene?  The following post lists the 10 best cities for new grads, according to Kiplinger.

1.       Salt Lake City—Below-average living costs, above-average pay and a population teeming with twentysomethings make Salt Lake an excellent starting-out city. The overall unemployment rate, at 5% and far below the nation’s average, adds to the area’s appeal.

2.       Ann Arbor—U of M students don’t have to go far after graduation—Ann Arbor offers plenty of good-paying jobs for new grads, as well as a big community of peers. The area’s population includes the largest share of people in their twenties on this list.

3.       Boulder—For crowd-averse new grads, Boulder is an attractive choice with the smallest population of all the cities on this list. Plus, Boulder already sports the lowest unemployment rate for the people in their twenties at 7.9%.

4.       Houston—Houston draws young grads with relatively low costs and a promising job market. The state is expected to add nearly 250,000 jobs in 2013 and many of them will be going to Houston.

5.       Anchorage—Anchorage may be the most expensive city on this list, but its college grads are also the best paid. Plus you don’t have to pay state income or sales taxes and you’ll collect an annual dividend from Alaska’s oil fund if you live there the full year.

6.       San Diego—With a strong military presence (one in four jobs is related to the defense industry), the area has grappled with unemployment, but the situation has improved recently with the jobless rate falling from 9.4% to 8% over the past year.

7.       Phoenix—Not just a community of golfers and retirees, Phoenix attracts a younger crowd too, with its low living costs and plentiful employment prospects. Kiplinger’s also expects Arizona to enjoy a healthy job-growth rate in 2013.

8.       Washington, D.C.—While the average apartment rent is the highest of all the cities on the list, you can save on your entertainment budget as many local attractions, such as the monuments, museums and the National Zoo, are free.

9.       Dallas—Including the folks in neighboring cities Fort Worth and Arlington, this metro area ranks as the most populous on this list. One reason for the popularity: jobs and the tame living costs.

10.   Seattle—Looking to get into the tech industry but can’t afford the high cost of living in Silicon Valley? Consider the Seattle area, where Amazon and Microsoft are headquartered and monthly expenses for renters are 20.8% lower than in San Francisco.

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