Embark on a New Life: Top 3 Cities for College Grads

Posted August 15, 2014 by
Young man indoors holding card boxes

Young man indoors holding card boxes. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Recent college grads can expect a slightly better job outlook than those who graduated in 2013, according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers Job Outlook Spring Update Survey. The survey revealed that employers plan to hire 8.6 percent more 2014 graduates than they hired from last year’s 2013 class. Unfortunately, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll have a much easier time nabbing that perfect job—increase the odds just by living in the city that is right for you.

Mountain View, California

The home of Google’s corporate headquarters, Mountain View is nearly every high-tech job seekers’ fantasy. The average software engineer’s salary at this mega company is well over six figures. If you don’t land a coveted job there, you’ll find plenty of other technology, software, and Internet companies in this city. The median household income is more than $91,000, over $30,000 higher than the rest of the state. While the cost of living isn’t cheap, residents here typically spend less on housing and food than the average Californian, according to Livability.

With hordes of residents in their 20s and 30s, you’ll have the opportunity to network with like-minded people and make new friends. Mountain View offers great weather, access to outdoor activities, an impressive nightlife scene, and even a computer history museum. Plus you’ll be less than 15 minutes from San Jose, and 45 minutes from San Francisco when you feel like getting a taste of big city life.

St. Louis, Missouri

In a ranking of the best cities for college grads conducted by Homes and ForRent University, St. Louis, Missouri came in at number four. The cost of living here is about 10 percent below the national average, while the median entry level income is $38,000. In 2012, Forbes named St. Louis the number one happiest city for job-seeking college grads.

You’ll also find lots of free attractions, including the famed St. Louis Zoo, theaters, museums and science exhibits. With all of that extra money to spend, you can enjoy hitting trendy bars and dance clubs found along Washington Avenue in the downtown area, or listening to great live music in the city’s Soulard neighborhood, known for the best blues venues in town. Of course, with the median price of homes for sale at $125,000, you may even want to invest in your own home. There’s a pretty good chance that you’ll have enough left over to make custom upgrades to your new home.

Seattle, Washington

Seattle has one of the highest average incomes for recent college grads at $50,478, with top industries including health care, aerospace, information technology, and clean technology. While the cost of living is about 24 percent higher than the national average, you’ll find lots of things to do for free. The opportunities for outdoor activities like hiking, biking, and kayaking are endless. There are also free museums, art galleries, and the iconic Pike Place Fish Market—watching the famous fish throwers toss the fresh catch of the day doesn’t cost a dime.

If you’re worried about the rain, consider that Seattle gets less precipitation than New York City, Miami, and many other U.S. cities. It is true that there are cloudy days, with about 201 each year, but when the sun comes out, you’ll find few places on Earth that are more beautiful.

Source: SocialMonsters

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