Top 10 Cities For Grads To Get Jobs
Posted on April 27, 2015
The end of the school year is rapidly approaching. Soon there will be millions of young adults hitting the streets with a fresh degree in their hands looking for a job. While there is a lot of talk in pop culture about how a degree doesn’t help, and how many are left unemployed or under-employed, it all depends on where you live and what you want to do. If you are one of those new grads, and you are looking for a great place to live with a lot of job opportunities, here are some destinations to consider for your next home. (For more, see: Should I Go To Grad School After College? Unemployment stats taken from the Bureau of Labor Statistics site, updated in February 2015.)
Denver tops the list for many reasons. It is a booming city with low unemployment; it has a diverse cultural, educational, and ethnic background; it has a thriving night life; it has great access to the outdoors and mountains; and best of all: it has jobs. This city, and the surrounding area, is known for having a high number of tech jobs, but there is something for everyone in Denver. Unemployment is a mere 4.5%
There are those who don’t like the big city life but still need a job where they can put their degree to work. Bozeman has a thriving tech scene, engineering scene, and just about everything else. You are right in the heart of the mountains and within an hour of one of the best ski resorts in North America (not to mention that other outdoor’s activities abound). With unemployment at 2.8% there is no shortage of jobs.
Mountain View, CA
Mountain View has a lower cost of living than much of the rest of California, a higher average income, and it has all the amenities of its more expensive counterparts. This booming tech town is packed full of young people making a name for themselves, but also has close access to the mountains and the coast. At 3.3% the unemployment rate is less than half the California average.
Sioux Falls, SD
With just 3.5% unemployment, Sioux Falls is an easy place to land a job. Housing is affordable, and the cost of living is lower than many big cities. There are plenty of places to get out and enjoy the countryside, and if you need a big city fix you can get to Minneapolis in just over 2 hours.
Boston, one of the US’s oldest cities, has long been one of the countries financial capitals. This city is rich with hundreds of years of history, but at the same time is one of the best places to get a modern tech job. Over 40% of the residents have a bachelor’s degree or higher, so you won’t be at a loss when it comes to finding educated peers. Boston’s unemployment clocks in a full percentage under the US average at 4.8%.
A quarter of the population in Madison is between 20 and 34 years old. Over 40% have bachelor’s degrees or more, and the unemployment is well under 5% (3.9%). This is a city that understands the need for a highly educated workforce, but also provides a thriving nightlife.
If you moved Madison from the Midwest down into Texas, you would have essentially the same city. The stats are about the same, with a young population, a low unemployment rate (only 3.2% for this Texas city), and a high rate of education. If you have ever spent time on 6th street, you would know what the nightlife is like in this city.
Seattle and Tacoma come into play with a median salary of almost $37,000. While not as young of a population as Austin and Madison, there is a more established infrastructure surrounding the businesses. Those businesses help keep the unemployment at 5.5%. But if you come to the area looking for love, you might be disappointed: it has one of the lowest rates of singles in the country.
More than just a music town, Nashville has a thriving business and financial services sector as well. Healthcare is the biggest employer, but along with that comes more than just medical professionals. With a median income of almost $40,000 and a relatively low cost of living, you might just want to become a southerner and stay a while. With 5% unemployment it’s still easy to find a job.
Las Vegas, NV
Just like Nashville is more than just music, Las Vegas is more than just casinos. This desert oasis may get most of its money from tourists and gambling, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t great for tech jobs as well. With an annual growth rate of 7%, this city is recovering from the housing slump quickly, and it has the jobs to prove it. The downside is that it’s the highest unemployment on the list, at 7.2%.
The Bottom Line
If you are going to be graduating soon, and you don’t have a clue where you want to live and work, then this list is a great starting point. But keep in mind that a lot has to do with what degree you have earned, which direction you want to go in your career, and how far from home you are willing to live. Finding the right job may take a little while, but keeping your options open is the best way to start off a good career.