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Top 10 Cities for Recent College Grads

Top 10 Cities for Recent College Grads

If you’re a recent or soon-to-be college grad, look no further – the results and rankings of this list just may help point you in the right direction.

Elizabeth Hoyt

April 24, 2014

Upon graduation, college graduates embark on a bright new world, hopeful to gain employment.

As a result, the ideal is to find a city that offers job prospects, affordability and a culture of similarly-aged twenty something’s.

The task isn’t always so easy but today’s college graduates do have plenty of great options.

According to Apartments.com, the following cities rank as the top ten best spots for new and recent graduates to start a new career.

The site compiled the list rankings by considering several factors.

The first factor taken into account was affordability. The ranking favors cities where average rent for a one-bedroom apartment is less than 25 percent of gross median income.

The next factor considered was career opportunities. Cities had to have an unemployment rate above seven percent and, of course, thriving job industries on site helped boost any city’s status on the list.

Finally, each city’s age demographics became a factor of consideration. If a city has a higher concentration of people within the age demographic of 25-29, more weight was given to the city’s ranking on the list.

If you’re a recent or soon-to-be college grad, look no further – the results and rankings of this list just may help point you in the right direction.

Check out the following top ten cities for soon-to-be or recent college graduates:

10. Dallas, Texas

Average rent for a one-bedroom apartment: $1,178

What else you should know:

They say everything’s bigger in Texas and, apparently, that holds true for the job market as well. The unemployment rate is just 4.3% here, compared to the national average of 6.7%.

Jobs are readily available in the following fields: banking, commerce, telecommunications, energy, healthcare and transportation.

Two of the city’s largest local companies include AT&T and Exxon Mobil.

9. Las Vegas, Nevada

Average rent for a one-bedroom apartment: $897

What else you should know:

You may be surprised to find Sin City on the list, however, Vegas went through a building boom before the Great Recession and now has a plethora of affordable apartments available to those looking to seize upon the great opportunities.

As you likely imagined, gaming, retail, restaurant and hospitality industries dominant this town, though other jobs are available as well. And, with housing at these prices, you may want to try your luck and see what’s out there.

8. Indianapolis, Indiana

Average rent for a one-bedroom apartment: $946

What else you should know:

Affordable, Midwestern and plenty of job opportunities, especially in the fields of education, health care, finance and tourism – that’s Indianapolis in a nutshell!

If you want to be surrounded by recent grads, Indy may be the spot for you. 11.1% of residents are ages 25-29, which means you’ll find a lot of your peers here.

7. Fort Worth, Texas

Average rent for a one-bedroom apartment: $864

What else you should know:

Fort Worth isn’t only the fifth largest city in Texas, it’s also home to several multi-national corporations which is exactly which it’s a great place for college graduates to start a new career.

The city’s economy is strong and local industries include high-tech, defense and health care.

6. Cincinnati, Ohio

Average rent for a one-bedroom apartment: $707

What else you should know:

Cincinnati claims the lowest average monthly rent on this list, making it the most affordable option for recent college graduates.

Plus, major companies such as Procter & Gamble, Kroger and Macy’s, call Cincinnati home, providing job opportunities galore to professionals in the area.

5. Columbus, Ohio

Average rent for a one-bedroom apartment: $732

What else you should know:

Named an up-and-coming tech city within the Midwest, Columbus offers plenty of job opportunities within a diverse array of fields: education, government, insurance, fashion, energy, medical research, just to list a few.

Additionally, the city has an active singles’ scene as well as a high percentage of same-sex households (males only – 7%; females only 14.9%).

4. Austin, Texas

Average rent for a one-bedroom apartment: $1,188

What else you should know:

Austin boasts an extremely impressive unemployment rate at 3.3 percent. Technology and business professionals will do well here, since Austin is known as a center for these fields. However, Austin is now emerging as an important city within the pharmaceutical and biotechnology fields as well.

3. Phoenix, Arizona

Average rent for a one-bedroom apartment: $842

What else you should know:

Starting out in Phoenix sounds grand – especially since rent is reasonable and there are plenty of job options available (especially in fields like real estates, finance, manufacturing and health care).

Plus, compared to other residents within the cities on this top ten list, the residents living in Phoenix have the highest median income ($81,349) so starting out in the desert sun doesn’t look like you’ll be sweating over the bills all too often.

2. Charlotte, North Carolina

Average rent for a one-bedroom apartment: $953

What else you should know:

If you’re in the financial sector, you likely know that Charlotte is the second largest banking center within the United States, which means there are abundant jobs in the finance and banking fields.

But, did you know that there are plenty of job opportunities within industrial technology companies and steel production as well?

On top of having plenty of job options, the city has a high density of young twenty-something’s, 11.1% of residents are between the ages of 25 and 29 years old.

1. Denver, Colorado

Average rent for a one-bedroom apartment: $1,248

What else you should know:

Denver is ranked number one for a trifecta combination of job opportunities, a low unemployment rate, high density of twenty-something’s despite having the highest rent on the list.

Recent graduates seeking job opportunities flock looking for jobs within the fields of manufacturing, engineering, telecommunications, multi-housing, energy, government and the culinary arts, among many others.

It’s even easier to find a job in one of the above industries when the unemployment rate in your city is 4.3%, compared to the national average of 6.7% because it indicates that the local job market is healthy.

Denver boasts a booming singles culture. In fact, one out of eight of Denver’s residents fall into the 25 to 29 age demographic.



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