The Best Cities to Call Home if You're a Recent Graduate

by Vault Education Editors | July 26, 2010

  • My Vault

April is the cruelest month.  It's when college seniors contemplate leaving the bubble that has defined their last four (five? six?) years and scoring that ever-elusive first job.  My April of senior year (back in 2009) was characterized by three major currents: my thesis had been finally, ecstatically finished; my Comparative Literature comprehensive exams were being dutifully ignored in favor of more pressing social engagements; and my job search had reached fever pitch.  One decision I had made, however, was that I definitely wanted to live in New York post-grad.  The Big Apple, the city that never sleeps or, as the locals call it, simply "the city."  Sounds fun, right?

New York City Skyline In the interest of full disclosure, it is fun.  The tens of songs to the effect that New York is a great place to be young and new are right.  Yet, up until now, I figured that New York was not the most economically wise decision I've ever made.  As you may have heard, NYC is actually the most expensive place to live in the U.S.  But as it turns out, the city isn't half-bad when it comes to starting out in the job market.  In fact, in a BusinessWeek list of the best cities for new college grads, New York secured the No. 12 spot!

Turns out, the best place to go after graduation, though, is the South.  "In a ranking by the magazine of 30 cities, the top five are Houston, Washington, Dallas, Atlanta, and Austin, Tex.  The winners prevailed mostly because employers in those places posted the greatest number of jobs for new graduates."  But if you're one of those bi-coastal hoodlums who can't stomach the idea of spending an indeterminate amount of time in the "fly-over states", your pickings are pretty slim.  As I said, there's New York.  Boston comes in right before New York at No. 11; Philly settles in at a respectable No. 16; and Portland squeaks by in the second-to-last spot.  And that's about it.  Here, for your perusal, is the Top 30 Best Place to Live for Recent College Grads:

  1. Houston
  2. Washington, D.C.
  3. Dallas
  4. Atlanta
  5. Austin, Tex.
  6. Minneapolis
  7. Pittsburgh
  8. Denver
  9. Columbus, Ohio
  10. Fort Worth
  11. Boston
  12. New York
  13. Tulsa
  14. Oklahoma City
  15. Kansas City
  16. Philadelphia
  17. Cleveland
  18. Charlotte
  19. Phoenix
  20. Dayton
  21. Salt Lake City
  22. Milwaukee
  23. Cincinnati
  24. San Antonio
  25. Richmond, Va.
  26. Knoxville, Tenn.
  27. Tucson
  28. Seattle
  29. Portland, Ore.
  30. Tampa

--Written by Madison Priest

Filed Under: Education

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