Great Cities for Recent Grads to Start Lives
For those recent grads who walked the stage this past summer or who will graduate this coming winter, there are dozens of great cities or towns to consider.
Now that you have a degree, where should you begin your new life? Out of 35 to 50 or so “perfect places for the newly graduated,” there are five standouts. We’ve listed them based on affordability, adaptability (for when you get married or start a family), entertainment, and job economy (among other details).
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In no particular order, below is a list of cities to consider living if you plan on striking out on your own. Whether you’re leaving your hometown, your university’s area, or just want to be on your own, these cities should be in top contention.
Pittsburg, Pennsylvania ranks number one for job availability for a large number of industries and varying degrees of experience. This city has more entry-level career opportunities available than any other metropolitan area. What’s more, Pittsburgh is cheap, fun, open, and offers tons of fun things to do, great places to eat, and a high tolerance for all lifestyles.
Pittsburg delivers the goods for newly graduated men and women and offers a lot to those who have marriage and family on the brain. This place is the next logical step. Conversely, for those who are still relishing the single childless life, Pittsburgh is a perfect place. It brings plenty in the way of weekend hangouts, places to visit, and excellent opportunities for affordable housing.
After all, you did just move out of a dorm — getting a big house with a big yard probably sounds pretty tempting. Grabbing a home under budget with one or two roommates is easily achieved in Pittsburgh, PA.
In summary: Pittsburgh has lots of jobs, super cheap housing, fun activities abound.
Houston is the most densely populated city in the exceptionally large state of Texas. This place is a gigantic, and steadily growing urban metropolis. The city brings a vast cultural landscape including individuals and families from almost all imaginable backgrounds. With exceptional uptown and downtown areas and numerous corporations based there, the opportunities are vast.
What almost no one knows about Houston is that it began as a planned “attraction site.” Houston got its start in 1836 due to the efforts of John and Augustus Chapman; brothers and real estate moguls from New York City. The Chapmans bought nearly 7,000 acres of land they named after the general and politician, Sam Houston.
The Chapman brothers never expected to create a city, but that’s what happened. Not only did Houston become an incorporated city, but it also became the county seat, and at one point, the capital of the Texan Republic. Today, it is a modernized city with very contemporary views, and room for people from all walks of life.
What makes it so appealing to new college grads is its affordability and diversity. Houston’s diverse job market provides people with degrees and experience jobs almost any imaginable industry. From ultra-modern urbanite to family-friendly suburban, all lifestyles and subcultures coexist in Houston.
In summary: For recent grads, Houston brings jobs, diversity, affordability, terrific nightlife, and plenty of employment opportunities to the table.
Indianapolis, Indiana is probably not the first city (or state) that comes to mind when young folks are thinking of a new place to live. However, while Indiana might have a rural reputation, Indianapolis is nothing if not urban. As a relatively large city, it remains a friendly place to live, with family neighborhoods surrounding it and inner-city enclaves.
Living in Indianapolis, you’ll find it easy to contact everyone from the mayor to local sheriffs and area newspaper editors. With many well-paying city jobs, a college degree that applies to a government job could land you a coveted position, with significant benefits.
When you first move here, you’ll find this welcoming city is relatively easy to navigate and even offers an online portal. The online portal named RequestIndy, also a phone app, is highly useful to current and future residents. It allows users to, via any device or platform, quickly connect city services, report outages, monitor systems and usage, and get city workers on the phone.
Indianapolis is also a great place to move if you’re a lover of farmer’s markets, fun outdoor activities, and the nightlife scene. Enjoy the bounty of great restaurants from nationwide chains to the best hole-in-the-wall mom-and-pop restaurants that cater to any menu your palate desires.
Jobs, jobs, jobs — Indianapolis private sector jobs are plentiful, varied, and their wage to cost of living ratio is excellent. Ranked just fourth out of fifty in the nation for career opportunities and eighth in affordability of all U.S. cities, Indianapolis is one of the best spots to live. Since it isn’t currently a location where recent graduates come to live in droves, finding a job shouldn’t take long.
In summary: Assemble a solid find resume, a unique cover letter, practice your interview skills, and get yourself to Indiana!
You may have heard all the media spin about urban areas of Michigan being in a shambles with their economies turning upside-down. A lot of this reporting fails to mention Detroit is in pretty good shape considering.
The issues the media covers center around the challenges of Flint, Michigan. Of course, it’s sad to see what has happened to Flint, however, Detroit is not Flint. Detriot is in one of the top 15 states for the best places to work and live. It is presently in the middle of a renaissance in creative arts, music, and entertainment, among other non-industrial fields.
General Motors and cars aren’t the focus anymore in Michigan. New Era Detroit welcomes IT professionals, has a growing population of young entrepreneurs, and a high concentration of Millennials. For new graduates looking to join or start enterprises, Detriot has a number of industries; including data science, fashion, graphic design, phone apps, tech support, and architecture.
Detroit ranks 11th in the nation for job availability. Those jobs are ripe for new college grads and those with a couple of years experience under their belts. What’s more, because Detroit is in the midst of recreating itself in many ways. There are more and more new jobs opening every day, and this legendary ultra-urban metropolis.
In summary: Detroit is a great place to be as we get closer to 2020.
Kansas City, Missouri
Kansas City interestingly spans the borders of two states; though Kansas City predominantly resides in Missouri. Regardless of whether we’re looking at Kansas City, Kansas or Kansas City, Missouri, new graduates will find the town inviting.
As of this writing, ~60,000 job openings were available in Kansas City, MO, with an additional ~10,000 available jobs in Kansas City, KS. By the numbers alone, both Kansas Cities offer a plethora of positions. For degree and certificate holders, there are openings in freight management, architecture, construction, retail management, sales, and a variety of other positions.
Offering great city life as well as several quieter, more family-oriented suburbs that are extremely close to the city center, Kansas City is more than affordable. Kansas City is currently listed as the fourth most affordable metropolis to live in across the U.S. It also sits at sixth place on the list of “best places for new college graduates to go for work.”
In summary: Whether Missouri or Kansas, click those shoes three times and get to Kansas City! Move where you can enjoy the atmosphere, live comfortably, and easily find work. Plenty of jobs out there will pay well enough to live without worrying from paycheck to paycheck.