When choosing your post-graduation home, consider these cities’ cost of living and availability of jobs.
Some new grads don’t have much of a choice. If you want to be a screenwriter, it’s got to be L.A. Those with the politics bug head to Washington, and petroleum engineers with instantaneous job offers go wherever the oil is flowing. Or, unhappily, some recent grads simply go wherever there’s a free couch to sleep on until they get on their feet.
But what if you have a fairly general degree that can be put to use in a variety of geographies, a bit of money to get your first apartment share and a sense of adventure? Where should you go?
First off, forget about job hunting at a distance. As Penelope Trunk points out, it usually doesn’t work – you need to physically go somewhere to get a gig there most of the time.
Cultural preferences and location of family or friends will probably play a role in your decision, but the cost of living and the availability of jobs will no doubt also figure prominently in your thinking.
Helpfully, CareerBuilder and Apartments.com recently combed through their data looking for cities with available entry-level jobs at decent salaries and relatively low unemployment, as well as weighing the cost of a one-bedroom apartment (go with roommates though, you’ll save money and be less lonely.)
The result is their list of the 15 best cities for recent grads. Which locations made the cut?
- Washington, D.C.
- New York
Check out their infographic for more info on the average cost of a starter apartment and biggest industries in each city. Many of these choices – like New York and D.C. – are perpetual top choices and will surprise absolutely no one who’s ever watched an episode of Sex in the City or The West Wing.
But what if you’re looking for more under the radar home base?
Business Insider recently reported that there is a growing trend for young people to try and build their lives in smaller cities, skipping splashy but hugely expensive options like New York. Citing a Ypulse survey of 20-somethings, BI says, “nearly 60 percent prefer smaller digs—40 percent for small cities and 19 percent for the small town lifestyle.” The post also quotes Melanie Shreffer, editor-in-chief of Ypulse, as saying that Millennials are particularly interested in cities like Portland, Minneapolis, and Detroit.
And it turns out Detroit, at least, also had its eyes on Millennials. A new initiative in the city called Challenge Detroit is offering selected applicants a $500 a month housing stipend and a $30,000 salary to move to the city and work at a top Detroit company. Selections have already been for this year’s 30 participants, but if participating in the turn around of one of America’s iconic cities appeals to you, keep an eye out for next year.
What’s your top consideration when choosing where to go after graduation?