Life as a new graduate tends to be exciting and terrifying in equal parts. You are just getting started in life, ready to find your true calling. But where you decide to live will have a significant impact on how your life turns out. You need to find somewhere that has what you need to achieve both professional and personal fulfillment.
In the complex world of modern America that can be a daunting task, which is why we’ve prepared this guide to help you. We looked at some of the most popular destinations for young professionals in America and ranked them based on factors like how old the people in the city are, what the local economy is like, and how affordable it is to live there. After balancing all of these concerns, we’ve found the five best cities for new graduates.
- Median Age: 34
- Unemployment Rate: 2.8%
- Job growth: 1.84%
- Average 1 Bedroom Rent: $1,335
Denver is the place to be if you want a well-balanced life. It has low unemployment, affordable housing, and healthy job growth. Living here will allow you to start your life out without having to take on any more debt than you already racked up going to school. But don’t think that affordable living means living like a hermit, there are countless things to do in Denver. The city of Denver is the place to be if you like craft beer. The area has an active but laid back nightlife that is perfect for young professionals. The city is also home to professional football, basketball, and hockey teams. Residents also have easy access to nature, making it a fantastic place for outdoor enthusiasts to live. Right now Denver is still something of a hidden treasure. It’s where Portland and Seattle were a few decades ago. Whether you’re looking to test the waters or set down roots, choosing to live in Denver after graduating would be a fantastic investment in your future.
- Median Age: 36
- Unemployment Rate: 4.0%
- Job growth: 1.69%
- Average 1 Bedroom Rent: $1,854
The Emerald City of Seattle offers a wonderful combination of natural beauty and economic opportunity. If you like nature, you’ll love how the eco-minded residents of Seattle have protected their local greenery as the city has grown by leaps and bounds. Sports fans can enjoy watching the Seattle Seahawks for football, Mariners for baseball, and Sounders for soccer. Unfortunately, Seattle isn’t the hidden treasure it once was, people are flocking to the city, and housing prices are rising. This city is best for people who have a good resume and a STEM education. Fortunately, the healthy growth and low unemployment mean that there are plenty of job opportunities for those who are qualified. After all, Seattle is home to Microsoft, Amazon, and Boeing.
- Median Age: 31.3
- Unemployment Rate: 4.2%
- Job growth: 1.45%
- Average 1 Bedroom Rent: $2,722
Boston might be one of America’s oldest cities, but it’s also one of its most cutting-edge. The area in and around Boston is home to Harvard, MIT, and Northeastern, just to name a few of the local universities. This helps to account for its low median age. It’s a city filled with some of the brightest college students on the planet. Top firms in the fields of medicine and technology have gravitated to the area for a chance to hire talented young graduates. Moving to Boston allows you to keep that college town feel without sacrificing opportunities for professional advancement. The only thing holding Boston back is a high cost of living. With that being said, if you can land one of the great jobs available in the area the rent is manageable. If you’re ambitious and looking to climb as high as you can then starting your career in Boston will give you the opportunities you’re looking for.
- Median Age: 33.4
- Unemployment Rate: 6.8%
- Job growth: 1.39%
- Average 1 Bedroom Rent: $1,745
Chicago is one of America’s underrated cultural centers. Its improv scene has launched the careers of some of the great comedians. The music coming out of the city is vibrant and diverse. It’s one of the few cities with professional football, basketball, baseball, hockey, and soccer teams. Add in fantastic food, and you never have to have a dull day when you live in the Windy City. It also helps that cost of living in Chicago is lower than in other major cities. There are also plenty of places available for below the average rent price; you just need to hunt for them. Unfortunately, the city does have some issues with unemployment. You also have to be careful where you live; some areas are cheap because of how sketchy they can get. But if you do your research you can find the slice of Chicago that fits you perfectly
- Median Age: 33.7
- Unemployment Rate: 6.1%
- Job growth: 3.67%
- Average 1 Bedroom Rent: $1,937
Do you want to live in the beating heart of America’s government? That’s what attracts young people from across the country to Washington, DC every year. The city has a very low median age for this reason. It offers a unique environment filled with highly intelligent and civically engaged individuals. Life in a city filled with highly educated and motivated young people offers plenty of opportunities if you’re prepared to take them. Economically the city is a bit of a mixed bag. Unemployment rates are a little high, but job growth is very healthy. If you’ve got a desirable diploma, then you’ll have a good shot at landing a good job that could lead to a fruitful career. The city isn’t for everyone but those that love it wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.