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Best places to move after college

  • Best places to move after college

    After earning a college degree, deciding where to move to start a career can be a daunting task. With an unemployment rate of 4%, this year’s graduates are entering the job market at an encouraging time. What’s more, employers plan to hire 4% more new graduates from the Class of 2018 than they did from the previous class.

    While some may be pulled to big cities after earning their diplomas, smaller metro towns like Milwaukee, Austin, and St. Louis may be better for younger employees looking to find jobs that will pay the rent. Big cities like New York have fewer entry-level positions and lower job growth than smaller cities like Durham and Detroit. And while affordable housing is hard to come by in bustling cities like San Francisco and Los Angeles, it’s not in smaller cities like Cedar Rapids and Des Moines.

    Stacker used data from a WalletHub study that accounted for factors like quality of life and professional opportunities to rank the top 50 cities for recent college grads. The study, which involved 182 U.S. cities, examined 27 metrics including the availability of entry-level jobs, monthly average starting salary and workforce diversity in each city. Click through to see which city offers the most career opportunities for the Class of 2018.

    RELATED: Click here to see the most popular college major the year you graduated college

  • #50. Oklahoma City, OK

    WalletHub score: 50.32

    Professional Opportunity rank: #59

    Quality of Life rank: #42

    Millennials are heading to Oklahoma City for its good job opportunities and affordable housing. The city also has plenty of craft beer breweries.


     

  • #49. Nashville, TN

    WalletHub score: 50.38

    Professional Opportunity rank: #67

    Quality of Life rank: #30

    Recent college grads have been moving to Nashville for good jobs and low-cost living. The Music City also has a high concentration of food and entertainment options, as well as a popular hockey team.


     

  • #48. Columbus, OH

    WalletHub score: 50.44

    Professional Opportunity rank: #81

    Quality of Life rank: #14

    Ohio’s capital city has plenty to offer young people, including the redesigned Scioto Riverfront, a 175-acre area with parks, as well as bikeways and pedestrian paths. Don’t have a car? Columbus offers access to a free bus to explore its downtown areas.  

     

  • #47. Colorado Springs, CO

    WalletHub score: 50.52

    Professional Opportunity rank: #62

    Quality of Life rank: #33

    Colorado Springs is another beacon for millennials. The city offers views of the eastern Rockies and is only an hour and a half south of Denver. Top spots to visit are the Garden of the Gods and Pikes Peak.


     

  • #46. Bismarck, ND

    WalletHub score: 50.64

    Professional Opportunity rank: #38

    Quality of Life rank: #76

    Bismarck boasts high median earnings for younger workers. The city is also a good place to settle for those looking to buy a home.

     

  • #45. Plano, TX

    WalletHub score: 50.66

    Professional Opportunity rank: #66

    Quality of Life rank: #26

    Plano is only a 45-minute commute from Dallas, which residents can get to easily on the DART Rail. For new grads looking to start a family, this suburb receives high marks for public schools.


     

  • #44. San Diego, CA

    WalletHub score: 50.96

    Professional Opportunity rank: #49

    Quality of Life rank: #50

    strong job market makes San Diego a good destination for recent college grads. This oceanside spot also offers surfing, whale watching and other fun coastal activities. 


     

  • #43. Columbia, MD

    WalletHub score: 51.14

    Professional Opportunity rank: #68

    Quality of Life rank: #18

    Columbia is seated in between Baltimore and Washington D.C., with workers commuting to either city. The Baltimore-Columbia area offers a good spot for recent grads to find jobs and affordable living spaces.


     

  • #42. San Jose, CA

    WalletHub score: 51.67

    Professional Opportunity rank: #32

    Quality of Life rank: #63

    This area of Silicon Valley is a great place to move for the right job. Employment options are suited to those right out of college, but the cost of living is steep. Residents need to make close to $100,000 to live comfortably.


     

  • #41. Fort Worth, TX

    WalletHub score: 51.69

    Professional Opportunity rank: #21

    Quality of Life rank: #92

    Other cities may boast higher salaries, but income goes further in Fort Worth. This Texas town also offers plenty to do at Sundance Square, a 35-block shopping and entertainment district. 


     

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