Most Affordable Cities for College Graduates

Posted in Careers by Kevin | Tags: ,

With the average college graduate leaving school with nearly $19,000 in debt, a city’s economic situation should be the first factor in deciding where to move. Many cities have high rent costs and a smaller starting salary for entry level positions. Others have econonic stagnation and no jobs available. However, on the other end of the financial spectrum, some cities are hiring more than others. As you might have guessed, every city has felt the effects of the serious recession – but cities with higher levels of federal employment have not been affected as much. I base my rankings on job growth, entry level salary, diversification of indusry, and average rent for a 1 bedroom apartment.

1) Houston, Texas
Houston is second in job growth in the nation and enjoy the second highest entry level salary among US cites. Combine that with a lower rent price and Houston should be the ultimate destination for all college graduates.

2) San Francisco, CA
San Francisco is not only close to 2 top tier college universities and home to almost all types of work industries, it has a starting salary of $48,000, almost 10% higher than its nearest competitor, Houston. It loses a 1st place ranking due to its higher living cost.

3) Austin, TX
Although smaller than Houston, Austin enjoys a very large 20-30 crowd (25% of its population are in their 20s), a booming population, and lots of growth. Big employers are the state government (capital of Texas) and University of Texas.

4) Washington, D.C.
Three out of the top five employers in the city are universities and the federal government is the other 1/3rd of all jobs. Highest percentage of college grads in US and the best job security.

5) Phoenix, AZ
With monthly rent for a one bedroom apartment at a modest $741 and a great college environment, Phoenix is surely one of the best college towns for recent graduates- but not home owners, who lost a large chunk of their home values.

6) Raleigh, NC
A near recession proof economy as most jobs are in education and government. Enjoys low rents, good job stability and a solid starting salary for college graduates.

7) Philadelphia, PA
With the average monthly rent under $1,000 a month for a one bedroom apartment and a location with tons of entry level job openings, Philadelphia has nabbed a top ranking.

8 ) Seattle, WA
Home of Microsoft and other technological companies, Seattle boasts a starting salary of $42,000 and jobs in insurance and aviation – a very diversified environment indeed.

9) Dallas, TX
Dallas also enjoys solid job growth and a high entry level salary. However, it does not rank as high as nearby cities Houston and Austin due to rent costs being an average of $200 higher.

10) San Jose, CA
As the recession has not really hit the high tech engineering and micro technology jobs yet, San Jose seems to be doing quite well. In fact, its average salary for entry level positions have been increasing rapidly as 35% of all venture capital funds in the US are invested in this city alone.


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