Best Cities for College Graduates | City Guides | Long Distance USA Movers

What Are the Best Cities for College Grads? Check Out the List and Find Out

Are you prepared to move to one of the best cities for college grads? Going to college is a significant change in one’s life. It usually means changing the living environment and parting with old school friends to meet new ones.

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This can be stressful enough by itself, but there’s more to come. You need to choose the right institution while taking into consideration not only the quality of the institution itself but also the city and the things it has to offer. Affordable housing, available jobs and last but not least, entertainment and the number of young people are just some of the factors that have to be taken into account.

What to Do Before College?

As with everything in life, before deciding on the right college, you need to inform yourself of a number of factors that will impact the years to come. Starting from affordability, through the job market and ending with fun. Most big towns have it all: colleges, housing, job vacancies, and plenty of entertainment centers. However, for those with a limited budget, an essential factor to consider is the cost of living and renting compared to the employment opportunities and average earnings. 

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College Cities

A college or university city is a community or a separate town, that is dominated by its university population. Whether large or divided into several smaller institutions, these towns are defined by the presence of these educational institutions, regardless of their form. Many of these towns have a thriving culture and economy, which makes them great not just for education but for long-term plans as well. These towns usually have great schools, neighborhoods, and communities, which are important aspects of life after you leave campus. 

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Best Cities for Grads to Live In

According to one research and based on the mentioned factors, the majority of the best cities for recent college grads are in the Midwest. However, the East and West coasts offer cities that have more available jobs, so think about what your priority is. If you prefer West Cost over East, there are plenty of places you can call your home.

San Francisco, California

When you are relocating to San Francisco remember that this place is known for its numerous hills and exciting architecture, including Golden Gate Bridge and Chinatown. The median age in 2019 is 38.3. The unemployment rate for college grads is 3%, which is rather low. Workers who have less than one year of working experience earn about $63,429. There are a lot of apartments to rent for a price of $2,459 for a one-bedroom apartment, and up to $3,089 for a two-bedroom apartment. Some of the known employers are Wells Fargo, Salesforce, and Uber. The cost of living in San Francisco might be high but great paychecks and vast job opportunities make up for it.

San Francisco ranks as one of the most popular cities when it comes to entertainment. There is a long list of things to do in San Francisco that will never leave you feeling bored. From nightclubs to art openings, this is the town for innovative and creative folks that love to be in the center of happenings. Foodies will love SF, because this is the place where they can have Chinese, Tai, Italian, or traditional American cuisine. Have in mind that the City by the Bay is also one of the most vegetarian-friendly places to live in. Whenever you don’t feel like cooking, put on some clothes and dine out, there are plenty of places to do so.

Seattle, Washington

What are the things you should know before moving to Seattle? The town has a lot to offer, starting from the natural beauties to the vivid social life. One of the landmarks is the futuristic Space Needle, a modern spire with city vistas. The median age is 35.
The city is known for its tech industry and low unemployment rate. The famous employers with headquarters in Seattle are Microsoft and Amazon. Workers with less than one year of experience will earn an approximate annual salary of $58,571. You should know that the average monthly rent in 2019 is from $1,322 to $1,646 for one or two-bedroom apartments in Seattle. Consider this before you pick one of the best neighborhoods in Seattle to be your new home.

San Diego, California

For those who love a warmer climate and long beaches, relocating to San Diego is the right choice. Among landmarks, there is a huge multi-attraction Balboa Park with its Zoo, SeaWorld, and the museum USS Midway situated in the former aircraft carrier. 

The median age of this town in 2019 is 33.9. The unemployment rate is 3.6%. Workers with up to one year of experience have a yearly salary of $56,589. Some of the famous employers are Zeeto, Arctic Zero, and Innovative Commercial Environments.

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Wisconsin and Illinois Are Great Midwest States for Young Professionals

Did you know that Wisconsinites consume nearly 21 million gallons of ice cream each year? This place offers its residents sweet dessert to brighten their days, after long working hours. Not that Wisconsin needs to be more tempting for youth, with its affordability, low crime rates, and great business opportunities, it is an excellent place to settle down. Check out Madison, and see why many had moved there. 

If you want to live in the midwest state and Wisconsin is not for you, check out its neighboring state of Illinois. Moving to Illinois, especially Chicago, might bring you new adventures, affordability, and great employment possibilities.

Madison Has a High Employment Rate

Madison has a vibe of a cool college place, all thanks to the University of Wisconsin-Madison. A school is a place where more than 43,000 students from all over the country get their education, creating a diverse and youthful community. Data shows that with an average age of 30.9 years, this is one of the best cities for college grads.

Those that have a bachelor’s degree have an employment quota of 98.5%, and the household income is $59,387. If you are seeking a career here, know that Madison is a tech hub and residence of many employers in health care, education, manufacturing, and life sciences. Check out major private employers like Epic, Dean Health System, or Alliant Energy, and see if they have an opening for you. Data shows that the household income is $59,387.

According to data from Niche, more residents, that are living here, rent than buy a house here, and the median rent is $1,008. While if you want to become a homeowner, know that house value in 2019 is $223,300.

When you are not thinking about work, and you want to relax, there are many classical American restaurants as well as fancy dining spots you can check out. Make sure that the crew that is providing you with moving services delivers your shiny shoes and fancy clothes so that you could dress up and go out.

With 200 miles of hiking and biking trails, this is a good place to start being more active. If you ship your car with you, you might use it to drive around, but not as much as you would in other towns. Here biking is a big deal, and you might be inspired to try it. With several lakes and parks that surround Madison, you can partake in activities like swimming, fishing, or golfing. If you are moving for a relationship as well as career opportunities, check out Olbrich Beach and plan a romantic date for your partner.

Chicago, Illinois

Since many graduates decide to relocate to Chicago, it has become one of the most populated cities in the US with over 2.5 million residents. The so-called Windy City has a few famous landmarks such as the second tallest building in the US, the Sears Tower, now called The Willis Tower, as well as the neo-Gothic Tribune Tower. It is also known for its Art Institute of Chicago, which hosts impressionist and post-impressionist collections. Of course, there is the beauty of Lake Michigan, one of the five Great Lakes of North America. 

The median age was 34.6 in 2017, while the unemployment rate of degree holders is 3.2%. Workers who have less than one year of experience earn approximately $52,629. The majority of jobs are offered by the federal government, public schools, and institutions. The housing comprises mostly of apartments which cost from $1,076 per month for a one-bedroom apartment to $1,266 for two-bedrooms in Chicago.

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If You like Texas, Settle down in Austin or Lubbock

There are more than 23 million people in Texas, making it the second-largest state by area and population. The state added more than 3.55 million people between 2010 and 2018, according to the Demographic center. Texas’ population is growing because of its stable economy, affordability, and excellent business opportunities for young professionals. That can be seen in many towns. So, if you want to relocate to Texas, you can choose to stay wherever you want, but many folks with a bachelor’s degree move to Lubbock or Austin.

Lubbock Is a Hub for Innovators and Researchers

The crowd that is done with education flock to Lubbock for many reasons. Firstly, low unemployment rates make the place attractive for all of those in need of a job. Also, the stable growth of the economy and affordable house prices make it an excellent place for those who are looking to start a new chapter of their lives.

Lubbock’s main areas of business are healthcare, construction, accommodation, government, scientific, and tech services. As the opportunities grow, there are openings at every career level. Biggest private employers such as G Boren Services, Walmart, and Convergys Corporation just might have a job for you. If you want to work in the public sector, check out the openings at U.S. Postal Service, Texas Tech Health Sciences Center, or Covenant Health System. The earnings for those with a bachelor’s degree are $50,800.28 on average.

Lubbock is a mid-size city that is home to over 40,000 young innovators and researchers, as well. The number of those who rent is almost the same as the number of those who own their homes. You can rent a place for a median cost of $896, and according to data from Niche, home value in 2019 is $123,800.

Lubbock has plenty of places where you can go hiking and enjoy nature. Don’t leave your bike in storage, head out to Palo Duro Canyon and bask in the sun while you are physically active. Joyland Amusement Park is a perfect place to play fetch with your dog, and while you are there, you can make some new friends.

When you want to unwind after a long day, check out the Lubbock Symphony Orchestra or see a ballet. If you are an artistic soul, Arts Alliance can help you with many art classes and shows that promote the creative community.

Austin, Texas

With its slogan “Keep Austin Weird” this city is very appealing to the younger population. It is also known for its vivid music scene, hence the title Live Music Capital of the World. Besides, a bronze statue of Stevie Ray Vaughan greets people by the Colorado River. Austin was voted the greatest U.S. city to live in for several years in a row. Are you worried about adjusting to a new town? When you are relocating to Austin that won’t be a problem. 

Since many young people move to Austin, the median age is 31.8, while workers with less than one year of experience earn about $51,560. Apartments will cost you from $1,153 for a one-bedroom apartment to $1,423 for a two-bedroom apartment. Some of the renowned employers are Apple, Dell, Cirrus Logic, Intel, and Cisco Systems. The weather in Austin can be very unstable, though, so there is a saying – if you don’t like the weather, wait five minutes.

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New York and Virginia Are Excellent Choices for All Who like East Coast

When you are thinking about the best cities for recent college grads, remember that some of them are located on the East Coast of the USA. There is a long list of benefits you can get if you relocate here. Affordability and high employment rates are some of the first ones. With 36% of the state’s total population, you will be staying in the coastal area with the most citizens.

If the bright city lights and fast and urban way of life sound fun to you, consider New York for your next location, and if you prefer mid-sizes places, check out Arlington. Both towns have been attracting young professionals with their business offers. 

New York, New York

New York is probably the most interesting city from the standpoint of general opportunities. It is known for its famous landmarks, such as the Statue of Liberty, Central Park, Wall Street, Carnegie Hall, and Lincoln Center. 

The median age of New Yorkers is 38.2 years, while the unemployment rate for grads in 2019 is 3.6%. Workers with less than one year of experience earn an average of $52,080. As for the rents in New York, accordingly, they are among the most expensive ones in the entire country. You will have to pay from $2,118 for a one-bedroom apartment to $2,523 for a two-bedroom apartment. 

New York is regarded as the financial, cultural and media capital of the world.  Some very famous companies are situated here, such as JPMorgan Chase & Co, Citigroup, PricewaterhouseCoopers, and others. Interestingly enough, the city often called the Big Apple has a relatively low crime rate.

You Can Easily Find a Job in Arlington Virginia

Are you considering unemployment rates and job growth when looking for your new home? 

If you are, Arlington in Virginia, with its unemployment rates of 2.0% and positive employment growth is a place for you. The thriving economy attracts many freshly graduated individuals, and according to data from Niche, most residents are between the ages of 25 and 34.

Arlington’s crime rates are 46% lower than in the state of Virginia. Also, the number of total felonies year over year has decreased by 3%. 

The housing market gives you a choice between big-city facilities and suburban homes. If you plan on renting a place, know that the approximate rent is $1,895, while the home value in 2019 is $643,300.

Household income here is $112,138, and the largest employers are many private enterprises, federal agencies, military institutions that offer work in finances, health care, and engineering. Check out private business companies such as Deloitte, Booz Allen Hamilton, or US Airways and see if they have an opening for you. If your dream job is in the government sector, know that the biggest employers are the Department of Defense, the Department of Homeland Security, and the County of Arlington.  

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Life After College

What are the qualities you are looking for in the new town? Is it an excellent career opportunity? Low cost of living or vast entertainment options? Whichever part of the country you choose to move to, there is a location that can give you everything you dreamed of since the day you enrolled in college. 

Do your research and find a spot that perfectly fits into your career path, as well as the budget. Across the country, there are places that are focused on giving young individuals all they need to achieve the American dream.

Eva Johnson

Digital nomad born in New York but currently living online, Eva knows everything there is to know about packing and moving.

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