As any recent graduate knows, this is a rough economy for finding that first job after graduation. Forbes recently ranked the top ten U.S. cities for young professionals looking to hedge their bets before moving to a new city.
They analyzed cost of living, unemployment rate, the number of high-profile employers, and potential job growth for each city. Lastly, they counted the number of graduates from the Class of 2000 at Princeton University, Harvard University, Stanford University, Duke University, Rice University and Northwestern University had settled in each city.
Here are the results:
1. Houston, Texas
Three of the ten cities that made the list are in Texas, with Houston heading the list. Fourteen of the nation’s largest companies are based in the city, which also has high incomes and a large number of elite college graduates.
2. Washington, D.C.
With the lowest unemployment of cities ranked, at just 5.9 percent, Washington, D.C. is full of job opportunities. The expensive cost of living is offset by high salaries for graduates.
3. Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota
The Twin Cities have a cost of living just below the national average, but many high-profile employers like US Bancorp, Travelers Co., and Medtronic. These reasons along with low unemployment makes it the top city for young professionals in the Midwest.
4. New York, New York
Although New York has both the highest number of elite graduates and large employers, the city’s ranking for young professionals is hurt by the high cost of living.
5. Boston, Massachusetts.
Like New York City, Boston has a high cost of living and many high paying jobs.
The city is home to the third highest number of elite graduates.
6. Dallas, Texas
The second Texas city in the list, the Dallas economy is supported by both the energy and technology sectors and boasts a $63,000 median salary for college graduates.
7. Seattle, Washington
On the West Coast, recent grads will find their best prospects in Seattle, where average income is high and employment opportunities are strong.
8. Denver, Colorado
Denver’s job market is expected to grow, and has an unemployment below the national average.
9. Atlanta, Georgia
Atlanta is economically diverse, and may be the best place in the south for young professionals. Coca Cola Co. is a major employer. However, the unemployment rate is still at 10%.
10. Austin, Texas
The third Texas city on the top-10 list, Austin is the seat of state government and a major recipient of government spending. The city’s 7% unemployment rate is well below the national average.