5 Top Cities to Start a Career

Part of keeping your financial house in order is choosing a city where your career prospects are high. The following cities offer the best advantages to people just beginning a career in terms of salary, transportation, housing costs, and dining and entertainment options.

1 – New York

While it is not easy to obtain a job in New York, the rewards are exceptionally satisfying for those who do. According to the US Department of Labor, New York industries that had above-average growth between 2009 and 2014 include construction, health, finance and business and professional services.

Workers also enjoy higher-than-average annual wages and can expect above-average future job growth. However, rent is about $3,100 per month for a one-bedroom apartment. Therefore, if you do work in the city, you need to make sure you have a dependable roommate to help pay the rent.

As for dining and entertainment, you won’t be disappointed. The state of New York is home to 45,000+ restaurants and bars so you will always have something to do inside and outside the Big Apple.

2- Austin

Austin has a low unemployment rate (3%), which makes it an attractive place for college graduates to take up roots. Also, the city is regularly recognized by Forbes for its emphasis on STEM-related jobs and technologies. Tech jobs increased 73% from 2004 to 2014 while STEM jobs experienced a growth rate of 36% – all which makes the city an ideal alternative to living and working in the Silicon Valley.

As of 2014, people between 25 and 34 years old made up about 17.5% of the city’s total population, which is also the highest of its kind in the US.

3 – Denver

The start-up culture in Denver is booming. In fact, the city plays host to an annual Denver Startup Week each year – which is a good time for college graduates or about-to-be-grads to check things out and see what the city offers.

While the rent is a little high ($1,300), the median household income is approximately $66,870, which is higher than the median US income of $53,650. About 15% of the population are millennials, which places Denver among the top 5 cities with the largest percentage of young adults, 24 to 34 years of age.

4 – Chicago

The continual increase in employment in the city shows that the potential for getting a job in Chicago is very good for recent college graduates. Leisure and hospitality and construction are the two industries that show the most promise for someone seeking a job. Also, one of the major perks of Chicago is its food. Not only are you exposed to high-quality restaurants, you can also regularly partake in the city’s food fests.

5 – San Francisco

While San Francisco is known to be one of the country’s most expensive cities, it is also a great place for technology grads to look for a job. The median income range for tech employees is from $65,000 to $115,000 per year.

Needless to say, when you are making that kind of salary, you probably can afford the average high rent ($3,000) for a one-bedroom apartment. Since 2010, the city has experienced a population boom, which, in turn, has raised the cost of living. The surge in jobs has attracted an extra 270,000 people to the Bay Area. The city has the highest population of millennials in the state.