Go South, Recent Grad!

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Texas Flag

Forbes magazine runs an annual report called, Best Cities For College Grads, where they track current job opportunities for recent college graduates. This year’s report is in and graduates are being urged to move to Texas where three cities — Houston, Dallas, and Austin — finished 1, 2, & 3.

The Forbes survey isn’t comprehensive as only the 40 largest metropolitan areas in the country are covered, then again those same areas are usually where college graduates are drawn to when following job opportunities.

Besides the top metro areas, the Forbes survey researched average starting salaries with information gleaned from Payscale.com; the cost of living for each area from the Council for Community and Economic Research; the percentage of adult population with college degrees; the percent of population in their 20s from the U.S. Census’s 2006 American Communities Survey; and expected 2008 job-growth figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Forbes gave double the weight to the starting-salary and job-growth figures, two of the biggest draws for young, job-seeking adults.

The extra emphasis on salary reveals a growing burden faced by today’s new graduates — according to the report, the average student loan debt is $19,000 and those areas of the country afford the best opportunity for young people to reduce that burden the quickest.

Other southern cities making the list include Atlanta, Charlotte, and Raleigh with Denver, Seattle, Washington, DC, and San Francisco, all finishing in the top 10. The latter two, although the most expensive to live, offer high starting wages which in the Bay City’s case averages $48,900. For all of the other top cities, starting pay was in the upper 30s to low 40s for grads.

Two intangibles were not included  — climate and family-friendliness — which can be a deciding factor for grads who might be considering a permanent relocation. Once you experience a few summers of hot Texas nights (never mind the days) you might long for a cooler clime and decide to chuck the oppressive heat along with the plum job market.

Best Cities For College Grads


Adv. — The next academic year is six weeks away. Do you have your college funding in place? Visit OfftoCollege.com to find the financial aid tools you need.

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Categories: Personal Advice