So, when I got a job offer in New York City a few weeks before graduation, I didn’t hesitate to accept — this was 2008 after all, and I felt I was in no place to turn down a job offer from anyone. Since many of my friends were moving to New York City, I figured fun was a sure thing. So, all I needed to be completely satisfied with my new life was an apartment. Rent prices in New York were high, but I’d already accepted the job offer, so I signed a lease a few weeks later. I was all set.
That is, until I got my first paycheck, and it did not go nearly as far as I’d imagined. So, in order to pay the rent on the apartment, I had to get another job on the weekends. Out went the fun. After a year, I packed my bags and headed for cheaper grounds.
What I learned, and what many new graduates learn is that, despite our high hopes for ourselves, the real world can be a rude awakening, especially these days. Jobs are scarce, apartments are expensive, and groups of friends often scatter to new cities or back to their hometowns to live with their parents. So, it’s crucial, but complicated, for new graduates to make wise choices about where they lay their graduation caps. Areas that have a high number of entry-level jobs, relatively low housing costs and large populations of young people are ideal.
No need to worry if you have no idea where those place are, though. CareerRookie and Apartments.com have analyzed top cities nationwide, to come up with the best ones for recent grads, based on — what else? — average rent for a one-bedroom apartment (from Apartments.com), number of entry-level jobs available (from CareerRookie.com) and the concentration of people under the age of 24 based on data from the U.S. Census Bureau.
These cities might not be the nation’s biggest or most glamorous, but according to study, they’re the ones new grads should consider when choosing a new home.
Top 10 best cities for recent college graduates, plus average rent for a one bedroom apartment
2. Cleveland ($695)
3. Boston ($1,625)
4. Denver ($994)
5. Minneapolis ($941)
6. San Francisco ($1,560)
7. Washington D.C. ($1,679)
8. Philadelphia ($1,068)
9. Atlanta ($813)
10. St. Louis ($826)
What do you think about this list? Would you move to one of these cities for a job? Let us know in the comments section.