Top 10 cities for new grads

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gradcityWhile there’s relief that classes are over, exams have been taken and term papers turned in, what lies ahead for the Class of 2009 is an extremely challenging and competitive job market.

For new grads who plan to expand their job searches beyond their college or hometowns, Apartments.com and CBcampus.com just released the “Top 10 Best Cities for Recent College Graduates.” The list is based on the ranking of the top U.S. cities with the highest concentration of young adults (age 20 – 24) from the U.S. Census Bureau (2006), inventory of jobs requiring less than one year of experience from CBcampus.com (2009) and the average cost of rent for a one bedroom apartment from Apartments.com (2009).

According to Apartments.com and CBcampus.com, the top 10 cities for new grads are: 

1.  Indianapolis
Average rent:* $625
Popular entry-level categories:** sales, customer service, health care

2.  Philadelphia               
Average rent: $1,034
Popular entry-level categories: sales, customer service, management

 3.  Baltimore     
Average rent: $1,130
Popular entry-level categories: sales, customer service, health care

4.  Cincinnati     
Average rent:
$691
Popular entry-level categories: sales, customer service, health care

5.  Cleveland
Average rent: $686
Popular entry-level categories: sales, marketing, customer service

6.  New York     
Average rent: $1,548
Popular entry-level categories: sales, customer service, admin-clerical

7.  Phoenix        
Average rent: $747
Popular entry-level categories: sales, customer service, marketing

8.  Denver          
Average rent: $877
Popular entry-level categories: sales, customer service, health care

9.  Chicago         
Average rent: $1,133
Popular entry-level categories: sales, marketing, customer service

10.  San Antonio              
Average rent: $696
Popular entry-level categories: sales, customer service, management

If you are considering expanding your job search to other cities, here are some tips:

  • Contact an alumnus from your college who lives in that city and join your alumni chapter if there is one.
  • Get an insider’s perspective by familiarizing yourself with the local media and other resources. Read up on the city’s business and community news.
  • Develop a list of companies within the area and learn about their businesses and company cultures.
  • Register with a national recruitment agency; interview with a recruiter in your local office and have that person put the word out to other offices in your target cities.
  • Consider spending a few days in your desired city to learn more, network and set up informational interviews. In your applications and cover letters, tell hiring managers the dates you’ll be in the city and available to interview.

Although this is a challenging market for new grads, remember: Attitude can be the key to your success. The reality is that the job search will take longer for these new grads thrust into the “real world” but the right mind-set can make you resilient.

30 Comments
  1. Sales, marketing, customer service. What lame jobs! Did all that years ago and had enough of dealing with stupid people. Come to Canada where the real jobs are. I went back to school; took 2 years of Electronic Engineering Technology and one year of Instrumentation (electronic measurment specialist). I graduated in 2006 and am working in Edmonton, Alberta. Last year I grossed $81000 as a 1st year technologist. Plus my tax free living allowance of $4400 a month (5 months)= $103,000. Rent is $1050/month for the top level of a house. I put away $25,000 in my Retirment plan and got a refund of $9000 from my taxes which paid off one of my student loans. Further North in Fort Mcmurray rent is $3000/month for a house but most people are grossing $120000-$200000. Oh, I forgot to mention, the work week is 6 days on and 6 days off. Engineering and trades in Canada is where the real money is.

  2. Pingback: Indy Tops List of Best Cities for New Grads | Indy-Biz

  3. Pingback: Top 10 Cities for new grads - Work and Employment - City-Data Forum

  4. Pingback: May 19 - Housing construction, permits hit record lows - Medtronic Cutting 1500-1800 Jobs

  5. Just four years of college? I did six years for two BA degrees about 25 years ago. Was the best time in my life…but worthless for finding me a decent job in all that time. Will end up dying without a penny & alone…but I am a college grad. Have told kids who ask me…college was fun…but if you want to make money…goto a trade school and learn how to fix AC/Heating units.

  6. Hi D Cullen, good thing that Canada is still open for engineering. im a grad of electronics and communication engineering and currently hoping to finish my masteral degree in microelctronics.
    Im currently working in a semiconductor industry and im hoping to have a job in Canada cause what you wrote earlier interests me.
    Do you know what companies can i apply to? may it be on electronics, communications, or in semiconductor.
    thanks!!!

  7. I use to live on my own and work a full time job and a part time job two nights a week. I thought that the health care field would be the most stable industry to go int. So I went back to school full time and had to downsize my schedule to working on Saturdays only with taking on 19 credits per semester. It was tough and not very pleasent to deal with, but I graduated in August of 2008. In Septemeber I became a Registered Dental Assistant and started to look for jobs. I didn’t have much luck. Everyone encluding temp agencies wanted you to have experience. So I studied hard and decided to get my Certification in January of 2009. I ended up passing that and becoming an CRDA. I’ve been volunteering a few times a month at a free clinic, but haven’t had a click to finding a job yet. It has been a full year that I’ve been done with school and I am really discouraged. I’d love to get some helpful advice as to what to do. The job placement lady at the college doesn’t even have contact with the dental community and has had the same job posted on their website for months that is more than four hours away from the twin cities…

  8. Does that really make sense?? Why would I want to go to the top U.S. cities where a higher number than average of young adults are all competing for the crap jobs that require less than 1-year of experience? How much do you think a job pays if they require less than one year of experience? And do you think someone with less than one year of experience (like a college graduate) will be able to compete with last year’s graduates or even ones from the year before? Is it pretty likely that those graduates are also unemployed and are looking for jobs?_______________ this article is garbage!!

  9. Quoting the other “theworkbuzz.com” article…

    “To date, the average job offer to a 2009 graduate with a bachelor’s degree is $48,515, down about 2 percent from last year, according to NACE.

    To be sure, an entry-level salary of $48,000 seems high in this economy. However, that amount represents only the one in five graduates who have already been offered employment, and pre-graduation job offers tend to come from relatively lucrative industries, including engineering, computer sciences and health care.”

    Where are the sales and customer service jobs? Ohhhh- that’s right, they don’t pay very well… which makes complete sense on why they’re listed for cities with average rents over $1,000. Data-mashups without a human (with or without a college degree) to review the information’s logic do not make good articles.

  10. Most of this articles are so lame. Catchy titles, but content sucks!!!!. I wonder if the writers get paid enough? probably not!!

  11. It has been my experience that sixty to eighty percent of college degrees conferred on young people do not prepare them for entering the work force.
    Of course, professional degrees do. However, most generalist degrees conferred fall far short of what graduates should expect in exchange for the time and expense expended studying in college to obtain that coveted sheep skin.
    All colleges and universities are businesses like any other. If they have paying students, they stay in business. If not, they close their doors. Most universities abandon each generalist graduating class upon receiving the new incoming class. The result is a disaster for the new graduates as many never find suitable well paying employment justifying college time and expense.
    This scenario is a disaster for the country. In my opinion, if colleges and universities were really doing their job, as part of the degree plan, they should develop a work placement system that would guarantee the graduate a viable job in government or the private sector which would fully take advantage of the graduate’s education and new found knowledge.
    If a college or university cannot do that, they have failed the student, the community and the country as a training center.

  12. I CAN’T BELIEVE INDIANAPOLIS IS # 1 ON THIS LIST! I LIVE IN KOKOMO, INDIANA ABOUT 40 MILES FROM INDIANAPOLIS & THERE AREN’T HARDLY ANY JOB OPENINGS! IN THE NEWSPAPER HERE, EVERYDAY IT TALKS ABOUT HOW THE UNEMPLOYMENT RATE KEEPS GOING UP AS MORE & MORE FACTORIES,CLOTHING STORES,RESTURANTS,FAST FOOD CHAINS,HEALTH CARE FACILITIES,CAR DEALERSHIPS,BANKS,& CONSTRUCTION BUSINESSES ARE GOING OUT OF BUSINESS! AND THE HOUSING MARKET IS GETTING WORSE & WORSE SO THAT HAS TO AFFECT THE PEOPLE WHO HAVE JOBS AS RELATORS! PLUS, I KNOW SEVERAL PEOPLE PERSONALLY WHO OWN MULTIPLE RENTAL PROPERTIES WHO ARE GOING TO LOSE THEM B/C THEY CAN’T AFFORD TO KEEP UP ALL THE MAINTENCE UP ON ALL OF THEM! OUR PRESIDENT NEEDS TO DO SOMETHING!

  13. Hello D Cullen,

    I’m moving to Alberta at the end of the year but I have heard that there no jobs right know. Do you see improvement in the job market for engineers in the Edmonton area?

    JM

  14. Same with Cincinnati and several of the other cities on this list. I’d like to know where the author found their information…..

  15. I AM NIGERIAAN,32YRS 0LD.I NEED JOB IN ANY PART OF USA,I HAVE DEGREE ON CROP PRODUCTION PRIOR TO MY DEGREE PROGRAMM,I HAVE NEGERIA CERTIFICATE OF EDUCATION ON AGRIC-EDUCTION.ALSO 6YRS EXPRIENCES IN TEACHING AND 3YRS ON RICE,GINGER, SESAME AND COCOA PRODUCTION AND PROCUREMENT ESPECIALLY ON RICE.

  16. Yeah a college degree means very little these days, not what it used to be. These kids go to school thinking all I have to do is go to college and I will get a good job when I come out! Thats total BS because alot of them don’t realize that communications or a liberal arts degree is almost worthless. They do what is easiest and then expect a good job in return. Our country is falling behind and we don’t have enough engineers to fill the jobs out there because they are all partying it up and taking cookie cutter classes.

    The last post from the person in Canada has it right. Its too bad being cool and drunk is all too common in the U.S. Its no wonder we have to bring so many from other countries to fill high paying jobs or ship them overseas, whichever. They spent all their childhood boosting their self esteem only for it to be crushed when they can’t find any decent jobs. It takes hard work and smarts, two things we lack dearly in the U.S. Screw being well rounded, focus and be great at it.

  17. For the most part americans are trained rather than educated. Thinking independently is no longer fashionable. Read New America New World and open your mind to another possibility.

  18. This article would have been more relevant if you called it “Top 10 Cities for Entry-Level Sales and Customer Service Jobs”. This article has an awesome title, but it has TERRIBLE content.

  19. Brace yourself – with the direction the country is headed no one will be able to achieve the American Dream. You’ll be helping everyone else even those who have no intention of working. Why when they can get paid for nothing.

  20. Dear Eric,
    There is no shortage of engineering talent in the United States; there is a shortage of engineering jobs. The people who say otherwise are employed in academia. (“Professor keep thy classroom full and thee shall never want.”)

  21. As a recent college grad whose friends are also recent college grads, I can tell you there are no jobs in Cincinnati. I’m not sure what this article is talking about. Is this the same Cincy that’s in Ohio?

  22. This is clearly an uninformed article. Sales, customer service? Give me a break. Take a trip down to your local Wal-Mart down the road for a job (if you’ll even get one). Am I supposed to consider relocating to those cities for jobs like these? Whoever wrote this article probably wrote it over some beer on his home pc without proper research or thinking. I have a 2006 Masters Degree in IT and still can’t find a job yet. I do get interviews, but these days interviewing has becone like a job without having anybody call you back. An interviewer calls your home, etc, tells you they saw your resume online which seems a perfect fit for a position, then they tell you to send a copy of your resume to them again via email. But I thought this fool just told me he has a copy of my resume and even quoted from it. Then you have the stupid career and job fairs in your cities and your schools all making a damn fool of themselves like you’ll get a job once you go there. They collect your resumes and never call you. And when you do call them, they tell you they need alll these years of experience. How then do you go to a school campus to locate students just graduating or soon-to-be graduating for 3, 4, 5 years of experience. Maybe I’ll get a job someday with a few yrs to retirement. But as far as I know, this article should end in your recycle bin and be deleted from it too.

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