Top Ten: Best Cities to Live in After Graduation

When time is ticking to find jobs after college or universities to apply to before graduating, there are a few important factors to look at. You’ll find places with high employment, and then come across other locations with the most affordable living. But which cities have the best of both worlds? Here are a few cities with the best matches when considering suitability for college grads, unemployment rate, and cost of living.

Unemployment rates are according the the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and the median cost of a one bedroom apartment from the 2016 Apartment List Rent Report.


10. Atlanta, Georgia

Unemployment rate: 4.4%
Median Monthly 1 BR Apartment Rent: $1,300

Atlanta is one of the closest big-cities to Tuscaloosa, Alabama. So if you’re wanting to stay near to your college town, Atlanta may be the best option for you. It is one of the larger cities in the U.S. and home to many big businesses, providing you with a wide range of job opportunities in any major.

Atlanta is also in proximity to graduate schools such as Emory University and Georgia Tech.

9. Houston, TX

Unemployment rate: 4.6%
Median Monthly 1 BR Apartment Rent: $1,230

Houston headquarters 24 of the 57 biggest companies in Texas, including Conoco Philips (COP) and Continental Airlines (CAL). Not only is Houston big in business, but also in health. The Texas Medical Center is the largest medical center in the world with the highest densities of clinical facilities for patient care, basic science, and translational research according to MastersInHealthcare.com.

For the foodies out there, Houston is the ideal city. Research from Rice University shows that Houston has more restaurants per capita than any other city in the world. With over 11,000 restaurants to choose from, virtually every cuisine is available.

8. Washington, D.C

Unemployment rate: 4.1%
Median Monthly 1 BR Apartment Rent: $2,200

Government jobs will always need to be filled, and D.C.has a wide assortment of them. Many other high-paying opportunities are available.

Law school is an aspiration of many, and Washington, D.C. is neighbors with a few of the best law schools in the country, including Georgetown University, The George Washington University and Howard University Law School.

7. Minneapolis, MN

Unemployment rate: 3.9%
Median Monthly 1 BR Apartment Rent: $1,480

There is no need to escape your love for the outdoors when finding your city of dreams. Minneapolis is a big city, but it hasn't lost touch with those who like to get away from the hustle and bustle. According to USA Today, Minneapolis has an abundance of bike paths, lakes and hiking trails.

Cost of living stays affordable while you can still reside in a city that has big-name headquarters such as Target and General Mills.

6. San Jose, CA

Unemployment rate: 3.9
Median Monthly 1 BR Apartment Rent: $2,200

Most people love the beaches of California, but don't love the cost of living there, so many college graduates don't really consider moving there. But a surprising fact is that San Jose has a competitive monthly median of $2,200 for rent, which is considerably lower than other cities in California.

Those interested in careers in technology will fit right in. San Jose is surrounded by Silicon Valley, which is home to many of the world’s largest high-tech corporations and start up businesses.

5. Dallas, TX

Unemployment at 3.7%
Median Monthly 1 BR Apartment Rent: $1,280

Dallas consistently has jobs readily available for young professionals. For the third most populous city in Texas, the rent is impressively low for those seeking to live in apartments.

A blend of entry-level jobs, higher starting pay, lower metropolitan unemployment and affordable rent is what Dallas has to offer, which are ideal for college graduates.

4. Nashville, TN

Unemployment rate: 3.5
Median Monthly 1 BR Apartment Rent: $1,170

If you are a music-lover, Nashville is the city for you. Live music plays in almost every restaurant downtown, hence it’s nickname, “The Music City.” Nashville ranks third in cities with the highest concentration of entertainment and dining establishments of all major U.S. cities, behind only Los Angeles and San Francisco.

3. San Antonio, TX

Unemployment Rate: 3.5%
Median Monthly 1 BR Apartment Rent: $820

For a city as populous as 1.4 million, San Antonio’s low cost of living and low unemployment rate can make it an ideal place to live. The city is also home to over ten different universities for those looking at graduate schools. San Antonio’s Riverwalk provide a thriving downtown scene, and the close proximity to Texas staples like the historic Alamo, or Six Flags in Fiesta, Texas will make it worthwhile.

2. Denver, CO

Unemployment rate: 3.1%
Median Monthly 1 BR Apartment Rent: $1, 350

Denver is treat for those who love the snow, views of the rocky mountains and the Denver Broncos. This could be the perfect place to call home after college if you look forward to getting away from the heat of the south.

The top industries found in Denver are aerospace and aviation, broadcasting and telecommunications, energy and healthcare according to CNBC Business and Finance News.

1. Austin, TX

Unemployment at 3.1%
Median Monthly 1 BR Apartment Rent: $1,200

Whether you are looking for employment, education, or a variety of entertainment and dining, there is never a dull moment in Austin. By moving to one of the best dining and entertainment scenes in the country, you’ll be thanking your lucky stars you are in the capital of Texas. With its high range of employers and low cost of living, you’ll see why no one wants to leave.

If you are looking at grad schools, don’t overlook the University of Texas at Austin. According to the US News and World Report for graduate schools, it is ranked #15 in Best Law Schools, #10 in Best Engineering 

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