Recent college graduates face better job prospects these days than they did in the midst of the Great Recession–but they also are typically saddled by debt. Seven out of 10 graduating college seniors had student loans in 2014 (latest data available), with average debt loads of $28,950, according to the nonprofit Institute for College Access & Success.
That’s why new grads–as well as young professionals only a few years out of school–would be wise to consider carefully where to start their careers. To find out which cities offer the best overall prospects for college-educated workers with five years of experience or less, we crunched data on job growth, unemployment rates, pay and cost of living in America’s largest 100 metro areas. The result is our 2016 list of The 20 Best Cities For Young Professionals.
The cities that made the Forbes list generally fall into two categories. The first is job-heavy economic powerhouses where the pay is high and the cost of living is too.
When it comes to starting a career, everything is a trade-off. Workers need to consider which places make the most sense for their particular industries and career paths. But they also should look realistically at what pay v. cost-of-living trade-off they’re willing to make.
Raleigh, NC came in #3 on the 2016 list of Best Cities For Young Professionals.