Top 7 Cities for New Graduates

By Brittany Loeffler on February 13, 2017

Graduating from college means the world is yours and you can go wherever your heart takes you, or wherever the job opportunities present themselves. Living in such a big and diverse country, it can be overwhelming to choose which city to move to.

Luckily for you, we’ve made a list of the top seven cities in America that are perfect for new graduates!

via Pixabay

1. Madison, Wisconsin

If you enjoy being by the water and snowy winters, Madison is the city for you. With a population of only 240,000, this city is cozy and can feel like home. If you are looking for a city that isn’t too intimidating and where you feel like you won’t get lost, Madison is the place to move.

With over 7,500 full-time jobs listed on, graduates can make an average of $40,000-$98,000 per year. To put that in perspective, the average cost of living with rent included is $2,342.60 per month. Keep in mind this represents living in a one-bedroom apartment directly in the city and eating out 25 percent of the time.

via Pixabay

2. Austin, Texas

If the snow isn’t your thing, Austin is warm all year round! Things move slower down south, so if you are looking for a job that isn’t as fast-paced as the northeast, Texas is the place for you. With plenty of parks, water access, museums, and nightlife you will never be bored.

Don’t worry about finding a job in this city, as there are over 20,000 full-time jobs posted on With an average salary of $38,000-$115,000 with a bachelor’s degree, the cost of living per month is only $2,819.49 when you live in a one-bedroom in the city.

via Pixabay 

3. Des Moines, Iowa

If the Midwest is more your style, you may want to consider Des Moines as your post-grad city. As with Madison, the population is only a little over 200,000 people, making it a homey city to stand out in. With plenty of trails and parks, you can make sure to stay fit during the warmer months of the year.

With an average annual salary of $33,000-$93,000 for someone with a bachelor’s degree — which is completely obtainable because over 7,000 full-time jobs are posted on — the cost of living is only $2,266.35 per month for a single person with a one-bedroom apartment in the center of the city.

via Pixabay

4. Washington D.C.

If you’re looking for the hustle and bustle of a northeast city, Washington D.C. is the move! The home of politics, it’s the perfect place to break into the political world of America. With plenty of wonderful museums, parks, restaurants, and shopping you will never be bored!

If you are looking for something to do on a Friday or Saturday night, hit up U Street to check out the bars and art scene. With over 65,000 full-time jobs posted on and the average annual salary being between $40,000-$110,000 for people with a bachelor’s degree, a single person can live in a one-bedroom apartment and eat out 25 percent of the time for $3,920.06 per month!

via Pixabay

5. Philadelphia, PA

Only two hours away from New York City, Philadelphia is the up and coming city on the east coast! If you are looking to get into real estate and real estate development, the opportunity in Philly is endless. If marketing is more your forte, there is a large marketing industry in the city as well.

With a lively art scene, plenty of theaters, museums, and the rowdiest sports fans in the country, you’ll never have a dull day in this wonderful city. There are plenty of full-time job opportunities with over 41,000 jobs listed on Indeed, and a recent graduate can earn between $36,000-$116,000 annually, and you can survive on just $3,073.35 per month.

via Pixabay

6. Arlington, Virginia

If you want to be close to Washington D.C. without having to live there, Arlington is the perfect city for you! With a metro leading directly from D.C. to Arlington, you can live in Arlington and work in D.C. Home to the Pentagon, you can still get into politics and enjoy monuments and museums.

People with bachelor’s degrees can earn an annual salary between $44,000-$108,000 from over 65,000 jobs listed on A single person typically spends $3,804.64 a month for a one-bedroom apartment in the center of the city.

via Pixabay

7. San Francisco, California

Are you a techie looking for an in at start-up apps and coding jobs? San Francisco is the laid back, liberal city of the west coast where millennials flock. With warm weather, beautiful beaches, and the Golden Gate Bridge, you can never be down living in San Francisco.

Over 44,000 full-time positions are posted on where graduates can earn between $47,000-$134,000 annually. Single people typically spend $5,214.75 per month for everyday living expenses with a one-bedroom apartment in the center of the city and eating out 25 percent of the time.

By Brittany Loeffler

Uloop Writer
Brittany is a senior English major with a concentration in creative writing at Temple University. After growing up in a very rural part of Pennsylvania, she found her calling in the streets of the big city of Philadelphia. Aside from writing, she enjoys reading, movies, baking, and photography.

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