Best Cities to Start Your Career in After Graduation

Posted by Marketing on 06 02, 2020

Starting your career is no easy task, and for America’s class of 2020, life after college is not exactly going as planned. Finding your first job amid a global pandemic in a job market with 14.9% unemployment is a challenge itself. However, this year’s graduates are moving forward, forging their career paths despite the many obstacles in the way. 

According to a new analysis by LinkedIn, some U.S. cities are better suited for new grads or anyone looking to break into the job market and get started on their career path. Each city that made this year’s list provides affordable housing and well-paying jobs that are perfect for new grads who are starting their career. 

When it comes to top cities for graduates, you may automatically think of traditional cities like New York City, Washington D.C., the San Francisco Bay Area, or Los Angeles. However, none of them made it to this year’s list. While these popular cities do offer some of the highest starting salaries, the cost of living does not match up.

Unfortunately, sky-high rents in these cities may make it difficult for a recent grad to afford to live in these cities where rent can take up as much as 40% of one’s salary. In San Francisco, for example, rent averages over $3,000 a month. In these cases, graduates entering the workforce may need to compromise by splitting a tiny apartment with roommates or fall behind financially by paying high rent on their own.

Based on affordable rent, competitive starting salaries, and available opportunities, here are the top cities for graduates looking to launch their careers and land their first job. 

1. St. Louis, Missouri

Median monthly rent: $992

Median salary for starter jobs: $60,400

2. Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Median monthly rent: $1,071

Median salary for starter jobs: $60,900

3. Cleveland, Ohio

Median monthly rent: $1,045

Median salary for starter jobs: $57,800

4. Cincinnati, Ohio

Median monthly rent: $1,119

Median salary for starter jobs: $61,400

5. Indianapolis, Indiana

Median monthly rent: $1,081

Median salary for starter jobs: $59,200

6. Kansas City, Missouri

Median monthly rent: $1,113

Median salary for starter jobs: $61,000

7. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Median monthly rent: $1,102

Median salary for starter jobs: $59,800

8. Detroit, Michigan

Median monthly rent: $1,195

Median salary for starter jobs: $63,900

9. Columbus, Ohio

Median monthly rent: $1,191

Median salary for starter jobs: $60,900

10. Houston, Texas

Median monthly rent: $1,377

Median salary for starter jobs: $69,800

11. Durham, North Carolina

Median monthly rent: $1,274

Median salary for starter jobs: $63,300

12. Charlotte, North Carolina

Median monthly rent: $1,284

Median salary for starter jobs: $63,300

13. San Antonio, Texas

Median monthly rent: $1,219

Median salary for starter jobs: $59,900

14. Phoenix, Arizona

Median monthly rent: $1,330

Median salary for starter jobs: $63,000

15. Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas

Median monthly rent: $1,423

Median salary for starter jobs: $65,300

Note: Cities are ranked by the lowest rent-to-salary ratio based on LinkedIn Salary and Zillow Rentals data by U.S. metro from 2017-2019. 

Moving Your Career Forward

Maneuvering the job market as a new college graduate can be challenging on its own, and even more so during a pandemic. Whether you’re looking to move to a new city or stay where you are in hopes of landing your dream job, please know that Infinity Consulting Solutions (ICS) is here to help. No matter what you studied in college or what city you’re looking to work in, ICS is dedicated to helping you find the perfect fit and help you get hired after graduation. Click below to begin job hunting with us today.

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