January marks the start of the final semester of school for countless college seniors. Whether they’re dreading the transition to the so-called “real world” or ready-as-ever to leave finals and frats behind, the bottom line is that school is coming to an end.
Graduates who don’t find themselves back on their parents’ couches will have to decide exactly where they want to get started. While many might be drawn to certain locales because of friends or family, the lure of jobs means that graduates really could end up … well, anywhere. And that possibility can be overwhelming.
So, we sifted through data for 60 cities to find out just which ones are the best for recent graduates. The factors we weighed were:
1. Entry-level salary (Data provided by Indeed.com)
2. Unemployment numbers (Data provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics)
3. Cost of Living (Data provided by Sperling’s Best Places)
4. Personal life — namely, percent of population that has never been married and percent aged between 20-24 (Data provided by the American Community Survey)
5. Social scenes and happiest young professionals, as a tiebreaker (Data provided by International Business Times and Forbes)
Now that the numbers are crunched, here are the 10 best cities for recent college graduates: