Top 10 Cities for New Grads

While there’s relief that classes are over, exams have been taken and term papers turned in, what lies ahead for the Class of 2009 is an extremely challenging and competitive job market.
For new grads who plan to expand their job searches beyond their college or hometowns, Apartments.com and CBcampus.com just released the “Top 10 Best Cities for Recent College Graduates.” The list is based on the ranking of the top U.S. cities with the highest concentration of young adults (age 20 – 24) from the U.S. Census Bureau (2006), inventory of jobs requiring less than one year of experience from CBcampus.com (2009) and the average cost of rent for a one bedroom apartment from Apartments.com (2009).

According to Apartments.com and CBcampus.com, the top 10 cities for new grads are:

  1. Indianapolis
    Average rent:* $625
    Popular entry-level categories:** sales, customer service, health care
  2. Philadelphia
    Average rent: $1,034
    Popular entry-level categories: sales, customer service, management
  3. Baltimore
    Average rent: $1,130
    Popular entry-level categories: sales, customer service, health care
  4. Cincinnati
    Average rent: $691
    Popular entry-level categories: sales, customer service, health care
  5. Cleveland
    Average rent: $686
    Popular entry-level categories: sales, marketing, customer service
  6. New York
    Average rent: $1,548
    Popular entry-level categories: sales, customer service, admin-clerical
  7. Phoenix
    Average rent: $747
    Popular entry-level categories: sales, customer service, marketing
  8. Denver
    Average rent: $877
    Popular entry-level categories: sales, customer service, health care
  9. Chicago
    Average rent: $1,133
    Popular entry-level categories: sales, marketing, customer service
  10. San Antonio
    Average rent: $696
    Popular entry-level categories: sales, customer service, management

If you are considering expanding your job search to other cities, here are some tips:

  • Contact an alumnus from your college who lives in that city and join your alumni chapter if there is one.
  • Get an insider’s perspective by familiarizing yourself with the local media and other resources. Read up on the city’s business and community news.
  • Develop a list of companies within the area and learn about their businesses and company cultures.
  • Register with a national recruitment agency; interview with a recruiter in your local office and have that person put the word out to other offices in your target cities.
  • Consider spending a few days in your desired city to learn more, network and set up informational interviews. In your applications and cover letters, tell hiring managers the dates you’ll be in the city and available to interview.

Although this is a challenging market for new grads, remember: Attitude can be the key to your success. The reality is that the job search will take longer for these new grads thrust into the “real world” but the right mind-set can make you resilient.

THE WORK BUZZ

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