Pittsburgh Is Best City for New College Grads

May 26, 2016 by Douglas A. McIntyre

A new study claims that of the top 10 cities for new college graduates not a single one is in the tech hot areas on the West Coast. All are east of the Mississippi, with the exception of Kansas City, Mo. (No. 3). Pittsburgh tops the list.

Of the 10, four are in parts of the old industrial Midwest: Pittsburgh, Indianapolis (No. 2), Columbus (No. 5) and Cincinnati (No. 10). Philadelphia (No. 6) is just next door to Bucks and Chester counties (No. 6). The study was published by real estate site Trulia, and the list was labeled “Best Markets for College Grads 2016.”

The list is rounded out by Minneapolis (No. 4), Nashville (No. 7) and Chicago (No. 9). Incidentally, no cities from rapidly growing Texas made the list.

Trulia researchers said of the grad-friendly markets:

While the West is known for its healthy economy, the East is the place to be for new college grads. In our Graduate Opportunity Index, we mash up Trulia housing market data with those from our friends at LinkedIn to find places that have the best combination of affordability, entry-level job availability, and a large share of recent grads.

The West Coast land of opportunity dominates the list of Worst Markets for College Grads 2016. Other than Miami, and Portland, they all were in California: San Diego, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Jose, Oakland, Riverside and Orange County. High costs of living are the primary reason these cities are not good places to work.

Trulia’s conclusion:

The lesson here for recent grads is that although it may be tempting to seek out places with the highest wages, doing so may not necessarily lead to a better quality of life because these areas also have high rents and a lower share of entry level jobs. Recent grads need to balance wages, rents, and job availability, so places like Pittsburgh, Minneapolis, and Philadelphia, fit the bill. However, in places like Miami and San Francisco, not only are affordable rental units few and far between, but fewer jobs are available for the matriculated.

Except for those with intellectual tech gifts, it appears, a life in the eastern half of America will leave most graduates better off.

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