Upon graduating college, finding a city to move to can be a daunting endeavor. The job market is tight, and there are some obvious cities for recent grads to avoid, such as New York City, Washington D.C., Boston, Chicago and pretty much anywhere in California. These cities have a high cost of living, making them less ideal landing spots for a financially insecure recent grad. With the exception of being offered a job there or relocating to be with friends or family, it would be wise for a recent grad to avoid these cities.
However, there is good news for any curious grad struggling with the decision to move — there is a YouTube channel called World According to Briggs, which is dedicated to providing detailed information about moving to a city, including crime rates, weather, cost of living, urban development and overall well-being. The YouTuber has 190,000 subscribers, and his advice is meant to serve a general audience, but the material covered is relevant for any new potential resident, including recent grads.
Here are six cities for recent grads, based on Brigg’s videos, that would make a suitable home.
1. Dallas, Texas
Dallas, the northernmost major city in Texas, has been a sprawling urban scene for the better part of the decade. With the massive population influx to Texas and staggering levels of housing construction in Dallas/Fort Worth, prices have greatly increased, but the city remains a hotspot for migration. The rent in the Dallas metro area is affordable, with overall rates lingering around $1,000. With no state tax, great weather, ample Mexican cuisine, a central location in the country and all four major league sports teams, Dallas is the perfect city to start a professional career.
In addition, the large metropolitan area provides suburbia and city life within a small radius. The Lone Star State is all about brand, an area in which Dallas shines, being home to the headquarters of AT&T, Exxon and American Airlines. With all its perks, Dallas has a welcoming environment and is among the best cities for recent grads.
2. Denver, Colorado
Like Texas, Colorado is a spacious state with plenty of room to expand, which has led to Denver becoming one of the most moved-to cities in the country in recent years. The city’s income level is above the national average, and it has enjoyed a recent increase in employment. Denver has major companies in various fields, such as food, communications, media and software/technology. Plus, if you are looking for a delicious place to live, the Mile High City provides all types of cuisine, such as Mexican, Indian and Italian.
Additionally, Denver’s backyard is a nature-lover’s playground, as the city sits on the cusp of some of the best natural scenery in the country. The “work-hard play-hard” mentality is abundant here — recreational activities such as hiking, skiing and walking are accessible in the city or within an hour’s drive. Overall, Denver provides a major airport, four major sports teams and stunning views from downtown.
3. Atlanta, Georgia
As the cultural epicenter of the South, Atlanta is one of the most viable cities for recent grads. The city has a virtually non-existent winter, great Southern food, close proximity to beaches and mountains, great attractions and major companies. Atlanta has an ample supply of jobs in the film industry, as production is abundant across the city, and media companies, such as TNT, Turner and CNN, along with Home Depot, Coca Cola and Delta Airlines, call Atlanta home.
With a relatively cheap cost of living and the influx of these companies, the gem of the South is the perfect city. Briggs also mentions the cultural perks of Atlanta, including vivacious nightlife, an exciting music scene and friendly residents.
4. Houston, Texas
Houston is the fourth-largest city in the country and has plenty of opportunities for recent graduates. The city has great weather, no state tax, notable sports teams, great cuisine and multiple outstanding companies. Briggs mentions that Houston is one of the best places in the country to find a job, being home to major companies in gas, software and food.
Despite its massive size, Houston is quite an affordable city to live in, featuring rent rates that are among the lowest in the country. Finally, Briggs mentions that Houston is one of the most racially diverse cities in America, which creates a welcoming environment and leads to a variety of cuisine options.
5. Seattle, Washington
The Emerald City is not only a cultural epicenter in the Pacific Northwest, but it is paradise for nature buffs too. Seattle is home to many major corporations, such as Amazon, Microsoft and Starbucks, which can provide an array of jobs.
In addition, Seattle has no state tax, rarely gets snow, has delicious seafood options, a great music environment, major sports teams and access to wonderful national parks and outdoor activities.
6. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Cheesesteaks aside, the City of Brotherly Love is conveniently nestled in the East Coast megalopolis and is perfectly situated for a visit to NYC, D.C. or Boston. The city, flooded with Eagles fans, provides easy access to the beach and mountains.
Briggs mentions that Philly is biker-friendly, which makes it convenient for recent grads to cut down on gas and car-repair expenses. Though Philadelphia has winters comparable to Denver’s, it is, for the most part, devoid of natural disasters like wildfires, earthquakes, and hurricanes.
With major companies in science, technology, medical fields and communications, Philly is the perfect place to get started on a career. However, the most beneficial perk of Philly is that it has cheaper rent rates than most major East Coast cities. It is a perfect place to move if you are looking for a city with a vibrant social scene and historical breadth.
Though Briggs does not mention them specifically, cities such as Phoenix, Nashville, Orlando, Tampa Bay and Charlotte are also excellent cities that have a low cost of living, various employment opportunities and ideal year-round weather. In addition, these cities provide amenities, have cultural significance and opportunities to build social networks — all aspects that can lead a recent grad to a successful life.