Finding a job in this market is tough enough for a new college graduate without living in a community that has little to offer a fresh-faced, highly skilled and motivated worker who is looking for love and plenty of activities to do off the job.
That’s why Kiplinger has assembled a 10 Best Places for New Grads list and – of course – Boulder is named No. 3.
The publication says the best places for new college grads have three main traits in common: good-paying jobs, an affordable lifestyle and an active social scene.
Kiplinger considered the median salaries of bachelor's-degree holders with up to three years of work experience in the nation’s 200 largest metro areas; big cities that are friendly to young adults’ budgets; concentrations of residents in their 20s; and cities with low unemployment rates for their overall population as well as for people in their 20s.
Boulder, with 17 percent of its population in its 20s, a median income for recent college grads of $41,900 a year and an average cost of living just 4.5 percent above the national average, came in third on that list behind Salt Lake City, Utah, and Ann Arbor, Mich.
“For crowd-averse new grads, Boulder is an attractive choice, with the smallest population of all the cities on this list. But fewer people doesn't mean fewer opportunities. Colorado is adding jobs, and Boulder already sports the lowest unemployment rate for people in their 20s at 7.9 percent (versus 11.9 percent for the U.S.), "according to Kiplinger." Major employers include the University of Colorado Boulder, IBM and Ball Aerospace.
In both Boulder and Denver, which is about 30 miles south, you can expect jobs to pay well. Entry-level employees with bachelor's degrees in Denver typically earn a slightly better $42,500 a year. Both metro areas offer affordable living costs. But Boulder comes out ahead on the abundance of 20-somethings — just 14 percent of Denver's population is in their 20s, versus Boulder's 17 percent share.
“Not surprisingly, outdoor enthusiasts will have plenty of hiking, climbing and biking to do at the foot of the Rocky Mountains. Beverage-lovers can also get their fill of fun in Boulder ...,” Kiplinger reports.
Here’s a look at Kiplinger’s Top 10 Best Places for New Grads:
1. Salt Lake City, Utah
2. Ann Arbor, Mich.
3. Boulder, CO
4. Houston, TX
5. Anchorage, Alaska
6. San Diego, CA
7. Phoenix, AZ
8. Washington, D.C.
9. Dallas, TX
10. Seattle, WA
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