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Spring is in the air, and for many college seniors this also means it’s graduation season! Aside from coordinating their cap and gown, college graduates are also faced with many major life decisions, like where they will land a job and what city they want to live in.

To help guide these recent graduates, Rent.com developed the Top 10 Best Cities for Post-Grads to shine some light on cities that make great destinations for recent college graduates.

Top 10 Cities for Post Grads

Aside from finding a great job, Rent.com also knows that college grads still like to have fun! So our list also takes into consideration lifestyle factors like number of restaurants and bars and access to nightlife and entertainment so that recent grads can work hard and play hard.

Grab your resumes and shiny new degrees, and read on to see which cities made our top 10!

10. Cincinnati, OH

Top 10 Cities for Post Grads- Cincinnati

Cincinnati is a great choice for any graduates who deem themselves nature lovers– the city maintains a park system constituting more than 5,000 acres, which amounts to approximately 10% of the city’s total land area!

While Cincinnati’s jobs per capita is on the lower side of our list (46 per 1,000 residents), the unemployment rate is way below the national average at 4.9%. With a high concentration of millennials (27%), recent grads won’t have to look far for roommates in this city!

  • Millennial Population (20-34): 27%

  • Jobs Per 1,000 Residents: 46

  • Unemployment Rate: 4.9%

  • Median Rent 2BR: $2,138

9. Baltimore, MD

Top 10 Cities for Post Grads- Baltimore

As the largest city in Maryland and the largest independent city in the U.S., Baltimore offers up plenty of jobs for its massive population with a reported 78 job postings per 1,000 residents.  Home to the renowned Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore is known for its career opportunities in health and science– med student graduates take note!

Plus it’s affordable! The average median rental rate for a  two-bedroom apartment is $1,586, giving graduates more bang for their buck.

  • Millennial Population (20-34): 25%

  • Jobs Per 1,000 Residents: 78

  • Unemployment Rate: 6.2%

  • Median Rent 2BR: $1,586

8. Raleigh, NC

Top 10 Cities for Post Grads- Raleigh

Home to several prestigious universities, Raleigh is a great city for recent grads looking to stay close to campus life. Serving as part of North Carolina’s Research Triangle, one of the country’s largest and most successful research parks, Raleigh offers up careers in healthcare, high-tech, and bio-tech research. With an unemployment rate of 4.8% and 88 job opportunities per 1,000 residents, Raleigh is a promising city for landing a job.

Raleigh also maintains a large art following through it’s housing of The North Carolina Museum of Art, which provides one of the principal public art collections located between Washington, D.C. and Atlanta.

  • Millennial Population (20-34): 26%

  • Jobs Per 1,000 Residents: 88

  • Unemployment Rate: 4.8%

  • Median Rent 2BR: $2,431

7. Seattle, WA

Top 10 Cities for Post Grads- Seattle

The taste of Starbucks Coffee isn’t the only reason Seattle is a popular city for millennials (20-34 year olds make up 28% of the total population)! Surrounded by abundant mountains and water, the Seattle area is perfect for college graduates looking for a greater sense of adventure.

This tech hub is home to several Fortune 500 companies, including Microsoft, and Amazon, making it an excellent place to find a great entry-level position in the business or technology fields.

  • Millennial Population (20-34): 28%

  • Jobs Per 1,000 Residents: 58

  • Unemployment Rate: 5.5%

  • Median Rent 2BR: $2,596

6. Austin, TX

Top 10 Cities for Post Grads- Austin

Austin may be known for its barbeque, heat, and music festivals— but it is also a burgeoning tech hub and host of the ever popular conference, South By Southwest. Austin also boasts great job opportunities with 66 job openings per 1,000 residents–many of which fall within the technology, pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries.

With many college graduates leaving their university years with tens of thousands of dollars in student debt, Austin is also a great city to consider for it’s incredibly low cost of living and high quality of life. The average rent for a two bedroom apartment is just $1,656 per month, making it easy to afford a great place to live without breaking the bank in your post-grad years.

  • Millennial Population (20-34): 29%

  • Jobs Per 1,000 Residents: 66

  • Unemployment Rate: 3.7%

  • Median Rent 2BR: $1,656

5. Boston, MA

Top 10 Cities for Post Grads- Boston

With its notable heritage and thriving collegiate sensibility, Boston marks number five on our list of best cities for college grads. Young people are flocking to Boston, with more than one in three residents falling within the 20-34 year-old age range. Even more, Boston ranks high on Indeed’s list for job postings per capita, with 83 open positions per 1,000  residents.

Although rental rates are a bit higher than a few other cities on our list–a two bedroom apartment averages about $4,498 per month–Boston’s job scene is thriving within the biotechnology and financial services industries as well as within the education and tourism arena’s, making it a great place to find an entry-level position with a solid salary.

  • Millennial Population (20-34): 33%

  • Jobs Per 1,000 Residents: 83

  • Unemployment Rate: 4.9%

  • Median Rent 2BR: $4,498

4. San Francisco, CA

Top 10 Cities for Post Grads- San Francisco

The city by the bay is known for temperate weather, outdoor living and, of course, Silicon Valley. Developers, entrepreneurs and innovators are flocking to San Francisco to try and make their technology dreams a reality. Aside from technology, many people don’t know that San Francisco is also a major financial and banking hub, with more than 30 international financial institutions in the city alone.

San Francisco enjoys a low unemployment rate of just 4.8% and ranks high on the list for job openings (73 jobs available per 1,000 residents), which is great considering the cost of living. The average rental rate for a two bedroom apartment lands around $5,255, so a great job in this town will be important in order to be able to afford living within the city proper.

  • Millennial Population (20-34): 26%

  • Jobs Per 1,000 Residents: 73

  • Unemployment Rate: 4.8%

  • Median Rent 2BR: $5,255

3. Denver, CO

Top 10 Cities for Post Grads- Denver

Denver is known for its natural beauty, world famous ski slopes, and the Denver Broncos, but the Mile High City is also home to the second highest educated population in the country. What was once a mining town back in the 1850s, is now a booming tech and aerospace hotspot, making it a great place for engineers and developers to settle down after receiving their diplomas.

With 80 jobs available per 1,000 residents, and an unemployment rate that’s well below the national average (4.5%), it’s amazing that Denver is able to stay so affordable (the median rental rate for a two bedroom apartment is $2,025 per month). Denver also has one of the most walkable downtown cores in the nation. Within a one mile radius, there are three colleges, three major sports stadiums, and more than 300 restaurants. And need we mention Amendment 64?

  • Millennial Population (20-34): 26%

  • Jobs Per 1,000 Residents: 80

  • Unemployment Rate: 4.5%

  • Median Rent 2BR: $2,025

2. Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN

Top 10 Cities for Post Grads- Minneapolis

Living in the Twin Cities is like getting a 2-for-1 deal. You get both the quaint suburban quality of St. Paul, mixed with the bustling nightlife of Minneapolis. This midwestern metropolis is very affordable, with the average rent for a two bedroom apartment at just $1,772, and boasts an unemployment rate that is well below the national average (4.1%).

Minnesota is known as the “Land of 10,000 Lakes,” so there is no shortage of outdoor activities, and with nearly one in three residents falling in the 20-34 age range, you certainly won’t struggle to find a sternman for your canoe trip down the Mississippi.

  • Millennial Population (20-34): 31%

  • Jobs Per 1,000 Residents: 64

  • Unemployment Rate: 4.1%

  • Median Rent 2BR: $1,772

1. Washington, D.C.

Top 10 Cities for Post Grads- Washington DC

Our nation’s capital is the political center of the United States, so it’s only fitting that it tops our list as the best city for post grads. The city attracts top talent with a passion for politics from all around the country, so you better be ready to put that poli-sci degree to work.

Although politics is the name of the game in D.C., the city boasts a burgeoning food and bar scene, a plethora of national parks, and one of the country’s best public transit systems, to help you get from historic Georgetown to all of the free museums at the National Mall. Boasting 87 job openings per 1,000 residents, and an unemployment rate of only 4.9%, you’ll be in great company with 29% of D.C.’s population falling between the ages of 20-34. Looking forward to casting a vote for you one day!

  • Millennial Population (20-34): 29%

  • Jobs Per 1,000 Residents: 87

  • Unemployment Rate: 4.9%

  • Median Rent 2BR: $3,287

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Top Ten Best Cities for Post-Grads

Rent.com Top 10 Cities for Post-Grads Methodology: Rent.com has assembled the Top 10 Cities for Post-Grads with the help of New York based Onboard Informatics ©2014, the premier data and technology company. All demographic data provided by Onboard Informatics is deemed reliable but not guaranteed. This list is based on cities with a population of 100,000 or more, more than 40,000 rental dwellings and a high concentration (25% or more of the total population) of millennials (adults aged 20-34). Job criteria considered included total number of jobs per capita (per 1,000 people) from Indeed.com’s Job Trends report and unemployment rate provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Lastly, Onboard informatics Lifestyle Index was reported for each city to determine restaurants, bars, nightlife, entertainment, etc. value of each city. Rental data and median rental rates were provided by Rent.com.

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