Best places to land after graduation, especially if they’re far from home

Sometimes people target their job hunt based on an industry where they want to work. Others choose a few employers based on their reputations or growth trajectories.

And some decide they want to live in a particular city or region, drawn by climate, by love, natural beauty or something else. Years ago, I moved to Southern California drawn by its beauty and diversity and the presence of my Aunt Helen. It helped that a high quality newspaper – The Press-Enterprise in Riverside – wanted to hire me. These days, if anyone wonderful wants to hire me in Colorado, San Francisco or Miami, those are at the top of my geographic choices, though Boston, Austin and Washington, D.C. also have their allures.

Recent college graduates may want to get as far away from home as possible, or a few may want to follow their passions (or boyfriends) to a particular place. Some may just want to go somewhere new – a move I endorse as valuable personally and professionally.

With this in mind, I offer up one list of great places to go to work after graduation. The list was created this spring by, which lists rentals, and CareerBuilder, the huge jobs site. It is based on the number of entry level jobs this spring and average starting salaries, based on CareerBuilder data, plus the average rental costs on an apartment.

These figures could be useful to anyone who’s starting to talk salary and benefits for a job next year, so I decided to share them now. This list from CareerBuilder and, includes my addition of the jobless rates:

       Metro area   Jobless rate   Avg. 1-bedrm. apartment

  1. Washington D.C.  5.5%        $1,696
  2. New York            9.1%         $1,789
  3. Boston                5.9%         $1,814
  4. Minneapolis          5.7%           $974
  5. Dallas                  6.9%          $912
  6. Atlanta                 8.9%         $855
  7. Chicago               8.8%        $1,224
  8. Houston               7.0%        $910
  9. Philadelphia           9.0%       $1,070
  10. Baltimore              7.7%       $1,235
The jobless rate comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and covers the entire metropolitan area. So for New York, the rate includes Long Island and parts of New Jersey closest to NYC. Washington, D.C.’s rate looks lower because some of the suburban areas bring the rate down. I give the August data, the most recent available, but you can check on the first Wednesday of the month for more details on number of new jobs created and other data.
So where are you headed for your next job? And why does it call to you?