1. Salt Lake City, UT
Together with nearby Provo, Salt Lake City offers a high quality of life and numerous entry-level job openings thanks to its growing tech industry and corporate relocations. Silicon Valley darlings like Adobe, Electronic Arts and Twitter all made the move for lower taxes, a more flexible regulatory environment, and cost of living that’s nearly half that of Silicon Valley, reports Forbes. Tech employment jumped by 31% in the last decade and STEM employment growing by a healthy 17.5%.
2. Austin, TX
A growing tech and creative hub, the capital of Texas offers a lower cost of living than its East and West Coast counterparts. The city’s median base salary is $61,000 and the median home value is $247,000. Nicknamed “Silicon Hills”, young job seekers are finding that there’s more to Austin than just live music and world class BBQ. The annual SXSW festival is bringing startup talent to the city and Austin is also earning a reputation as leader in biotech jobs. As of 2016, more than 200 life science companies are located in the greater Austin area, reports STAT News.
3. Denver, CO
Young residents in the Mile High City benefit from numerous job opportunities thanks to state and local governments, USDA National Finance Center, Denver Health and United Airlines. Denver estimates that some 3,200 new firms have opened their doors in the past four years, fueling an economic boom that’s brought more than 165,000 new jobs to the broader metro area, reports the Wall Street Journal. Easy access to microbreweries, ski slopes and urban hiking trails help newcomers find that elusive work-life balance.
4. Raleigh-Durham, NC
Part of the “Research Triangle”, Raleigh-Durham is home to Duke and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In addition to university-affiliated medical and research jobs, big tech companies like IBM are also adding more jobs to the region. When adjusted for cost of living, Raleigh-Durham has the second highest starting salary, reports WalletHub with a median home value of just $209,400.
5. Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN
The Twin Cities’ hot job market more than makes up for its colder climate. The metropolitan region is home to 17 major Fortune 500 companies, boosting its ranking for professional opportunities and driving the median base salary to $65,000, according to CBS News.
6. Atlanta, GA
Atlanta has the most entry-level jobs per working-age residents, according to WalletHub plus residents enjoy a lower cost of living than many other major cities. The median annual earnings for a resident 25 or older with a bachelor’s degree are $50,420 Many young job seekers find great career starting points in one of Atlanta’s 13 Fortune 500 headquarters, including Delta Airlines, Home Depot, Coca-Cola and UPS.
7. Tacoma, WA
Tacoma ranks second for highest job growth (adjusted for population) and fifth for highest starting salary (adjusted for cost of living), according to WalletHub. Close proximity to Seattle, another top Millennial destination, means easy access to Amazon, Microsoft and smaller tech companies.
8. Columbus, OH
Ohio’s state capital delivers a low unemployment rate and an affordable median monthly rent of $809, reports NerdWallet. The city is home to Ohio State University, a major employer and research hub for young job seekers.
9. Washington, D.C.
While the nation’s capital does have a high cost of living (the median home value is $364,100), the median base salary of $70,000, numerous job openings (163,000+ according to Glassdoor), and a consistently strong economy help push DC onto our list. Plus, DC is a decidedly young city: it ranks second overall for the highest percentage of the population aged between 25 and 34, reports WalletHub.
10. Oklahoma City, OK
Once dominated by the energy industry, Oklahoma City has taken big steps in recent years to diversify its employment base. The city’s median base salary is $50,000 and with a median home value of $132,500, it’s one of the few places younger Millennials can more readily afford to buy a home, reports CBS News.
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