It’s graduation season and many new grads are deciding where they’d like to start putting down their roots. The Class of 2022 is in a great position to start their careers as many companies ramp up their hiring and benefits efforts in response to the big resignation.
According to the National Association of Colleges and Employees, employers expect to hire 31.6% more new graduates from the Class of 2022 than they hired from the Class of 2021, up 5% from their original hiring projection of 26.6% last fall.
As young professionals begin to enter the job market, they should be aware that some places offer better chance of success than others, according to the latest report from WalletHub, which ranks the best and worst places to start a career in 2022.
To compile the list, WalletHub, a personal finance website, compared 182 cities on two key dimensions: job opportunities and quality of life.
The report considers 27 measures to determine the “most favorable conditions” for new labor market entrants. For career opportunities, WalletHub compared entry-level job availability, workforce diversity, monthly average starting salary, and annual job growth rate. To define the places with the best quality of life, they compared median annual income, average length of workweek, housing affordability, and percentage of fully immunized residents.
According to WalletHub’s report, here are the 10 best cities to start a new career:
1. Salt Lake City, Utah
Total score: 65.12
Ranking of professional opportunities: 4
Quality of life ranking: 5
2. Orlando, Florida.
Total score: 63.69
Ranking of professional opportunities: 3
Quality of life ranking: 14
3. Atlanta, Georgia.
Total score: 63.17
Ranking of professional opportunities: 2
Quality of life ranking: 18
Total score: 62.58
Ranking of professional opportunities: 8
Quality of life ranking: 3
Total score: 61.38
Ranking of professional opportunities: 12
Quality of life ranking: 2
6. Boise, Idaho
Total score: 60.97
Ranking of professional opportunities: 7
Quality of life ranking: 17
7. Miami, Florida.
Total score: 60.81
Ranking of professional opportunities: 1
Quality of life ranking: 73
8. Tampa, Florida.
Total score: 60.74
Ranking of professional opportunities: 5
Quality of life ranking: 44
9. Portland, Maine
Total score: 60.63
Ranking of professional opportunities: 10
Quality of life ranking: 7
10. Columbia, South Carolina
Total score: 59.93
Ranking of professional opportunities: 6
Quality of life ranking: 33
WalletHub also identified the 10 worst cities to start a career in: Anchorage, Alaska; Long Beach, California; Pembroke Pines, Florida; Newark, New Jersey; Casper, Wyo.; Detroit, Michigan; Santa Clarita, California; New York, NY; Shreveport, Louisiana; and North Las Vegas, Nevada.
According to Rochelle Parks Yancey, a management professor at Texas Southern University and an expert featured in the report, there are three questions you should ask yourself when choosing a city to start a career in.
- Does the city have multiple industries and/or businesses you might want to work in (not just one or two)?
- Does your anticipated compensation match the lifestyle you care about?
- Is there close access to medical facilities or, if you plan to travel, to airports/public transport?
Yancey also wants people starting new careers to embrace the change, saying in the report, “No matter where you start, it doesn’t define your end. Be prepared to move as much as you want or need for new opportunities.”
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