Where Should You Take Your Diploma?

Just graduated? For the 60% of you who won't be moving back home, Richard Florida examines the best places for college grads to find jobs, housing, friends, and a little spending money.

Upon entering the improving, but still grim economy, in which three million new grads will compete for one million jobs, college grads can use all the help they can get to start off on a successful and independent post-college life. According to Florida, "A good way to improve your economic prospects is to pick the right place to live. Choosing the right location is one of the most important, if not the single most important, decisions you will ever make. It will influence your job and career opportunities, not to mention your ability to make friends, develop personal and professional networks, and find a potential life partner."

In ranking U.S. metropolitan areas on a variety of key criteria that are important to new grads, Florida and colleague Charlotta Mellander found that, "Greater San Francisco takes the top spot, followed closely by Silicon Valley." 

"And for those who want to avoid big cities, smaller college towns remain a great alternative. Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, is fourth; Durham, North Carolina, fifth; Gainesville, Florida, sixth; Ithaca, New York, seventh; Ann Arbor, Michigan eighth; Boulder, Colorado, 14th; and Ames, Iowa, 25th. College towns like these have highly-skilled, resilient economies. And they are great hold-over places for new grads thinking about their next move, whether it's the job market or on to grad school."

Full Story: Best Places for New College Grads, 2012



Ithaca, NY, a best place for new college grads--NOT!

I have often wondered about some of Richard Florida's work. Now I know, from first-hand observation, that there may be a good reason to be skeptical. Some smaller college towns may be a great place for new graduates to find work. Ithaca, NY (home to Cornell University) is not one of those. While the economy is stable, due to the flywheel effect of a major university and a smaller liberal arts college, there are few positions available here for new graduates--or even those with years of experience. In fact, one of the recruiting challenges that Cornell faces is a dearth of positions in the local market for highly educated partners of new faculty recruits.

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