Top Cities for College Grads

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For college seniors, the spring season means looking forward to graduation – and life beyond the college campus.

To help college graduates as they look both for work and a new place to live, Apartment Guide consulted with Indeed, the number one job site worldwide, to bring together information to match the perfect apartment with the right job.

Together, Indeed and Apartment Guide have researched the top cities with the most entry-level job openings, along with average rents for one and two bedroom apartments in these cities.

Here’s the list.

Top Ten Cities for Most Entry-Level Job Openings*

1.    Washington, D.C.:

  • 2-bedroom average rent: $1,755, average sq. ft: 985
  • 1-bedroom average rent: $1,402, average sq. ft: 705

2.    New York, NY:

  • 2-bedroom average rent: $2,067, average sq. ft.: 1,014
  • 1-bedroom average rent: $1,611, average sq. ft.: 722

3.    Houston, TX:

  • 2-bedroom average rent: $1,121, average sq. ft.: 1,024
  • 1-bedroom average rent: $854, average sq. ft.: 660

4.    Chicago, IL:

  • 2-bedroom average rent: $1,318, average sq. ft.: 990
  • 1-bedroom average rent: $1,013, average sq. ft.: 700

5.    San Francisco, CA:

  • 2-bedroom average rent: $2,337, average sq. ft.: 946
  • 1-bedroom average rent: $1,864, average sq. ft.: 663

6.    Dallas, TX:

  • 2-bedroom average rent: $1,100, average sq. ft.: 1,024
  • 1-bedroom average rent: $822, average sq. ft.: 673

7.    Austin, TX:

  • 2-bedroom average rent: $1,191, average sq. ft.: 1,006
  • 1-bedroom average rent: $947, average sq. ft.: 655

8.    Los Angeles, CA:

  • 2-bedroom average rent: $2,011, average sq. ft.: 1,013
  • 1-bedroom average rent: $1,566, average sq. ft.: 693

9.    Atlanta, GA:

  • 2-bedroom average rent: $962, average sq. ft.: 1,103
  • 1-bedroom average rent: $795, average sq. ft.: 746

10.  Phoenix, AZ:

  • 2-bedroom average rent: $831, average sq. ft.: 967
  • 1-bedroom average rent: $703, average sq. ft.: 705

A renting conundrum for the new graduate
So these are the great cities where the most jobs are available, but can a recent graduate – and new employee – realistically afford to live in them?

Here’s the rub for the entry-level employee: overall, these metros are on the expensive side. All but two of these major cities cost over a grand to rent a two bedroom apartment, on average – and in two, the cost is over two thousand a month.

There are trade-offs, of course, between having a little more space and how much more you’ll pay in rent for that space. Note the difference in rents and square footage between one and two bedroom apartments in these cities.

An often-quoted rule of thumb is to try to keep the rent within 30 percent of overall income. For recent grads starting out in new careers, these rents and the overall cost of living in these places might present a real challenge to this goal, at least in the short term. That said, these are also amazing cities to live in. They offer a great quality of life, IF you can afford it!

There’s also the roommate solution. When you can split the rent, you and a roommate can experience a more expensive city together without breaking the bank. You might even choose to focus your search on cities where the rent is more affordable. In Atlanta, splitting a rent of just under one thousand a month makes this great Southern capital a reasonable place to pay for an apartment. For another cheaper, warm weather option, consider Phoenix.

A little support at home
As you’re starting a new life around a new job in, perhaps, a new city, you deserve some support. After all, just moving to a new place is stressful enough. Apartment communities that offer helpful amenities can make settling in a little easier.

Many apartment communities offer services key to new professionals. A full-time Business Center can be an invaluable backup to a home office. A friendly space with shared wi-fi on-site can make connecting feel like more of a shared experience. Communities which offer electronic rent payment make that monthly responsibility a little easier to take care of.

All of these amenities and more can be searched via ApartmentGuide.com to help you find the right apartment for your needs, straight out of college.

*Methodology: Indeed.com looked at their job posting data and determined these cities based on the number of postings per city associated with an Indeed.com search for “entry level” in March 2014. Apartment Guide looked at their internal listing data to determine the average rent and square feet for both a one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartment in these locations.

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3 thoughts on “Top Cities for College Grads

  1. Pingback: The 10 Best Cities For Recent College Graduates | Genius Pioneer

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