5 Surprisingly Great Cities for Recent College Grads

If you’ve just gotten your diploma and are looking for a new place to call home, here are five cities you may not have considered.

Photo By: RudyBalasko/iStock/Thinkstock

Photo By: LarryKnupp/iStock/Thinkstock

Photo By: Galina Stepanova/iStock/Thinkstock

Photo By: Maria Grushevskaya/iStock/Thinkstock

Photo By: ©iStockphoto.com/Solange_Z

Minneapolis, Minn.

Unemployment rate: 4.9

Major employers: Target Corporation, University of Minnesota, Wells Fargo

With 19 Fortune 500 companies – more per capita than any other metropolitan region – there’s no shortage of jobs in the Minneapolis area. The city also offers a low unemployment rate and the shortest average commute (24 minutes) of all metro areas.

Columbus, Ohio

Unemployment rate: 5.0

 Major employers: JPMorgan Chase, Nationwide Mutual Insurance, Ohio State University

Ohio’s capital city came in 10th on NerdWallet’s list, but its Cost of Living Index is lower than any of the previous nine cities – a major plus for a college grad just getting started in the workforce. Columbus has a well-educated population, with 34 percent of residents holding a bachelor’s degree or higher.

Austin, Texas

Unemployment rate: 4.4

Major employers: Austin School District, City of Austin, Dell, IBM Corporation

With nearly 200 live music venues and four Fortune 500 companies, it’s no surprise that this hip Texas city is popular with young people: According to Business Insider, just over a quarter of Austin residents are between 20 and 34. The city also has a low unemployment rate, and just over 40 percent of the population has bachelor’s or advanced degrees.

Raleigh, N.C.

Unemployment rate: 5.2

Major employers: IBM Corporation, North Carolina State University, Cisco Systems, Inc.

North Carolina’s Research Triangle – made up of Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill – often receives accolades for its quality of life, strong economy and excellent education system. With three nearby universities, there are many opportunities for jobs in education, as well as manufacturing, aerospace, biotechnology and green energy. 

Fargo, N.D.

Unemployment rate: 3.3

Major employers: Sanford Health, North Dakota State University, Fargo Public Schools

Fargo earned the top spot on Business Insider’s list for its remarkably low unemployment rate of 3.3 percent. The city also offers a large population of young people (28 percent of the population is between 20 and 34) and affordable housing.

Next Up

5 Great Neighborhoods in Kansas City

Find out which urban and suburban communities are at the top of the list.

Places to Go and Things to Do in Salt Lake City

View Salt Lake City's top spots for locals and tourists.

Kansas City: Like No Place Else

These events and attractions, from classic barbecue to magical holiday lights, make this Missouri city unique.

New York City: Like No Place Else

Discover NYC's unique attractions and find out why this city is like no place else.

Experience St. Patrick's Day in 5 Cities

While Ireland is the best place to celebrate St. Patrick's Day, cities throughout the United States do their best to live up to the Irish hype.

Kansas City: Sports Central

Resident fans are passionate about their NFL, MLB, minor league, collegiate and youth teams, as well as NASCAR events.

Kansas City Essentials

Go where the locals go for food, drinks, music and more.

New York City Essentials

See the best New York has to offer, from world-class art to serene nature.