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.

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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.

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