Forget California — the real “golden state,” at least in terms of career opportunities new college graduates, may be Texas.
That’s according to WalletHub, which has just released its list of “2015’s Best & Worst Cities to Start a Career.” Data crunchers for the website used 19 metrics — all related to local job markets and quality of life — to analyze America’s 150 largest cities. A whopping five Texas towns made the top 10, including Irving, Grand Prairie, and Austin, which occupy the top three positions.
On the whole, WalletHub reports, new grads have reason to be hopeful — especially compared to young folks in Spain and Greece, where youth unemployment exceeds 50 percent. According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, more U.S. employers are planning on hiring college grads this year, and beyond that, hiring is projected to rise for all segments of the workforce.
While Texas may look like a wonderland — especially Austin, which ranks No. 1 on the separate “qualify of life” list and No. 11 in terms of “professional opportunities” — the authors of the report insist that where you live isn’t everything.
“Young people still must learn how to maximize their marketability,” reads the report summary. “In addition to customizing cover letters and making social media accounts safe for work, that could very well entail finding a new place to live and work. After all, employment opportunities vary significantly based on simple geography.”
The report also comes with an “Ask the Experts” section, wherein representatives from various colleges and universities around the country offer their tips for new grads. While many say location matters, most stress the importance of building networks and conducting smart job searches.
“It’s less about the city and more about launching your career in the arena of interest — the opportunity to get the right experience, develop relevant skills in your field, learn under tutelage of a mentor/supervisor, and build your professional presence and network,” says Paul Tanklefsky, director of the Career Development Center at Suffolk University. “Most large cities are comprised of a broad mix of industries to tap virtually any interest.”
The complete top 10 list is below.
1. Irving, TX
2. Grand Prairie, TX
3. Austin, TX
4. Denver, CO
5. Houston, TX
6. Corpus Christi,
7. Fremont, CA
8. Fort Worth, TX
9. Sioux Falls, SD
10. Tulsa, OK