15 Best Small Cities For New Grads 2019

Smallsize-cities

Finishing college and heading out into the world is an exciting time in life. Deciding where to live can impact your spending, your activities, your engagement level, friendships, outdoor life and even business opportunities.

If you are hooked on the idea of living and working in a small town, this list of the 15 best small cities for new grads could help with your decision-making. With cities located from the West to East coast — and even in the Midwest — our list highlights areas ranked for median earnings for bachelor’s degree holders, number of art and entertainment centers, overall state employment growth and more. New for this year’s list, we also considered factors such as commute time to work and crime rate. In fact, the small cities were rated on seven metrics in all, using a 10-point scale.

List of 15 Best Small Cities for New Grads 2019

To compile this year’s list, we looked at 335 U.S. cities with populations of 50,000 to 150,000, using data from the U.S. Census Bureau. This year’s list features new cities like Abilene, Texas, Bowling Green, Kentucky and College Station, Texas. What you find may surprise you, so keep on reading this OnlineDegrees.com article for highlights on 15 of the best small cities for new grads in the U.S.

1. Bloomington, Illinois

Bloomington

Abraham Lincoln once spent time in the Bloomington area serving as an attorney, but this city of 75,000-plus residents offers more than just a historical perspective to new grads. Bloomington, located in central Illinois, made our list of best small cities for new grads for its satisfyingly low unemployment rate (lower than the national average, as of March 2019) and high average wages for bachelor’s degree holders — reaching above $74,000.

Those wages, which happen to be above the national average, too, could be put to use enjoying British car shows, kite festivals, and wine, cheese and chocolate festivals or for visiting nearby vineyards or the aquatic center. All in all, new grads can expect to find Midwestern hospitality in this city, located in the central part of the state.

Featured data points:

  • Percent of population between 20 and 34, 2017: 25.4%
  • Median rent, 2017: $721
  • Median earnings for bachelor’s degree holders, 2017: $74,853
  • Average projected job growth rate statewide among jobs requiring a bachelor’s degree or above, 2016-26: 5.8%
  • Art and entertainment centers: 340
  • Average commute time to work: 15.6
  • Crime rate per 100K people: 4,465

2. Greenville, South Carolina

Greenville

Averaging 220 sunny days each year, Greenville is rich not only in sunshine, but also in potential opportunity for new graduates. This city of 68,000-plus people has more than 250 international firms and the highest foreign investment per capital in the entire country. Its downtown skyline includes multi-use buildings, condos and new hotel development while the city’s Eastside is a hub for innovation and technology.

Greenville, located close to the Blue Ridge Mountains, made our list of best small cities for new grads for its high number of art and entertainment centers, low unemployment rate and short commute time. Any new grad moving there might enjoy the 30-foot waterfalls at the city’s Fall Parks, too.

Featured data points:

  • Percent of population between 20 and 34, 2017: 25.4%
  • Median rent, 2017: $802
  • Median earnings for bachelor’s degree holders, 2017: $52,523
  • Average projected job growth rate statewide among jobs requiring a bachelor’s degree or above, 2016-26: 11.6%
  • Art and entertainment centers: 751
  • Average commute time to work: 20.9
  • Crime rate per 100K people: 10,658

3. Lafayette, Indiana

Lafayette

It may come as a surprise that Axl Rose, Neil Armstrong and Amelia Earhart have ties to Lafayette, Indiana, but there are plenty of other inspiring reasons to move to this city of approximately 71,000 people. Home to Purdue University, a research institution, as well as a diversified community featuring education, manufacturing, retail and transportation, new grads may want to call this city, located 108 miles southeast of Chicago, home.

Out of all the small cities featured on this list, Lafayette scored closest to the top for shortest average commute time. The city also ranked fairly well for the number of entertainment centers it has per 100,000 people. The Wabash Heritage Trail, Celery Bog Nature area and farmers markets are just a few ways for new grads and young adults to enjoy their time there.

Featured data points:

  • Percent of population between 20 and 34, 2017: 27.8%
  • Median rent, 2017: $740
  • Median earnings for bachelor’s degree holders, 2017: $55,541
  • Average projected job growth rate statewide among jobs requiring a bachelor’s degree or above, 2016-26: 7.6%
  • Art and entertainment centers: 359
  • Average commute time to work: 16.6
  • Crime rate per 100K people: 10,638

4. Bowling Green, Kentucky

Bowling-Green

Entirely new to our list of best small cities for new grads, Bowling Green is the third most populated city in Kentucky and has a location that is about 60 miles north of Nashville. Still, its population of about 67,000 residents makes it a quaint place for living and starting out a career. In fact, it’s no small point of pride that Duncan Hines, the well-known cake mix creator, was born and lived there.

New grads can make their own opportunities in this city that is home to top-of-the line attractions, natural wonders and friendly neighborhood communities. Bowling Green ranked moderately well for median earnings for bachelor’s degree holders, median rent and number of arts and entertainment centers. New grads might seek employment at places such as Western Kentucky University, Sun Products Corporation or General Motors Corporation.

Featured data points:

  • Percent of population between 20 and 34, 2017: 31.8%
  • Median rent, 2017: $663
  • Median earnings for bachelor’s degree holders, 2017: $51,285
  • Average projected job growth rate statewide among jobs requiring a bachelor’s degree or above, 2016-26: 6.5%
  • Art and entertainment centers: 402
  • Average commute time to work: 17.7
  • Crime rate per 100K people: 10,616

5. Eau Claire, Wisconsin

Eau-Claire-city

This town of nearly 70,000 people is located where the Eau Claire and Chippewa rivers meet, but also prides itself as being the “Indie Capital of the Midwest.” Live music, the Chippewa River Water Trail and the River Prairie Amphitheater provide many opportunities for enjoyment while strong industries in healthcare, hi-tech, manufacturing and retail provide leads for jobs.

A university town, Eau Claire scored near the top of cities on this list for stellar commute time — just 16 minutes — and also ranked fairly well for number of entertainment centers and median rent. New grads who love the water may just love Eau Claire — which also happens to be French for ‘clear water.’

Featured data points:

  • Percent of population between 20 and 34, 2017: 30%
  • Median rent, 2017: $712
  • Median earnings for bachelor’s degree holders, 2017: $50,872
  • Average projected job growth rate statewide among jobs requiring a bachelor’s degree or above, 2016-26: 6.7%
  • Art and entertainment centers: 386
  • Average commute time to work: 16
  • Crime rate per 100K people: 5,418

6. Conway, Arkansas

Conway-city

Scoring the lowest for crime rate of all 15 cities on this list, Conway has its own police department that patrols the city by district. The Conway Police Department website also provides crime statistics, information on calls for service and crash reports. New graduates may be interested in moving to this safe city and pursuing a job in law enforcement or with other employers such as Acxiom Corporation — a telecommunications company, Conway Regional Health System or the University of Central Arkansas.

The downtown area, home to more than 300 businesses, also features a data district offering gigabyte internet service. This city of 65,000 also ranked well for median rent and median earnings for bachelor’s degree holders.

Featured data points:

  • Percent of population between 20 and 34, 2017: 29.8%
  • Median rent, 2017: $701
  • Median earnings for bachelor’s degree holders, 2017: $57,295
  • Average projected job growth rate statewide among jobs requiring a bachelor’s degree or above, 2016-26: 10.4%
  • Art and entertainment centers: 284
  • Average commute time to work: 18.4
  • Crime rate per 100K people: 822

7. Mountain View, California

Mountain-View

Most people know that Mountain View is home to the iconic Google Corporation (employing 24,000 people), but few know that this city has a population of just over 80,000 and was originally founded as a stagecoach station. Although rent in this city is high compared to other cities on this list, the city also has a rent stabilization and fair rent act to help keep rent from sky-rocketing.

In addition to looking for employment with Google, new grads could seek opportunities with companies like Microsoft, Mozilla, Omnicell or Symantec – companies that are located in Mountain View. The city, which offers a view of the mountains, ranked second highest on our list for median earnings for bachelor’s degree holders (above $70,000). Earnings like these could help to offset the city’s rent and cost of living, but could also help make diversions in the city or elsewhere along the southwest shore of San Francisco Bay more affordable.

Featured data points:

  • Percent of population between 20 and 34, 2017: 30.9%
  • Median rent, 2017: $1,617
  • Median earnings for bachelor’s degree holders, 2017: $72,073
  • Average projected job growth rate statewide among jobs requiring a bachelor’s degree or above, 2016-26: 10.7%
  • Art and entertainment centers: 419
  • Average commute time to work: 24.2
  • Crime rate per 100K people: 5,445

8. College Station, Texas

College-Station

Home to the main campus of Texas A&M, College Station is a welcoming place for new graduates of schools in the Lone Star state or elsewhere in the U.S. College Station, located in East Central Texas, ranked well among the small cities on our list for average commute time, affordable median rent and low unemployment — in fact, its rate is even lower than the national average.

Young adults who are keen on night life can head to the city’s Northgate district, which features clubs, local restaurants and sports bars. New grads also can get outdoors to enjoy the likes of the Texas Renaissance Festival, the Brazos Valley Boofest or the Bluebonnet Annual Rod Run. It may come as no surprise that Texas A&M is a top employer in College Station, but so is St. Joseph Regional Health System, Sanderson Farms, Inc., and Reynolds and Reynolds, an automotive software development company.

Featured data points:

  • Percent of population between 20 and 34, 2017: 42.2%
  • Median rent, 2017: $875
  • Median earnings for bachelor’s degree holders, 2017: $49,680
  • Average projected job growth rate statewide among jobs requiring a bachelor’s degree or above, 2016-26: 16.6%
  • Art and entertainment centers: 273
  • Average commute time to work: 16.1
  • Crime rate per 100K people: 5,082

9. Tyler, Texas

Tyler-city

Known as the Rose Capital of America, the city of Tyler is captivating for its large municipal rose garden, but also its rolling hills and the abundance of natural lakes in the area. Tyler joins our list of best small cities for new grads for an average commute time of less than 20 minutes and median rent of less than $830. Other appreciable factors are its large number of art and entertainment centers — important in a city of nearly 105,000 — and median wages of more than $60,000 for bachelor’s degree holders. Named after President John Tyler, the city has a strong business base in education, healthcare, manufacturing, retail and, of course, rose growing.

Featured data points:

  • Percent of population between 20 and 34, 2017: 20.8%
  • Median rent, 2017: $832
  • Median earnings for bachelor’s degree holders, 2017: $61,447
  • Average projected job growth rate statewide among jobs requiring a bachelor’s degree or above, 2016-26: 16.6%
  • Art and entertainment centers: 338
  • Average commute time to work: 19.9
  • Crime rate per 100K people: 8,746

10. Fargo, North Dakota

Fargo-City

Even though Fargo is North Dakota’s largest city, it still has a population that is just under 125,000. Named after a partner in the original Wells, Fargo and Company, the city has an airport (with service from five airlines), a downtown area with a bicycle zone and lockers, and a business improvement district.

New grads to this city might be drawn by its top commute time — the best on this list — at 14.9 minutes and low employment rate of just 2.9 percent. Fargo also offers affordable rents and plenty to do in terms of arts and entertainment, including the theater, performing arts, opera, galleries and museums. Swimming pools, golfing, trails and parks provide additional activities for new graduates.

Featured data points:

  • Percent of population between 20 and 34, 2017: 32.3%
  • Median rent, 2017: $752
  • Median earnings for bachelor’s degree holders, 2017: $48,934
  • Average projected job growth rate statewide among jobs requiring a bachelor’s degree or above, 2016-26: 11.4%
  • Art and entertainment centers: 313
  • Average commute time to work: 14.9
  • Crime rate per 100K people: 6,652

11. Columbia, South Carolina

Columbia

Averaging 222 days of sunshine a year and an average of two inches of snow, Columbia provides an ample number of bright days for exploration. This capital city of South Carolina has a population of just more than 135,000 people and offers a stellar commute time of about 15 minutes — advantageous for new grads who may be headed to a company like Palmetto Health (employing more than 7,000 people) or other large businesses in the city, including Branch Banking & Trust Company or the University of South Carolina. Also offering ample arts and entertainment venues and a very agreeable median rent, Columbia could be a good choice for people who enjoy the water. In fact, the city has a 50,000-acre lake and three rivers that run through it.

Featured data points:

  • Percent of population between 20 and 34, 2017: 31.5%
  • Median rent, 2017: $711
  • Median earnings for bachelor’s degree holders, 2017: $49,890
  • Average projected job growth rate statewide among jobs requiring a bachelor’s degree or above, 2016-26: 11.6%
  • Art and entertainment centers: 413
  • Average commute time to work: 15.2
  • Crime rate per 100K people: 12,485

12. Johnson City, Tennessee

Johnson-City

Boating, disc golf and walking trails make Johnson City, located in Eastern Tennessee, a unique place for graduates fresh out of college. Young adults can put their skills to work through a variety of potential employers, such as East Tennessee State University (Known at ETSU!), Mountain State Health Alliance and AO Smith Water Products Company. They can also feel right at home in a city that knows how to celebrate. Johnson City recognizes 150 years in 2019 and boasts numerous events including Business and Biscuits, the Regional Excellence Awards and a birthday bash in commemoration of the city’s founder, Henry Johnson.

Johnson City, with just more than 65,000 residents, made our list of best small cities for new grads for its wide options in terms of arts and entertainment centers, low median rent and a commute-to-work time of less than 20 minutes.

Featured data points:

  • Percent of population between 20 and 34, 2017: 24.3%
  • Median rent, 2017: $705
  • Median earnings for bachelor’s degree holders, 2017: $51,759
  • Average projected job growth rate statewide among jobs requiring a bachelor’s degree or above, 2016-26: 11.2%
  • Art and entertainment centers: 399
  • Average commute time to work: 19.1
  • Crime rate per 100K people: 8,133

13. Abilene, Texas

Abilene-city-Texas

Who would think that Abilene, Texas could offer such vast opportunities to new grads? This Western-Central Texas town is home to an historic fort, a convention center, a zoo, runners club, opera association (yes!) and even a regional airport, with flights offered through American Airlines. Not every small city offers these advantages, but this city of more than 125,000 people does.

In fact, Abilene is the center of a larger 22 county area, often called the Texas Midwest or simply “Big Country.” Offering industry as varied as commerce, distribution, education and hospitality, Abilene is located in a state with strong projected employment, but also in an area full of history and culture. Young professionals may find this city’s short commute times and affordable median rents attractive as well as be drawn by the history of a once rowdy frontier town.

Featured data points:

  • Percent of population between 20 and 34, 2017: 29.1%
  • Median rent, 2017: $738
  • Median earnings for bachelor’s degree holders, 2017: $51,015
  • Average projected job growth rate statewide among jobs requiring a bachelor’s degree or above, 2016-26: 16.6%
  • Art and entertainment centers: 272
  • Average commute time to work: 16.4
  • Crime rate per 100K people: 9,823

14. Fort Smith, Arkansas

Fort-Smith

It may be hard to beat the low median rent and higher median earnings available in Fort Smith, but this city of 88,000-plus also offers a low crime rate and a wide range of arts and entertainment choices for up-and-coming professionals. Located in northwest Arkansas, along the Arkansas River, the city’s original pioneering spirit lives on today in its welcoming, inviting atmosphere.

Top employers in Fort Smith include the Sparks Health System, Mercy Hospital Fort Smith, Baldor Electric Company and the trucking and logistics company, ArcBest Corporation. Fort Smith is also home to strong industries in manufacturing, retail and mining, oil and gas extraction. The city is located near the junction of two interstates, providing plenty of opportunity for travel in and out of this historic, but contemporary town.

Featured data points:

  • Percent of population between 20 and 34, 2017: 19.7%
  • Median rent, 2017: $518
  • Median earnings for bachelor’s degree holders, 2017: $61,936
  • Average projected job growth rate statewide among jobs requiring a bachelor’s degree or above, 2016-26: 10.4%
  • Art and entertainment centers: 306
  • Average commute time to work: 16.3
  • Crime rate per 100K people: 1,471

15. Santa Clara, California

Santa-Clara

This business-friendly city of 127,000 is home to tree-lined communities, busy shopping areas and tech companies such as Agilent Technologies, Chegg, Hortonworks, Nvidia and Oracle. Nearly 30 percent of the population in this city is between the ages of 20 and 34 and the median earning for bachelor’s degree holders — above $60,000 — help to make rent more affordable.

New grads could find inspiring opportunities at Santa Clara University — or go back to school there — and also head out to San Francisco 49ers games or city-sponsored events, like sunset cinemas. Grads also might be interested in the ongoing sustainability speaker series, broaching topics such as urban bicycling and adopting zero waste behaviors, or take in technology history at the Intel Museum.

Featured data points:

  • Percent of population between 20 and 34, 2017: 28.5%
  • Median rent, 2017: $1,580
  • Median earnings for bachelor’s degree holders, 2017: $60,587
  • Average projected job growth rate statewide among jobs requiring a bachelor’s degree or above, 2016-26: 10.7%
  • Art and entertainment centers: 348
  • Average commute time to work: 23.8
  • Crime rate per 100K people: 6,053

Methodology

For this analysis, we ranked 335 U.S. cities that had a city population of more than or equal to 50,000 but less than 150,000 according to 2017 estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau. Each city was ranked on a 10 point scale, using the following seven data points and the weights specified.

  1. Median monthly rent adjusted to the Cost of Living Index, American Community Survey, 2017
  2. Percent of housing units that are occupied by renters rather than owners, American Community Survey, 2017
  3. Percent of the population between the ages of 20 and 34, American Community Survey, 2017
  4. Median earnings for bachelor’s degree holders adjusted to the Cost of Living Index, American Community Survey, 2017
  5. Arts & Entertainment: The number of performing arts, spectator sports and related industries; museums and historical sites; restaurants; and bars per 100,000 residents in each metro area, U.S. Census Population Estimates, 2012; County Business Patterns, 2012
  6. State job growth projections: The average projected growth rate and the projected number of new jobs per 100 people in each metro area, 2016-26, Projections Central, 2016
  7. Unemployment rate, American Community Survey, 2017
  8. Average Commute time, American Community Survey, 2017
  9. Crime rate per 100,000 people, Uniform Crime Reporting, 2015

Methodology Sources:

  • American Community Survey, 2017, U.S. Census Bureau, https://www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/
  • 2017 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2016-26 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov; 2016-26 State Occupational Projections, Projections Central, projectionscentral.com
  • Uniform Crime Reporting, 2015, Federal Bureau of Investigation, https://ucr.fbi.gov/crime-in-the-u.s/2015/crime-in-the-u.s.-2015

Sources:

  • 20 Best Companies To Work For In Santa Clara, CA, Zippia, Accessed April 2019, https://www.zippia.com/company/best-companies-in-santa-clara-ca/
  • 24 Reasons You Need To Move to Lafayette, Indiana, MoveTo.com, Accessed April 2019, https://www.movoto.com/blog/opinions/24-reasons-you-need-to-move-to-lafayette/
  • About Abilene, City of Abilene, Texas, Accessed April 2019, http://abilenetx.gov/living/about-abilene
  • About Bowling Green, KY, Visit BGKY, Accessed April 2019, https://www.visitbgky.com/visit/about-bgky/about-bowling-green/
  • About BN, Visit BN, Accessed March 2019, http://www.visitbn.org/about/
  • About Santa Clara, City of Santa Clara, Accessed April 2019, http://santaclaraca.gov/government/about-santa-clara
  • About Tyler Texas, Tyler Texas Online, Accessed April 2019, https://www.tylertexasonline.com/about-tyler-texas.htm
  • Area History, Home of Purdue, Accessed April 2019, https://www.homeofpurdue.com/ourcommunity/areahistory/
  • Arts & Culture, Fargo Moorhead, Accessed April 2019, https://www.fargomoorhead.org/things-to-do/arts-culture/
  • College Station TX Top Employers, Livability.com, Accessed April 2019, https://livability.com/tx/college-station/business/college-station-tx-top-employers
  • Events, Visit BN, Accessed March 2019, http://www.visitbn.org/events/categories/festivals/
  • Fargo, Encyclopedia Britannica, Accessed April 2019, https://www.britannica.com/place/Fargo-North-Dakota
  • Fort Smith, Arkansas.com, Accessed April 2019, https://www.arkansas.com/fort-smith
  • Industries in Eau Claire, City of Eau Claire, Accessed April 2019, https://www.eauclairedevelopment.com/doing-business/major-industries/
  • In the Beginning, Visit Greenville, S.C., Accessed April 2019, https://www.visitgreenvillesc.com/about-greenville/history/
  • Johnson City 150, Johnson City, Tennessee, Accessed April 2019, https://www.johnsoncitytn.org/residents/jctn150/index.php
  • Living in Columbia, Columbia, South Carolina, Accessed April 2019, http://columbiasouthcarolina.net/
  • Local Attractions, The George, Accessed April 2019, https://www.thegeorgetexas.com/things-to-do.htm
  • Major Employers in Washington County, Tennessee, Johnson City Source Book, Accessed April 2019, http://johnsoncitysourcebook.com/major-employers-in-washington-county-tennessee/
  • Major Mountain View Companies, City of Mountain View, Accessed April 2019, https://www.mountainview.gov/depts/comdev/economicdev/companies.asp
  • Rent Stabilization, City of Mountain View, Accessed April 2019, https://www.mountainview.gov/depts/comdev/preservation/rentstabilization/default.asp
  • Top Employers-Bowling Green, Bowling Green, Kentucky, Accessed April 2019, http://www.bgky.org/businesses/top-employers
  • Top Employers in Columbia, S.C., Livability.com, Accessed April 2019, https://livability.com/sc/columbia/business/top-employers-in-columbia-sc
  • Top Employers in Fort Smith, AK, Livability.com, Accessed April 2019, https://livability.com/ar/fort-smith/business/top-employers-in-fort-smith-ar
  • Welcome to Eau Claire, Visit Eau Claire, Accessed April 2019, https://www.visiteauclaire.com/

15 Best Midsize Cities For New Grads 2019

Midsize-cities

When newly minted college grads are ready to begin those careers they’ve worked so hard for, they should first decide where to start looking.

Graduates are often told that the world is their oyster, but it’s an awfully big world out there. Which cities are best for starting a career in one’s chosen field? A mid-sized city, one that’s not too big and not too small might be a great place to start looking — one that offers plenty of opportunity without costing you a fortune and making you feel lost in the shuffle.

OnlineDegrees.com can help. In this year’s ranking of the best mid cities to live in for new grads, we’ve ranked 141 of the nation’s metropolitan areas with populations of 150,000-750,000, according to a 10-point scale for nine different factors, ranging from monthly rental prices and median earnings for bachelor’s degree holders to job growth projections and even arts and entertainment offerings. New this year are two additional metrics: average commute time and crime rate.

List of 15 Best Midsize Cities for New Grads

Whether you’re ready to relocate or just want to know where your hometown ranks on our list, keep reading to discover the best big cities for new college graduates.

1. Chattanooga, Tennessee

Chattanooga

A newcomer to our ranking, Chattanooga rocketed to the top of our list thanks to several factors, including job growth that surpasses the national average, impressive business expansions, affordable housing and stunning natural beauty, nestled between the Appalachians and the Tennessee River.

In fact, Chattanooga’s business growth is projected to outperform the nation, according to a power poll of civic and government leaders. Recently, Volkswagen, Wacker Chemical and Amazon invested millions in new facilities in Chattanooga, contributing to Chattanooga’s economic growth and new status as a tech hub. Additionally, its growing reputation for being startup friendly is due to investments in city-wide internet infrastructure, an Innovation District and the Southeast’s first co-living space, the Tomorrow Building.

Featured data points:

  • Percent of population between 20 and 34, 2017: 23.4%
  • Median rent, 2017: $768.96
  • Median earnings for bachelor’s degree holders, 2017: $54,975.09
  • Average projected job growth rate statewide among jobs requiring a bachelor’s degree or above, 2016-26: 11.2%
  • Art and entertainment centers per 100K population: 416
  • Average commute time to work: 17.9 minutes
  • Crime rate per 100K people: 13,825.31

2. Amarillo, Texas

Amarillo

Moving from third place to second, Amarillo not only just experienced its fastest rate of job growth since 2011, but also is currently experiencing an all-time high rate of employment. In fact, economists say Texas tops the nation in creating high-quality jobs over the last three decades.

Though the economy in Amarillo as a whole is performing well, hospitality, mining, construction, education and health services jobs are experiencing the largest gains. Of course, oil is big business in Amarillo, but it’s also home to the Wildorado Wind Ranch, one of North America’s largest wind turbine manufacturing facilities. And Amarillo’s recent downtown revitalization has not only earned kudos for its use of historic buildings, but it helped to fill vacancies in the city’s core with new hotels, retail stores, bars, restaurants and housing.

Featured data points:

  • Percent of population between 20 and 34, 2017: 21.6%
  • Median rent, 2017: $744.78
  • Median earnings for bachelor’s degree holders, 2017: $55,314.84
  • Average projected job growth rate statewide among jobs requiring a bachelor’s degree or above, 2016-26: 16.6%
  • Art and entertainment centers per 100K population: 285.7
  • Average commute time to work: 18.3 minutes
  • Crime rate per 100K people: 10,625.35

3. Madison, Wisconsin

Madison

Madison moved from sixth place to third this year. Economists say Madison’s economy is one of the nation’s best, thanks to impressively high average wages, nearly rock-bottom unemployment rates, low cost of living and highly rated quality of life.

Madison is a leader in renewable energy, as evidenced by the MadiSun program, which has helped about 100 homeowners and businesses install solar power since 2012, and a more ambitious plan, called Sustainable Madison, to achieve 100 percent renewable energy and zero net carbon emissions by 2030.

It’s also an emerging digital health startup hub and is home to electronic health records giant Epic Systems as well as HealthX Ventures, a venture capital firm devoted to digital health.

Featured data points:

  • Percent of population between 20 and 34, 2017: 35.1%
  • Median rent, 2017: $1,103.23
  • Median earnings for bachelor’s degree holders, 2017: $52,893.80
  • Average projected job growth rate statewide among jobs requiring a bachelor’s degree or above, 2016-26: 6.7%
  • Art and entertainment centers per 100K population: 338.51
  • Average commute time to work: 19.9 minutes
  • Crime rate per 100K people: 6,270.47

4. Little Rock, Arkansas

Little-Rock

Little Rock’s convenient location in the nation’s heartland, at the crossroads of I-30 and I-40, means that 40 percent of America’s population is within a 550-mile radius. This paired with the Port of Little Rock, a designated Foreign Trade Zone and U.S. Customs Point of Entry, gives the city a leg up economically, making it appealing as a distribution and logistics hub, with such companies as FedEx Corp., UPS, Walmart and J.B. Hunt Transport, Inc. calling it home.

By far its largest employer is the Arkansas state government, employing 9.4 percent of the area’s workers, with healthcare, banking, technology, advanced manufacturing, agriculture and education rounding out the list of top-employing industries.

Featured data points:

  • Percent of population between 20 and 34, 2017: 21.4%
  • Median rent, 2017: $785.78
  • Median earnings for bachelor’s degree holders, 2017: $50,417.80
  • Average projected job growth rate statewide among jobs requiring a bachelor’s degree or above, 2016-26: 10.4%
  • Art and entertainment centers per 100K population: 339.89
  • Average commute time to work: 18.3 minutes
  • Crime rate per 100K people: 2,632.81

5. Huntsville, Alabama

Huntsville

Huntsville, a newcomer to this list, is the nation’s top metro area for aerospace/defense and is home to such giants as NASA’s U.S. Space & Rocket Center and Marshall Space Flight Center as well as Boeing — both among the city’s top five employers. Graduates with STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) degrees may appreciate knowing that Huntsville is one of the nation’s top centers for STEM jobs, with 16.7 percent of its workforce employed in these professions. The preponderance of these high-paying jobs may help explain why Hunstville’s median earnings are the highest on our list.

Other top employers in Huntsville include the U.S. Army, the city’s hospital and the school system. Healthcare also is thriving here; it’s home to the world’s first genomic medical clinic, where innovations are happening in cancer research.

Featured data points:

  • Percent of population between 20 and 34, 2017: 22.8%
  • Median rent, 2017: $709.35 (tie)
  • Median earnings for bachelor’s degree holders, 2017: $68,975.76
  • Average projected job growth rate statewide among jobs requiring a bachelor’s degree or above, 2016-26: 6.9%
  • Art and entertainment centers per 100K population: 312.23
  • Average commute time to work: 19.8 minutes
  • Crime rate per 100K people: 1,427.62

6. Mobile, Alabama

Mobile-Alabama

One of the six Southern cities to make this year’s list, Mobile is another newcomer, thanks to its low rental prices, relatively high earnings for bachelor’s degree holders and one of the lowest crime rates on our list.

Huntsville isn’t Alabama’s only aerospace hub. Mobile is home to the Airbus U.S. Manufacturing Facility, Airbus Engineering, SAFRAN, Continental Motors, MAAS Aviation, Aerostar and other major companies, making it an ideal destination for STEM graduates. Healthcare graduates may find that Mobile is a regional center for medical care, research and education, with such organizations as the USA Mitchell Cancer Institute and the University of South Alabama’s College of Medicine; roughly 12 percent of the workforce is employed in the healthcare sector in Mobile.

Featured data points:

  • Percent of population between 20 and 34, 2017: 24.2%
  • Median rent, 2017: $709.35 (tie)
  • Median earnings for bachelor’s degree holders, 2017: $54,874.94
  • Average projected job growth rate statewide among jobs requiring a bachelor’s degree or above, 2016-26: 6.9%
  • Art and entertainment centers per 100K population: 292.21
  • Average commute time to work: 21.9 minutes
  • Crime rate per 100K people: 1,060.93

7. Scottsdale, Arizona

Scottsdale

With rates of job growth and salaries for bachelor’s degree holders that are among our list’s highest, Scottsdale makes a new appearance on our list at No. 7. The Scottsdale Economic Development Strategic Plan indicates that the city’s leaders have prioritized high rates of employment and sustainable growth, improved public services and business-friendly incentives. It seems to be working, with targeted industries such as healthcare and bio-life sciences, advanced business services (finance and insurance), technology and hospitality all seeing significant employment growth. The city is home to nearly 20 percent of Arizona’s corporate headquarters.

Plus, quality of life here ranks highly, thanks to our list’s lowest crime rate and its range of recreational offerings, from golfing and hiking trails to fine dining, shopping and scenic beauty. Scottsdale is a great location for new graduates looking for a big city feeling without the big city hassles.

Featured data points:

  • Percent of population between 20 and 34, 2017: 19.6%
  • Median rent, 2017: $1,215.36
  • Median earnings for bachelor’s degree holders, 2017: $67,983.57
  • Average projected job growth rate statewide among jobs requiring a bachelor’s degree or above, 2016-26: 18.6%
  • Art and entertainment centers per 100K population: 366.08
  • Average commute time to work: 22.8 minutes
  • Crime rate per 100K people: 328.38

8. Omaha, Nebraska

Omaha-Nebraska

Situated in the middle of the country, Omaha is also situated in the middle of what one expert calls “a sweet spot” — earning high marks for quality of life, economic strength and affordability. Demographer David Drozd, a census expert at the University of Nevada at Omaha’s Center for Public Affairs Research says Omaha’s College World Series, U.S. Olympics Swim Trials, world-class zoo and four Fortune 500 firms makes it a standout winner among mid-sized cities.

Omaha moves from tenth to eighth place this year with low crime, great recreational offerings and a startup culture, not to mention a cost of living that’s lower than the national average. Its largest sector of employers is in healthcare, including the CHI Health System, Methodist Health System, Nebraska Medicine, University of Nebraska Medical Center and Children’s Hospital & Medical Center.

Featured data points:

  • Percent of population between 20 and 34, 2017: 19.6%
  • Median rent, 2017: $1,215.36
  • Median earnings for bachelor’s degree holders, 2017: $67,983.57
  • Average projected job growth rate statewide among jobs requiring a bachelor’s degree or above, 2016-26: 18.6%
  • Art and entertainment centers per 100K population: 366.08
  • Average commute time to work: 22.8 minutes
  • Crime rate per 100K people: 328.38

9. Cincinnati, Ohio

Cincinnati-Ohio

Last year, the Queen City didn’t even place on our list. This year it ranks ninth as a result of growth that outpaces the national rate and an economy that’s one of the Midwest’s largest by GDP. Its economic health is driven by diversification and large companies headquartered here, such as Kroger and Procter & Gamble. Meanwhile, housing costs in Cincinnati are low and housing is plentiful, thanks to efforts to refurbish and rent out existing older buildings.

The metro area’s largest employment sector is trade, transportation and utilities, due to its picturesque location at the confluence of the Little Miami and Great Miami rivers and international airport.

Featured data points:

  • Percent of population between 20 and 34, 2017: 27.9%
  • Median rent, 2017: $630.73
  • Median earnings for bachelor’s degree holders, 2017: $54,498.11
  • Average projected job growth rate statewide among jobs requiring a bachelor’s degree or above, 2016-26: 4.4%
  • Art and entertainment centers per 100K population: 291.07
  • Average commute time to work: 22.9 minutes
  • Crime rate per 100K people: 13,017.37

10. Sioux Falls, South Dakota

south-dakota

With a high concentration of arts and entertainment options, low rental prices and short commute times, the quality and affordability of life in Sioux Falls earns it a spot on this year’s list. It’s one of the fastest-growing metro areas in the Midwest, in part thanks to Citibank’s moving its entire credit-card operation to here in the 1980s, encouraging other financial companies to do the same, including First Premier. Finance is big business here.

Healthcare also thrives in Sioux Falls, home to two area hospital systems and Sanford Research. And STEM graduates may find opportunities with Madison Cyber Labs, Sanford Underground Research Facility (a state-managed physics lab) and a locally based corporate and academic research park.

Featured data points:

  • Percent of population between 20 and 34, 2017: 23.7%
  • Median rent, 2017: $729.73
  • Median earnings for bachelor’s degree holders, 2017: $47,415.42
  • Average projected job growth rate statewide among jobs requiring a bachelor’s degree or above, 2016-26: 6.8%
  • Art and entertainment centers per 100K population: 308.65
  • Average commute time to work: 17 minutes
  • Crime rate per 100K people: 7,564.72

11. Overland Park, Kansas

kansas

One of five Midwestern cities to make our list, Overland Park, part of the Kansas City metro area, offers the benefits of a major urban area (including high wages for bachelor’s degree holders!) while still retaining small-town charm. Technology drives much of its employment, thanks to employers such as Sprint; Black & Veatch, the largest engineering firm in the Kansas City area; Netsmart Technologies; and Optiv Security.

Other important industries here include healthcare (with employers such as Overland Park Regional Medical Center, Children’s Mercy Hospital Kansas and Menorah Medical Center), pharmaceuticals (employers OptumRX and Teva), finance (Waddell & Reed Financial, US Bank and PNC Real Estate) and education (the area’s school districts are among its largest employers).

Featured data points:

  • Percent of population between 20 and 34, 2017: 21.9%
  • Median rent, 2017: $1,041.46
  • Median earnings for bachelor’s degree holders, 2017: $65,930.15
  • Average projected job growth rate statewide among jobs requiring a bachelor’s degree or above, 2016-26: 4.3%
  • Art and entertainment centers per 100K population: 280.77
  • Average commute time to work: 20 minutes
  • Crime rate per 100K people: 4,116.64

12. Salt Lake City, Utah

salt-lake-city-utah

It may be surprising to learn that one of the fastest growing tech sectors in the nation is located in Salt Lake City. In fact, what is probably the state’s most well-known occupant, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, also is its No. 1 employer of tech professionals. The city’s technology sector has grown at twice the national average over the last decade, supporting one in every seven jobs in Utah. Other tech employers include Zions Bancorp., Overstock.com, Western Governors University, Symantec, Goldman Sachs and UnitedHealth Group.

It also has a thriving startup economy, with business accelerators such as BoomStartup’s GenTech program offering mentorship for starting entrepreneurs. And its high concentration of young people may be connected to its impressive number of arts and entertainment offerings.

Featured data points:

  • Percent of population between 20 and 34, 2017: 31.3%
  • Median rent, 2017: $867
  • Median earnings for bachelor’s degree holders, 2017: $46,606.20
  • Average projected job growth rate statewide among jobs requiring a bachelor’s degree or above, 2016-26: 29.1%
  • Art and entertainment centers per 100K population: 418.37
  • Average commute time to work: 19 minutes
  • Crime rate per 100K people: 20,390.43

13. Tempe, Arizona

Tempe

Tempe’s making a new appearance on our list, and it may have something to do with having the highest concentration of 20- to 34-year-olds in our rankings. As home to Arizona State University and with close proximity to several other prominent colleges and universities, it offers a thriving nightlife scene and a wealth of recreational options.

But fun is just the beginning — Tempe is a great place to start a career because of its professional diversity. It has a strong financial services sector, a large number of tech companies and a few hundred manufacturers, in businesses ranging in size from small startups to Fortune 500s. Its hospitality sector also is growing, with the recent additions of three hotels and some of the state’s largest events.

Featured data points:

  • Percent of population between 20 and 34, 2017: 37.6%
  • Median rent, 2017: $1,063.69
  • Median earnings for bachelor’s degree holders, 2017: $49,093.65
  • Average projected job growth rate statewide among jobs requiring a bachelor’s degree or above, 2016-26: 18.6%
  • Art and entertainment centers per 100K population: 340.49
  • Average commute time to work: 21.1 minutes
  • Crime rate per 100K people: 717.15

14. Lubbock, Texas

Lubbock

Lubbock is one of only two Texas cities to make our list this year, though it moves from fifth to 14th. Coincidentally, these were also the two cities with colleges that received $2.25 million in grants from the U.S. Department of Commerce for research and entrepreneurial activities. The West Texas city of Lubbock is home to Texas Tech, where innovative research into hurricane disaster recovery and wind science and engineering is taking place.

In fact, the college population is quite large here, with students comprising nearly 20 percent of the population. Its ideal location, in the middle of five major highways, gives it the nickname “Hub City” and also makes it a prime location for major business headquarters. And if you’re looking for a hassle-free commute, find it in Lubbock, where the average commute time is the lowest on our list.

Featured data points:

  • Percent of population between 20 and 34, 2017: 28.9%
  • Median rent, 2017: $773.18
  • Median earnings for bachelor’s degree holders, 2017: $50,800.28
  • Average projected job growth rate statewide among jobs requiring a bachelor’s degree or above, 2016-26: 16.6%
  • Art and entertainment centers per 100K population: 261.93
  • Average commute time to work: 16.3 minutes
  • Crime rate per 100K people: 11,958.94

15. Des Moines, Iowa

Des-moines

Another newcomer to our list, Des Moines, the fastest-growing metro area in the entire Midwest, is turning economists’ heads as a leading example of a near future in which there is 100 percent employment. In fact, employers are clamoring for more workers and, according to a 2018 article in The Atlantic, many are even willing to offer higher salaries and generous perks in order to find them.

Its location makes Des Moines the “Cultivation Corridor,” a hotbed of agriculture and biotech activity. More than 80 insurance companies are located here, and business or finance graduates may appreciate knowing that Des Moines has the highest concentration of insurance and financial services employment in the nation. And it’s a data hub, as home to Facebook and Microsoft data center operations.

Featured data points:

  • Percent of population between 20 and 34, 2017: 23.9%
  • Median rent, 2017: $781.68
  • Median earnings for bachelor’s degree holders, 2017: $51,715.45
  • Average projected job growth rate statewide among jobs requiring a bachelor’s degree or above, 2016-26: 8.5%
  • Art and entertainment centers per 100K population: 283.67
  • Average commute time to work: 18.7 minutes
  • Crime rate per 100K people: 9,468.97

Methodology

For this analysis, we ranked 141 U.S. cities that had a city population of 750,000 or more according to 2017 estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau. Each city was ranked on a 10 point scale, using the following seven data points and the weights specified.

  1. Median monthly rent adjusted to the Cost of Living Index, American Community Survey, 2017
  2. Percent of housing units that are occupied by renters rather than owners, American Community Survey, 2017
  3. Percent of the population between the ages of 20 and 34, American Community Survey, 2017
  4. Median earnings for bachelor’s degree holders adjusted to the Cost of Living Index, American Community Survey, 2017
  5. Arts & Entertainment: The number of performing arts, spectator sports and related industries; museums and historical sites; restaurants; and bars per 100,000 residents in each metro area, U.S. Census Population Estimates, 2012; County Business Patterns, 2012
  6. State job growth projections: The average projected growth rate and the projected number of new jobs per 100 people in each metro area, 2016-26, Projections Central, 2016
  7. Unemployment rate, American Community Survey, 2017
  8. Average Commute time, American Community Survey, 2017
  9. Crime rate per 100,000 people, Uniform Crime Reporting, 2015

Methodology Sources:

What Can You Do With A Degree In Humanities?

What is the study of humanities?

Humanities is an academic discipline that teaches students about human society and culture. The emphasis is on teaching students to think, critique, and persuade, often in areas where there is not much analytical data available, according to George Anders in his book “You Can Do Anything: The Surprising Power of a “Useless” Liberal Arts Education.” Depending on the subject, different methods can be used including historical, textual criticism, conceptual elucidation, and the synoptic method. Students learn how to learn, a highly transferrable skill that can lead to long-term success in any field. Humanities majors also develop skills in research, reading, writing, as well as work through abstract problems being able to defend their own deductions.

Online degrees in humanities can be a convenient way to earn this degree if you are already employed or have other commitments that keep you from being a full-time, on-campus student.

What are the kinds of subjects in a humanities degree?

Because the humanities is a multidisciplinary academic field, students in this field get to study subjects like philosophy, art, history, sociology, political science, ethics, music, language, religious studies, just to name a few. The specialized skill sets learned in a humanities degree has become particularly important in a technology-driven workforce and can serve to your advantage as you consider a future career.

Transferrable skills learned by humanities majors are often valued by employers in a variety of settings. These skills can be analysis, communication, cultural literacy and foreign language proficiency, emotional intelligence, leadership, managing qualitative information, planning and organizing, research, and systemic thinking, according to the University of Maine.

Wanted: Humanities Majors

Long the butt of jokes and disparaging remarks, the humanities major has gotten a bad rap for its perceived inability to lead to a decent job, creating what Bracken Darrell, the CEO of Logitech, calls an “endangered species.” The ability to think and write well, along with interpersonal skills, problem-solving and analytical abilities, and other high-touch skills such as empathy are all highly valued by today’s best employers, and they’re found sorely lacking among today’s college graduates. After all, these soft skills can’t be outsourced or automated.

In what is becoming a technology-driven workforce, companies are not looking for finance or technology prowess from new hires. The skills that employers put on top of their most wanted list are communication and critical thinking skills.

Microsoft president Brad Smith and EVP of AI and research Harry Shum in their book “The Future Computed” note,

“As computers behave more like humans, the social sciences and humanities will become even more important. Languages, art, history, economics, ethics, philosophy, psychology and human development courses can teach critical, philosophical and ethics-based skills that will be instrumental in the development and management of AI solutions.”

In a June 2019 report by the National Bureau of Economic Research on the growing importance of social skills in the labor market, David Deming remarks, “labor market rewards to performing routine tasks have fallen, while the returns to workers’ ability to cooperate and adapt to changing circumstances have risen.

Maybe that humanities major isn’t looking so bad now, huh?

While majors like engineering, or nursing can translate into a specific occupation field, a humanities major can teach you skills that can translate into a wide range of careers and equip you with the long-lasting skills to adapt to change in a transforming workforce.

“I say, ‘Get me some poets as managers,'” said the late multimillionaire, philanthropist, and Newsweek owner Sidney Harman. “They contemplate the world in which we live and feel obliged to interpret and give expression to it in a way that makes the reader understand how that world turns. Poets, those unheralded systems thinkers, are our true digital thinkers. It is from their midst that I believe we will draw tomorrow’s new business leaders.”

Jobs with a Humanities Major

According to a Georgetown study, English majors comprise the highest share of liberal arts and humanities majors. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (2019), a few of the top-paying jobs for English majors include public relations specialists, writers and authors, and editors.

  • Historians are expected to grow at a rate of 6 percent between 2016 and 2026. In May 2018, the mean annual wage was $66,380.
  • Public Relations Specialists are expected to grow at a rate of 9 percent between 2016 and 2026. In May 2018, the mean annual wage was $68,440.
  • Writers and authors are expected to grow at a rate of 8 percent between 2016 and 2026. In May 2018, the mean annual wage was $73,090.

Combining your humanities degree with a specialization that aligns with your career interests can open up diverse careers. For instance, if you’re looking for business positions you may want to acquire a business minor and gain experience through part-time jobs or internships. Humanities majors can also be found succeeding in graduate and professional schools since learning how to learn is one of the transferrable skills that humanities major acquire.

The infographic below describes:

Jobs with a terminal bachelor’s degree in the humanities

  • More than 50 percent were employed in management, professional, and related occupations in fields such as education, business and financial operations, and management

Jobs with a master’s degree in the humanities

  • More than 35% were employed in teaching positions, with the rest mostly employed in arts and media, as well as management positions

Jobs with a doctoral degree in the humanities

  • More than 50 percent were teachers in the postsecondary education system

For more detailed information, please take a look at the infographic.

Interesting Facts

A long list of incredibly successful businessmen and women began their careers as liberal arts majors. Mitt Romney; Peter Theil, co-founder and CEO of PayPal; Ken Chenault, CEO of American Express; former Disney CEO Michael Eisner; CNN Founder Ted Turner; former Xerox CEO Anne Mulcahy; and FDIC Chair Sheila Bair are just a few of the notable names that hold degrees in the humanities.

Embed in your site:

What can you do with a degree in humanities?

What is the study of humanities?

Humanities is an academic discipline that teaches students about human society and culture. The emphasis is on teaching students to think, critique, and persuade, often in areas where there is not much analytical data available, according to George Anders in his book “You Can Do Anything: The Surprising Power of a “Useless” Liberal Arts Education.” Depending on the subject, different methods can be used including historical, textual criticism, conceptual elucidation, and the synoptic method. Students learn
how
to learn, a highly transferrable skill that can lead to long-term success in any field. Humanities majors also develop skills in research, reading, writing, as well as work through abstract problems being able to defend their own deductions.

Online degrees in humanities
can be a convenient way to earn this degree if you are already employed or have other commitments that keep you from being a full-time, on-campus student.

What are the kinds of subjects in a humanities degree?

Because the humanities is a multidisciplinary academic field, students in this field get to study subjects like philosophy, art, history, sociology, political science, ethics, music, language, religious studies, just to name a few. The specialized skill sets learned in a humanities degree has become particularly important in a technology-driven workforce and can serve to your advantage as you consider a future career.

Transferrable skills learned by humanities majors are often valued by employers in a variety of settings. These skills can be analysis, communication, cultural literacy and foreign language proficiency, emotional intelligence, leadership, managing qualitative information, planning and organizing, research, and systemic thinking, according to the University of Maine.

Wanted: Humanities Majors

Long the butt of jokes and disparaging remarks, the humanities major has gotten a bad rap for its perceived inability to lead to a decent job, creating what Bracken Darrell, the CEO of Logitech, calls an “endangered species.” The ability to think and write well, along with interpersonal skills, problem-solving and analytical abilities, and other high-touch skills such as empathy are all highly valued by today’s best employers, and they’re found sorely lacking among today’s college graduates. After all, these soft skills can’t be outsourced or automated.

In what is becoming a technology-driven workforce, companies are not looking for finance or technology prowess from new hires. The skills that employers put on top of their most wanted list are communication and critical thinking skills.

Microsoft president Brad Smith and EVP of AI and research Harry Shum in their book “The Future Computed” note,

“As computers behave more like humans, the social sciences and humanities will become even more important. Languages, art, history, economics, ethics, philosophy, psychology and human development courses can teach critical, philosophical and ethics-based skills that will be instrumental in the development and management of AI solutions.”

In a June 2019 report by the National Bureau of Economic Research on the growing importance of social skills in the labor market, David Deming remarks, “labor market rewards to performing routine tasks have fallen, while the returns to workers’ ability to cooperate and adapt to changing circumstances have risen.

Maybe that humanities major isn’t looking so bad now, huh?

While majors like engineering, or nursing can translate into a specific occupation field, a humanities major can teach you skills that can translate into a wide range of careers and equip you with the long-lasting skills to adapt to change in a transforming workforce.

“I say, ‘Get me some poets as managers,'” said the late multimillionaire, philanthropist, and Newsweek owner Sidney Harman. “They contemplate the world in which we live and feel obliged to interpret and give expression to it in a way that makes the reader understand how that world turns. Poets, those unheralded systems thinkers, are our true digital thinkers. It is from their midst that I believe we will draw tomorrow’s new business leaders.”

Jobs with a Humanities Major

According to a Georgetown study, English majors comprise the highest share of liberal arts and humanities majors. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (2019), a few of the top-paying jobs for English majors include public relations specialists, writers and authors, and editors.

  • Historians
    are expected to grow at a rate of 6 percent between 2016 and 2026. In May 2018, the mean annual wage was $66,380.
  • Public Relations Specialists
    are expected to grow at a rate of 9 percent between 2016 and 2026. In May 2018, the mean annual wage was $68,440.
  • Writers and authors
    are expected to grow at a rate of 8 percent between 2016 and 2026. In May 2018, the mean annual wage was $73,090.

Combining your humanities degree with a specialization that aligns with your career interests can open up diverse careers. For instance, if you’re looking for business positions you may want to acquire a business minor and gain experience through part-time jobs or internships. Humanities majors can also be found succeeding in graduate and professional schools since learning how to learn is one of the transferrable skills that humanities major acquire.

The infographic below describes:

Jobs with a terminal bachelor’s degree in the humanities

  • More than 50 percent were employed in management, professional, and related occupations in fields such as education, business and financial operations, and management

Jobs with a master’s degree in the humanities

  • More than 35% were employed in teaching positions, with the rest mostly employed in arts and media, as well as management positions

Jobs with a doctoral degree in the humanities

  • More than 50 percent were teachers in the postsecondary education system

For more detailed information, please take a look at the infographic.

Interesting Facts

A long list of incredibly successful businessmen and women began their careers as liberal arts majors. Mitt Romney; Peter Theil, co-founder and CEO of PayPal; Ken Chenault, CEO of American Express; former Disney CEO Michael Eisner; CNN Founder Ted Turner; former Xerox CEO Anne Mulcahy; and FDIC Chair Sheila Bair are just a few of the notable names that hold degrees in the humanities.

What can you do with a degree in humanities?

Embed in your site:

How to Succeed at Community College

community-college

Former president Obama has hailed community colleges as providing a “gateway to millions of Americans to good jobs and a better life.” But somewhere along the way, community college students have lost sight of the dream. A report by NSC Research Center 2018 shows that around 39 percent of the students who began at a two-year community college completed a degree within 6 years, whereas 46.2 percent of the students were no longer enrolled by the end of their study period.

If succeeding at community college seems more and more like a long shot, you can take control of your experience. Find out how to avoid the main traps that keep community college students from graduating.

Identifying opportunities at community colleges

Community colleges provide a crucial link to career opportunity for many students. Unlike many four-year universities, the tuition remains affordable. Course scheduling is flexible, with online, partially online and accelerated programs that let students learn on demand and at their own pace. Broad support services help students connect the dots between high school and a skilled job or a bachelor’s degree.

Accessibility does not come without challenges, however. According to a report by the National Center of Education Statistics (NCES), in fall 2017, 34 percent of undergraduate students attended community colleges (17 percent of full-time undergraduates and 58 percent of part-time undergraduates). As you can see, few fit the traditional mold of the full-time, 18-year-old campus resident who relies on Mom and Dad to foot the bill. More than half attend part-time and commute to campus. Many are adults returning to school; the average age in a community college classroom is 29.

“Community colleges attract students because of the flexible nature of the curriculum. For part-time students, schoolwork is a competing priority among many,” said Dr. Elizabeth Bugaighis, dean of education and academic success at Northampton Community College.

With many students balancing work alongside family and work obligations, it’s no wonder so many lose their focus along the way.

Key obstacles to college completion

Community college administrators, counselors and state public policy analysts identify these major obstacles to degree completion:

  • Remedial education. Research by the Center for American Progress says that anywhere between 40 to 60 percent of first-year community college students arrive in the classroom only to find themselves sidetracked down an extended road of remedial classes that don’t count toward the degree. Bachelor’s degree-seeking students who take a remedial course in the first year after high school graduation are 74 percent more likely to drop out of college than those who do not take remedial education, according to Education Reform Now. Remedial classes in mathematics, writing and reading cost students time, money and self-confidence. Even among those that do graduate, bachelor’s program students take 11 months longer and associate program students take 6 months longer to complete the entire program along with remedial education, than those who do not take remedial studies.
  • Part-time attendance. Students who attend college part-time risk tipping the balance between school and other life priorities. Northampton Community College Professor of Counseling Dr. Virginia Gonzalez works with students individually to determine whether a part-time schedule is right for them. “To succeed with a part-time schedule, students need a great deal of determination and discipline,” she said.

However, community colleges nationwide are taking steps to remove the obstacles students face on the road to a degree.

How to beat the odds at community college

Here are four common traps community college students fall into, as well as escape routes you can use to stay on the path to success at community college.

Problem #1: Remedial classes slow down my progress toward a degree or certificate.

Solution: Community colleges are transforming remedial education to help prevent students exiting or falling out of the programs by:

  • using multiple measures to assess postsecondary readiness and accordingly place students in developmental courses
  • compressing or mainstreaming developmental education with course redesign, such as offering co-requisite college-level courses
  • implementing comprehensive, integrated, and long-lasting support programs

California community colleges, for instance, are ensuring that the students complete college-level English and mathematics within a one-year time frame.

Problem #2: Academic requirements don’t seem relevant to my life or career ambitions.

Solution: Colleges are taking steps to align course curricula more closely with employer demand and real-world practice. Carnegie Foundation focused on engaging students in the statistical and quantitative reasoning concepts as they are more relevant to many students’ educational and career goals than those in the traditional algebraic sequence. The two programs, Statway and Quantway, focus on math education you can use, with applied instruction in statistics, data analysis and quantitative reasoning. According to Carnegie 2016-17 Impact Report, Statway and Quantway have achieved steady enrollment growth at 64%, since their launch in 2011. In 2016-2017, total enrollment was 7,522 — nearly five times that of the first year of enrollment — with 415 sections taught by 224 faculty members across 48 institutions.

Problem #3: Studying is #3 on my list of priorities, after kids and my day job.

Solution: Seek out people who can help you prioritize. Helping you achieve a work-life-school balance is the job of the community college academic advisor.

“Part of making it through college requires a careful balance of life and school,” says former counselor Celinda Smith of Bellevue College, current academic advisor of University of Washington, Bothell.

Dr. Gonzalez of Northampton stresses the importance of having an upfront conversation with a counselor about how to balance your priorities before embarking on a degree program.

Problem #4: I don’t know what it takes to succeed in my classes.

Solution: Community colleges are going the extra mile to help students develop effective learning strategies. SUNY Ulster offers time management and study skills workshops. At Northampton Community College, Dr. Gonzalez developed a 3-credit college success course targeting three skill areas: study skills, informational literacy and critical thinking. The course has raised retention rates, and students report increased confidence and success in other classes. Other schools may offer a trial period where you can test your comfort with online degrees or get a flavor for a class.

Problem #5: I have difficulty in learning material on my own and in keeping up with schedules in online programs

Solution: Community colleges have been focusing on improving course design and extending meaningful support services to improve online education. In fact, a 2017 report by California Community Colleges show the number of students choosing online programs have been steadily increasing over the last 10 years. The gap in success rates between traditional face-to-face (71 percent) and online education program (66 percent) has closed from 17 percent in 2006 to 4 percent in 2016-17. The California Community Colleges Online Education Initiative provides online instructional support to help alleviate the concerns students have about taking classes online.

With these tips in mind, dedication and resourcefulness can take you from enrollment to graduation.

“Successful students achieve a balance and take advantage of the resources and services available to them,” says Wendy McCorry, Assistant Dean for Student Success at SUNY Ulster.

Sources

  • Education Reform Now Embargoed, April 2016, https://www.insidehighered.com/sites/default/server_files/files/EdReformNow%20O-O-P%20Embargoed%20Final.pdf
  • Obama hails community colleges, skirts their lack of funds, McClatchy Newspapers, October 2010, https://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/politics-government/article24595966.html
  • Developmental Education Challenges and Strategies for Reform, January 2017, https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/opepd/education-strategies.pdf
  • Remedial Education Reforms at California Community Colleges, August 2018, https://www.ppic.org/wp-content/uploads/remedial-education-reforms-at-californias-community-colleges-august-2018.pdf
  • Carnegie Foundation 2016-2017 Impact Report, January 2018, https://storage.googleapis.com/cmp-wordpress-public-uploads/1/pathways_descriptive_report_january_2018.pdf
  • Distance Education Report 2017, accessed May 2019, https://californiacommunitycolleges.cccco.edu/Portals/0/Reports/2017-DE-Report-Final-ADA.pdf
  • Online and Homegrown, Inside Higher Ed, October 2016, https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2016/10/13/californias-online-education-initiative-connects-community-college-classes-across
  • Enrollment and Employees in Postsecondary Institutions, Fall 2017; and Financial Statistics and Academic Libraries, Fiscal Year 2017: First Look, January 2019, https://nces.ed.gov/pubsearch/pubsinfo.asp?pubid=2019021rev
  • Completing College National 2018 – Figure 15, December 2018, https://nscresearchcenter.org/signaturereport16/
  • Remedial Education, Center for American Progress, September 2016, https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/education-k-12/reports/2016/09/28/144000/remedial-education/
  • Distance Education Report 2017, California Community Colleges, accessed May 2019, http://californiacommunitycolleges.cccco.edu/Portals/0/Reports/2017-DE-Report-Final-ADA.pdf


15 Best Big Cities For New Grads

Big-cities

Graduating from college and preparing to make your mark on the world is one big feat. There are so many questions that pop up at this time of life, including where to live, how to land your dream job and what to do with your spare time.

It may be that big city life is for you. You may be the type of person who likes urban commutes, museums, the arts, the theater, ball games and more. If you are still deciding what place might be best, OnlineDegrees.com has made a list of the best big cities for college graduates in the U.S. Average median rent, the number of arts and entertainment centers and median earnings for bachelor’s degree holders were just some of the factors used to compile this list. This year, two new metrics were used to provide more perspective, including commute time to work and the crime rate per 100,000.

List of 15 Best Big Cities for New Grads

For this particular list we examined cities that had a population of more than 750,000 and used a nine-factor 10-point scale to rank the top 15 locations. Some of these cities, like Austin, Texas and Columbus, Ohio return to our list for another year, but others — like New York City — are new. Keep on reading to find out which big city might be right for a new college graduate just like you.

1. Austin, Texas

Austin-Texas

Austin returns to our list of one of the top big cities for new graduates, moving up to the #1 spot from #2 last year. Several factors pushed it up to the top of the list, including low unemployment, an average commute time of less than 25 minutes and average median earnings for bachelor’s degree holders that are close to $60,000.

New college grads may be drawn by some of the city’s major employers, which include Apple, Inc., Cirrus Logic, Cisco Systems, Dell, Inc., Intel, 3M and Texas State University. Entertainment is an attraction, too, and includes the city’s Sixth Street, which is home to a hip music scene along with restaurants, shops and bars, including a dueling piano bar. Graduates with a bend toward history may enjoy visiting the state capitol, which opened in 1888 and offers free 30-minute tours. Young adults who want to settle close to this city of 950,000, can find lovely suburban communities in Rollingwood, Shady Hollow and West Lake Hills.

Featured data points:

  • Percent of population between 20 and 34, 2017: 30.1%
  • Median rent, 2017: $1,217.64
  • Median earnings for bachelor’s degree holders, 2017: $59,301.93
  • Average projected job growth rate statewide among jobs requiring a bachelor’s degree or above, 2016-26: 16.6%
  • Art and entertainment centers: 304
  • Average commute time to work: 24.9 minutes
  • Crime rate per 100K people: 8,296

2. San Francisco, California

San-Francisco

New to our list this year of best big cities for new grads, San Francisco scored a spot for being #1 of all the cities on our list for entertainment. This may come as no surprise, as entertainment in San Francisco includes diverse options like the theater, Giants baseball, the ballet, opera, 49ers football and countless activities that range from biking tours of the Golden Gate Bridge to food tours in the Chinatown district.

There are economic factors making this city of 884,000-plus attractive, too. For example, San Francisco ranks second on our list for a low unemployment rate of 3.8% and a high state projected employment. New grads might look for employment with some of the city’s largest employers, which include Wells Fargo, Kaiser Permanante, Uber and Salesforce. Of course, there are plenty of start-ups in this innovative city, too, including HotelTonight, reinventing hotel booking, and Cloud Passage, a cloud-based security company.

Featured data points:

  • Percent of population between 20 and 34, 2017: 29%
  • Median rent, 2017: $1,252.35
  • Median earnings for bachelor’s degree holders, 2017: $57,437.29
  • Average projected job growth rate statewide among jobs requiring a bachelor’s degree or above, 2016-26: 10.7%
  • Art and entertainment centers: 516
  • Average commute time to work: 33.8 minutes
  • Crime rate per 100K people: 13,861

3. Houston, Texas

Houston-Texas

Home to the largest medical center in the world, Houston, Texas could be a great city for new grads looking for fast-growing jobs. The Texas Medical Center contains more than 50 different medicine-related institutions, but that’s not the reason this city of 2.3 million (yes, 2.3 million!) returns to our list of best big cities for new grads for another year. Houston ranked second of all cities overall for median earnings for bachelor’s degree holders (above $61,000) and sixth for the number of entertainment venues.

New residents may want to start their entertainment explorations in Houston’s downtown tunnels, a network of air-conditioned walkways that provide a way for downtown workers to quickly get about. Restaurants like Cafe Basil, Fuddruckers and Salata can be found there. Entertainment in Houston stretches far beyond what’s underground to include kite festivals, children’s festivals (if you already have kids!), music, magic, state fairs and more.

Featured data points:

  • Percent of population between 20 and 34, 2017: 25.7%
  • Median rent, 2017: $943.53
  • Median earnings for bachelor’s degree holders, 2017: $61,806.02
  • Average projected job growth rate statewide among jobs requiring a bachelor’s degree or above, 2016-26: 16.6%
  • Art and entertainment centers: 269
  • Average commute time to work: 27.8 minutes
  • Crime rate per 100K people: 10,757

4. San Antonio, Texas

San-Antonio

The San Antonio River Walkway may be one reason that new grads want to make this city of 1.5 million people their home. However, this city returns to our list of best big cities for new grads for a plethora of other reasons. San Antonio ranks third on our list for average lowest commute time (Interstates like 10, 35, 37 and 410 may help!) and also took the 5th spot for lowest median rent.

Compare this rent to other large cities on this list (like San Francisco and Austin, Texas) and it’s easy to see the potential savings that could go into your pocket. Additionally, the percent of renters in this city also is among the lowest on our list, at 45.2 percent, suggesting that people may like to lay down roots here. Why not, when the cost of a median home is lower than other large cities and the attractions are endless and include the likes of the Alamo, Natural Bridge caverns, golfing caving, and, of course, that beautiful river walk?

Featured data points:

  • Percent of population between 20 and 34, 2017: 24%
  • Median rent, 2017: $860.54
  • Median earnings for bachelor’s degree holders, 2017: $56,100.02
  • Average projected job growth rate statewide among jobs requiring a bachelor’s degree or above, 2016-26: 16.6%
  • Art and entertainment centers: 234
  • Average commute time to work: 24.6 minutes
  • Crime rate per 100K people: 11,251

5. Columbus, Ohio

Columbus-Ohio

The capital city of Ohio boasts a number of highlights that help it again return to our list of the best big cities for new grads. With a population of more than 880,000 and the lowest commute time of all cities on this list (21.6 minutes!), it has major employers that include JPMorgan Chase & Co (employing more than 20,000 people), Nationwide, Honda of America Manufacturing and Amazon.

Columbus also has a low median rent, the third lowest of cities on this list, and ranks fairly low among cities on this list for unemployment rate, too. Of course, Columbus has plenty of other interests to pull in new grads, too, whether that’s the Ohio Girls Roller Derby Team (which ranks among the top 10 in the nation), the large horse show hosted there every October or the opportunity to enjoy a craft brew at one of its many distilleries.

Featured data points:

  • Percent of population between 20 and 34, 2017: 29%
  • Median rent, 2017: $812.93
  • Median earnings for bachelor’s degree holders, 2017: $53,970.89
  • Average projected job growth rate statewide among jobs requiring a bachelor’s degree or above, 2016-26: 4.4%
  • Art and entertainment centers: 244
  • Average commute time to work: 21.6 minutes
  • Crime rate per 100K people: 9,008

6. Dallas, Texas

Dallas texas

New to our list of best big cities for new grads, Dallas has a population of more than 1.34 million and the highest ranking for median earnings for bachelor’s degree holders. This modern city in northern Texas is home not just to the Dallas Arts District, which features nearly 20 blocks of galleries, museums and venues, but also to the Dallas Cowboys, Texas Rangers, Dallas Mavericks and Dallas Stars.

Dallas, which ranked eighth on our list of best cities for new grads for lowest crime rate, is home to two airports and an Amtrak station. New grads looking for jobs might investigate Fortune 500 companies in the greater Dallas area that include AT&T, Exxon Mobile, JC Penney and Texas Instruments. While there are more than 200 golf courses in the area, Dallas also can get snow: a whopping average of 1.3 snow days a year.

Featured data points:

  • Percent of population between 20 and 34, 2017: 27%
  • Median rent, 2017: $944.62
  • Median earnings for bachelor’s degree holders, 2017: $62,125.99
  • Average projected job growth rate statewide among jobs requiring a bachelor’s degree or above, 2016-26: 16.6%
  • Art and entertainment centers: 227
  • Average commute time to work: 27.9 minutes
  • Crime rate per 100K people: 8,295

7. Charlotte, North Carolina

Charlotte-City

Charlotte joins this year’s list of best big cities for new college graduates for numerous reasons, not just for its historical charm, its large banking center or the fact that it just celebrated its 250th anniversary. Charlotte has impressive rankings on several key points, including median earnings above the national average for bachelor’s degree holders, an average commute time of less than half-an-hour and a 10th place ranking for overall number of entertainment venues.

The city was named after King George III’s wife, Queen Charlotte, and the city’s center still reflects a grid of square blocks highlighting its colonial heritage. At the same time, it features modern day entertainment venues as diverse as Bojangles Coliseum, Spectrum Center and the Belk Theater. College grads also might enjoy the city’s 30 miles of greenways or Jetton Park, a 105-acre waterfront park to the north.

Featured data points:

  • Percent of population between 20 and 34, 2017: 25.3%
  • Median rent, 2017: $1,001.29
  • Median earnings for bachelor’s degree holders, 2017: $60,288.11
  • Average projected job growth rate statewide among jobs requiring a bachelor’s degree or above, 2016-26: 10.1%
  • Art and entertainment centers: 255
  • Average commute time to work: 25.4 minutes
  • Crime rate per 100K people: 8,915

8. San Diego, California

san-diego

Averaging close to 3,000 hours of sunshine every year, San Diego is the second largest city in California and the eighth largest in the United States. Seventy miles of beach line are accessible to its residents, but so are more than 90 golf courses and 6,000-plus places to eat. Balboa Park is just one well-known enticement, boasting art galleries, 15 museums, gardens and the city’s San Diego Zoo.

This city of 1.3 million returns to our list of best large cities for college graduates for several factors, including a low crime rate (#3 overall on our list), strong projected state employment, more than 280 entertainment venues and an average commute time of less than 25 minutes. While the median earnings for bachelor’s degree holders is low compared to other cities on this list, there are plenty of companies with strong growth, including Arctic Zero, Innovative Commercial Environments and Zeeto, all included on the Inc. 5000 list.

Featured data points:

  • Percent of population between 20 and 34, 2017: 28.2%
  • Median rent, 2017: $1,092.73
  • Median earnings for bachelor’s degree holders, 2017: $40,397.29
  • Average projected job growth rate statewide among jobs requiring a bachelor’s degree or above, 2016-26: 10.7%
  • Art and entertainment centers: 284
  • Average commute time to work: 24.7 minutes
  • Crime rate per 100K people: 4,973

9. Indianapolis, Indiana

Indianapolis-city

Returning to our list of best big cities for new grads, Indianapolis, known as “Indy,” rose from a #14 ranking on last year’s list to #9 this year. Factors contributing to its upward move include a low average commute time (second lowest overall on our list!), the percent of the population between ages 20 to 34 and a low median monthly rent rate. In fact, Indianapolis has the lowest median monthly rent, at $778.69, of all 15 cities on this list.

At the same time, the city’s median earnings for bachelor’s degree holders reaches above $50,000, beating out the city of San Diego, which also has higher median rent. Money saved in this capital city can mean more discretionary income for enjoying the surroundings, which include the Lucas Oil Stadium, the Indiana Convention Center, 250 acres of green space at White River State Park and the Theater District.

Featured data points:

  • Percent of population between 20 and 34, 2017: 24.2%
  • Median rent, 2017: $778.69
  • Median earnings for bachelor’s degree holders, 2017: $51,735
  • Average projected job growth rate statewide among jobs requiring a bachelor’s degree or above, 2016-26: 7.6%
  • Art and entertainment centers: 264
  • Average commute time to work: 23.4 minutes
  • Crime rate per 100K people: 12,157

10. Fort Worth, Texas

Fort-Worth-Texas

New to our list of best big cities for new grads, Fort Worth, Texas — nicknamed “Cowtown” — offers upscale shopping, cowboy cuisine, NASCAR racing and a multitude of primary entertainment districts — eight, in total. The city of 876,000-plus ranked #10 on our list of best big cities for new grads for its impressive median earnings for bachelor’s degree holders, strong state employment and a low crime rate.

With an average commute time of 27 minutes, new employees in the city can easily make it from their place of business to any cultural spot or place of interest. Entertainment options include the zoo, botanical gardens and even the Stockyards District, which features historical landmarks, night clubs, unique shops and restaurants — and yes, even rodeo shows. To help pay for some of these diversions, new grads wanting to settle in Fort Worth might look for jobs in aerospace, education, healthcare and government, with AMR/American Airlines and Lockheed Martin being two of the area’s largest employers.

Featured data points:

  • Percent of population between 20 and 34, 2017: 23.9%
  • Median rent, 2017: $928.24
  • Median earnings for bachelor’s degree holders, 2017: $61,405.23
  • Average projected job growth rate statewide among jobs requiring a bachelor’s degree or above, 2016-26: 16.6%
  • Art and entertainment centers: 167
  • Average commute time to work: 27 minutes
  • Crime rate per 100K people: 8,239

11. Los Angeles, California

Los-Angeles

A city of 3.9 million, Los Angeles joins our list of best big cities for new grads this year. Compelling as it is for its entertainment industry — and the Hollywood stars that might be spotted there — Los Angeles has much to offer new graduates in terms of arts and entertainment centers, percentage of young adults living there and low median rent. In fact, compared to other large California cities on our list, Los Angeles may be the most attractive in terms of rental affordability.

While most people know Los Angeles for its famous Hollywood sign and Walk of Fame stars, the employment opportunities in this southern city stretch far beyond arts and entertainment. Leisure and hospitality is a key industry in the city, but there are other industries well entrenched there. Nearly 200,000 people work in aerospace or technology and about 700,000 are employed in biomedical or health services in the greater L.A. area.

Featured data points:

  • Percent of population between 20 and 34, 2017: 25.4%
  • Median rent, 2017: $894.43
  • Median earnings for bachelor’s degree holders, 2017: $36,491.87
  • Average projected job growth rate statewide among jobs requiring a bachelor’s degree or above, 2016-26: 10.7%
  • Art and entertainment centers: 396
  • Average commute time to work: 31.8 minutes
  • Crime rate per 100K people: 6,017

12. New York City, New York

New-York

It may be hard to imagine the Big Apple making this list, but this city of 8.6 million (Wow!) attracts all types of people. New grads settling here may be drawn by the city’s large number of arts and entertainment venues, the percentage of young adults who call the Big Apple their home or the relatively low crime rate compared to other large cities on this list.

Of course, New York City’s entertainment opportunities are endless, but include everything from Radio City Music Hall to Carnegie Hall and the Lincoln Center. The city’s well-known Central Park features yoga classes, walking tours and bike rentals, as well as a landscape of green. Enjoy restaurants and cafes in the city’s Financial District — home to Wall Street, the New York Stock Exchange, Statue of Liberty and financial deals. New grads landing here may want to turn to major employers like JPMorgan Chase & Co, Citigroup, Inc., Pfizer, Inc., and PricewaterhouseCoopers to look for stellar job opportunities.

Featured data points:

  • Percent of population between 20 and 34, 2017: 24.7%
  • Median rent, 2017: $932.01
  • Median earnings for bachelor’s degree holders, 2017: $44,760.45
  • Average projected job growth rate statewide among jobs requiring a bachelor’s degree or above, 2016-26: 12%
  • Art and entertainment centers: 315
  • Average commute time to work: 41.8 minutes
  • Crime rate per 100K people: 4,208

13. Phoenix, Arizona

phoenix

The largest city in Arizona, Phoenix offers light-rail service, ride-hailing services and bike-sharing programs, all of which provide various transportation options in this city of 1.62 million. New grads settling in Phoenix can take the light rail to the Central Avenue district to get a drink or a bite to eat right after work, stopping in at places such as Bitter & Twisted, Durant’s or Southern Rail.

A median rent of $866 makes this city affordable for grads obtaining their first job or looking to start off in a new place. The average pay for bachelor’s degree holders in this sunny city is well above $50,000, meaning the young adults could find a rent payment easily manageable. Of course, anyone living in this city — which averages 299 days of sun a year — might enjoy catching a Phoenix Suns or Arizona Cardinals game in their free time or after work.

Featured data points:

  • Percent of population between 20 and 34, 2017: 22.9%
  • Median rent, 2017: $866.22
  • Median earnings for bachelor’s degree holders, 2017: $52,488.01
  • Average projected job growth rate statewide among jobs requiring a bachelor’s degree or above, 2016-26: 18.6%
  • Art and entertainment centers: 175
  • Average commute time to work: 26.3 minutes
  • Crime rate per 100K people: 4,208

14. San Jose, California

San-Jose

Returning to our list of best big cities for new college grads for a consecutive year, San Jose is a tech area located in Silicon Valley. Rent may be on the higher end, but the major employers in this city of 1.03 million people include Adobe Inc., Maxim Integrated Products, Inc., and Prime Materials.

This state scored points to make this list for its overall low unemployment rate — compared to other large cities — and strong state projected employment. The third largest city in California, the city was once the first capital of California. It also has an airport, a relatively low crime rate and prohibits the use of plastic bags by retailers. Additionally, pet lovers may want to be aware: there also is a pet quota of five licensed animals total.

Featured data points:

  • Percent of population between 20 and 34, 2017: 22.7%
  • Median rent, 2017: $1,402.83
  • Median earnings for bachelor’s degree holders, 2017: $54,169.64
  • Average projected job growth rate statewide among jobs requiring a bachelor’s degree or above, 2016-26: 10.7%
  • Art and entertainment centers: 203
  • Average commute time to work: 31.3 minutes
  • Crime rate per 100K people: 5,522

15. Chicago, Illinois

chicago

Some theories that exist about this windy city suggest that Chicago got its name more from the politicians full of hot air there than the number of actual windy days. Whatever the reason, new college graduates may find this big city a good choice for its high median earnings for bachelor’s degree holders, the large number of art and entertainment centers and an affordable average rent at less than $1,000.

Believe it or not, the first Ferris wheel made its debut in Chicago in 1893, but that is hardly the most interesting thing to entice young adults there. Attractions in this city of 2.7 million include an 18.5-mile lakefront path, more than 5,000 restaurants, over 50 museums, 200-plus music venues and 8,100 acres of green space. Of course, anyone who loves pizza knows that the Chicago deep dish pizza is something to write home about.

Featured data points:

  • Percent of population between 20 and 34, 2017: 27.6%
  • Median rent, 2017: $972.33
  • Median earnings for bachelor’s degree holders, 2017: $59,230.37
  • Average projected job growth rate statewide among jobs requiring a bachelor’s degree or above, 2016-26: 5.8%
  • Art and entertainment centers: 255
  • Average commute time to work: 34.9 minutes
  • Crime rate per 100K people: 7,719

For this analysis, we ranked 17 U.S. cities that had a city population of 750,000 or more according to 2017 estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau. Each city was ranked on a 10 point scale, using the following seven data points and the weights specified.

  1. Median monthly rent adjusted to the Cost of Living Index, American Community Survey, 2017
  2. Percent of housing units that are occupied by renters rather than owners, American Community Survey, 2017
  3. Percent of the population between the ages of 20 and 34, American Community Survey, 2017
  4. Median earnings for bachelor’s degree holders adjusted to the Cost of Living Index, American Community Survey, 2017
  5. Arts & Entertainment: The number of performing arts, spectator sports and related industries; museums and historical sites; restaurants; and bars per 100,000 residents in each metro area, U.S. Census Population Estimates, 2012; County Business Patterns, 2012
  6. State job growth projections: The average projected growth rate and the projected number of new jobs per 100 people in each metro area, 2016-26, Projections Central, 2016
  7. Unemployment rate, American Community Survey, 2017
  8. Average Commute time, American Community Survey, 2017
  9. Crime rate per 100,000 people, Uniform Crime Reporting, 2015

Methodology Sources:

  • American Community Survey, 2017, U.S. Census Bureau, https://www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/
  • 2017 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2016-26 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov; 2016-26 State Occupational Projections, Projections Central, http://www.projectionscentral.com
  • Uniform Crime Reporting, 2015, Federal Bureau of Investigation, https://ucr.fbi.gov/crime-in-the-u.s/2015/crime-in-the-u.s.-2015

Sources

  • About, Fort Worth, Accessed March 2019, https://www.fortworth.com/about/
  • About San Diego, San Diego.com, Accessed March 2019, https://www.sandiego.org/articles/about-san-diego-ca.aspx
  • A Guide to Charlotte’s Live Music Venues, Charlotte’s Got a Lot, Accessed March 2019, https://www.charlottesgotalot.com/articles/nightlife/a-guide-to-charlottes-live-music-venues
  • Best Concert Venues in New York City, NYC.com, Accessed March 2019, https://www.nyc.com/nyc-guides/best_concert_venues_in_nyc.308/
  • Best Things to Do in Austin, U.S. News, Accessed March 2019, https://travel.usnews.com/Austin_TX/Things_To_Do/
  • Chicago Facts, Choose Chicago, Accessed March 2019, https://www.choosechicago.com/neighborhoods/about-chicago/
  • Dallas Stats and Fun Facts, Visit Dallas, Accessed March 2019, https://www.visitdallas.com/about/dallas-fun-facts.html
  • Drinks by Rail, Visit Phoenix, Accessed March 2019, https://www.visitphoenix.com/learn-plan/getting-around/
  • Facts about L.A., Discover Los Angeles, Accessed March 2019, https://www.discoverlosangeles.com/media/facts-about-la
  • Here are 25 of San Francisco’s Largest Employers, San Francisco Business Times, December 2016, https://www.bizjournals.com/sanfrancisco/subscriber-only/2016/12/30/employers-san-francisco.html
  • Houston Downtown Tunnel System, Houston on the Cheap, Accessed March 2019, https://www.houstononthecheap.com/downtown-houston-tunnels
  • Indy, Visit Indy, Accessed March 2019, https://www.visitindy.com/indianapolis-about-indianapolis
  • Major Employers and Top Companies in Austin, Austin Relocation Guide, Accessed April 2019, http://www.austinrelocationguide.com/Major-Employers-and-Top-Companies-in-Austin/
  • Major Employers in Santa Clara County, Economic Development Department State of California, Accessed March 2019, https://www.labormarketinfo.edd.ca.gov/majorer/countymajorer.asp?CountyCode=000085
  • One Hundred Companies Make the Inc. 5000 List, San Diego Life Changing, Accessed March 2019, https://sandiegolifechanging.org/100-san-diego-companies-make-the-inc-5000-list/
  • San Antonio, AA Roads, Accessed March 2019, https://www.aaroads.com/texas-highways/san-antonio/
  • San Antonio Home Prices and Values, Zillow, Accessed March 2019, https://www.zillow.com/san-antonio-tx/home-values/
  • San Francisco Events 2019, SF Tourism Tips, Accessed March 2019, https://www.sftourismtips.com/san-francisco-events.html
  • 10 Unique Facts about Houston You Didn’t Know, Culture Trip, Accessed March 2019, https://theculturetrip.com/north-america/usa/texas/articles/10-unique-facts-about-houston-you-didnt-know/
  • 10 Unique Facts about Texas, Culture Trip, Accessed March 2019, https://theculturetrip.com/north-america/usa/texas/articles/10-unique-facts-about-dallas-you-didnt-know/
  • The History of Charlotte, Charlotte’s Got a Lot, Accessed March 2019, https://www.charlottesgotalot.com/articles/history/the-history-of-charlotte
  • The 20 Biggest Employers in New York City, Money, Inc., Accessed March 2019, https://moneyinc.com/the-20-biggest-employers-in-nyc/
  • Thriving in the Columbus Region, Columbus Region, Accessed March 2019, https://columbusregion.com/market-research/largest-employers/
  • Twenty-five Things You Should Know about San Jose, Mental Floss, Accessed March 2019, mentalfloss.com/article/73156/25-things-you-should-know-about-san-jose

Harvard Business School announces online learning initiative

Harvard University is no stranger to online education. After all, the school is currently offering a variety of massive open online courses, or MOOCs, through nonprofit online education platform, edX. But, according to Gigaom, MOOCs offered up until this point have focused solely on topics in the liberal arts, sciences, and history . However, all of that is about to change. Harvard Business School recently announced that they’re throwing their hat in the ring with their own online learning initiative, HBX.

“This is a lot bigger than meets the eye,” said John Fernandes, chief executive of the business school accreditation group Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, to Bloomberg Businessweek. “They’re going to get high visibility with students all over the world. I don’t want to say it’s going to displace face-to-face education, but it’s going to be a big piece of the pie.”

At this point, few details are available aside from the fact that the HBX courses will likely be offered through the school’s already-formed platform, HarvardX. And although there has already been quite a bit of speculation, it is also unknown whether the courses will offer some sort of credential upon completion. The new MOOCs are currently scheduled to open their virtual doors in spring or summer of 2014.

As the Harvard School of Business moves forward with its new online initiative, they’re likely to face the same growing pains that other schools have encountered. However, many both inside and outside of the project believe that online education is an inevitable part of the future of higher education as a whole. And, according to the Harvard Crimson, Harvard Business School plans on using all of the resources at its disposal to become “the top provider of business education online” across the globe.

Although the project is still in its infancy, many HBX insiders believe that the online learning initiative has the potential to really shake things up. Prominent Business School professor Clayton M. Christensen recently coined the term “disruptive innovation” in order to describe how HBX could, in fact, completely displace other competitors in the online business education market.

“An innovation that is disruptive allows a whole new population of consumers at the bottom of a market access to a product or service that was historically only accessible to consumers with a lot of money or a lot of skill,” he writes on his website. “It truly isn’t as good, but does this technology, over time, get good enough to meet the needs of our customers? The answer is yes.”


Sources:
“Disruptive Innovation,” Clayton Christensen, http://www.claytonchristensen.com/key-concepts/
“Harvard Business School Launching Online Learning Initiative,” Bloomberg Businessweek, October 9, 2013, Louis Lavelle, and Erin Zlomek, http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-10-09/harvard-business-school-launching-online-learning-initiative
“HBS Develops Online Learning Platform,” The Harvard Crimson, October 11, 2013, Indrani G. Das, http://www.thecrimson.com/article/2013/10/11/hbs-online-learning-platform/#
“Want a Harvard B-School education? You’ll soon be able to get one online with HBX,” Gigaom, October 11, 2013, Ki Mae Huessner, http://gigaom.com/2013/10/11/want-a-harvard-b-school-education-youll-soon-be-able-to-get-one-online-with-hbx/

Methodologies and Sources