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Top 10 Cities for Recent Grads

By Gradspot Dot Com

#2: SAN FRANCISCO (pop. 808,976)

[Photo by iamgenious]

Situated in the beautiful Bay Area, San Fran has a "best of all worlds" vibe that attracts recent grads in droves. Whether running along the waterfront or taking a bike ride across the Golden Gate Bridge, San Franciscans enjoy their city and its outskirts year 'round. Meanwhile, a thriving arts scene, diverse population, and distinct neighborhoods keep things interesting. The prominence of tech and web companies in town and in nearby Silicon Valley contributes to the youthfulness of the city, but be prepared to fork over a pretty penny to live in California’s most expensive city for renters.


Major Industries: Technology (from computers to health), venture capital
Climate: Four seasons but not too extreme in summer or winter (Winter—48°F, Summer—64°F)
Transportation: BART connects San Francisco with Oakland and Berkley, and a MUNI subway line runs in the city. Not all parts of the peninsula are close to public transportation, but it’s pretty small and getting around with buses and cabs avoids the terror of parallel parking on steep hills.
Avg. Price of a One Bedroom Apartment: $1,512*
Cost of Living Index Value: 187**
Closing Time: 2AM
Professional Sports: MLB—Athletics, Giants; NFL—49ers, Raiders; NBA—Warriors; NHL—Sharks
Famous Foodstuffs: Seafood from Pier 39 and Mexican in the Mission
You'll love it if… you've got an "alternative" streak that you want to foster in a city that embraces difference
You'll be miserable if… you're a backwards Republican who despises homeless people, gays, and immigrants
Best Thing Ever: A highly amusing assortment of crazy people
Worst Thing Ever: Walking/biking up hills


SF is great because it's got plenty going on without being as in-your-face as New York. There's loads of big street festivals, amazing parks to barbecue in, beaches, and easy access to Tahoe, Vegas, and wine country. There's also a pretty rich bar scene, and really, really good food everywhere. The only downside is that the population tends to be a bit older and it can be hard to find enough eligible people to date who are just out of college. — Sebastian T., Google

Not only does its misty mountainous terrain make it resemble a postcollegiate fairy-tale land, but SF has a distinct charm about it which makes it a great place to nest after graduating. With tons of restaurants and bars, it is a great going-out city, but it's also got the cultural cachet to back up its laid-back California vibe. — Trevor W., Facebook sales

Gradspot.com Rating: 92/100

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This top 10 list is extremely helpful and interesting to a soon-to-be graduate like myself! I referred this top 10 list on my own blog, aftergradavenues.com.

Considering a move to Chicago in the near future. So glad to see it's #1!

This entire list is entirely bogus. NYC is number 2? Are you kidding me? Fine, NYC has alot of fun stuff going on but were not talking about fun places to take a quick weekend. How about a place where 90% of the grads that move their have to move back out within a year!? I would not take this list as anything but a fun little description of a few cities. I live in LA and can say that only 15% of my city thinks it is in 'entourage', get a clue before you start judging cities based on average rent and 'closing time' (which is 4am in LA btw)

Houston is a great city to live in, but be careful of some of the neighborhoods. After Katrina, the murder rate has gone through the roof. Also if your gay, your only safe in, like, a handful of neighborhoods.

Do not move to CA unless you are moving here for a job that you have already been offered! I know a lot of people that have moved out here excited to start their career, just to find that the job market sucks and they can't get a job. You would be much better off on the east coast.

This list was helpful, but as a recent grad (and life-long resident) of Boston, I was disappointed in how one-sided the description of Beantown was. It seemed like whoever wrote it took a very cliche snapshot of "bro" culture (frats, Sox, beer) instead of actually realizing the unique diversity (one of the largest percentages of international residents), enormous push for arts and alternative culture (MFA, ICA, MassArt), and a pretty serious knack for fashion. C'mon guys! Let's wake up and smell the cliches and try to steer away from them.

I just looked through the blog rankings, and I have to say, they are pretty worthless. Seems like something a couple nitwits whipped together over a weekend, without any real analysis. Their descriptions of the cities are so one-dimensional they are practically worthless.

At first I thought Boston may be ranked only #5 because rents are so high, but NY #2?? NY is a great city, but for recent college grads, it's not so great.

And the blog makes Boston sound like the entire city consists of frat guys watching Red Sox games. Are you kidding me???? North End is worlds apart from Back Bay, which is distinctly different than Southie, which couldn't be more different than the South End, which has a very different population than Beacon Hill. And NOT ONE of those neighborhoods is populated by drunken frat guys types. If the blog were only rating the neighborhoods of rating Allston or Brighton, sure maybe. But you're hard pressed to find much of that outside of those 2 neighborhoods (and if you were just rating those 2 neighborhoods, then the rent drops to about $800 for a 1 BR).

The T stops running too early, but aside form that, it really is a perfect city for young adults (recently ranked #1 for dating scene for young adults). There's the club scene, the preppie scene, the monied crowd scene, the sports-guy scene. It's about as diverse as a city gets.

Knock it for high rent, sure. But the reason rents are so high is because demand is so high. Young adults flock to the city. Let's get some better analysis here, guys.

BTW, as someone who lived in Boston, NY, and L.A. in my 20's, and traveled frequently to Chicago, Atlanta, and D.C. for work, I'd rank them as follows (for recent college grads):

1. Boston
2. D.C.
3. Chicago
4. L.A.
5. Atlanta
6. NY

Boston is exactly as you describe it. This place sucks.

Boston is just like Scranton, with clams!

Atlanta is a fecund garden of kewlness! It's like a breeding ground for an indie-hound like meh! I saw a Throbbing Gristle concert back in the early eighties. I saw R.E.M. when they were just a faint "murmur." My girl Emma gave Robert Pollard a handj0b to get backstage passes to a G.B.V. concert. The place is still kicking too! I bought a thrift store t-shirt for 30 bucks in Little Five Points. I LOVE THIS TOWN BABY!

I was born and bred in NY so I may be biased and would have to say NYC is the greatest city in the world! If you just graduated college and are exploring a move, check out www.postgradapartments.com. We are currently in NYC, Boston and Chicago and plan to be in ten more cities by December of this year!

Ummmm...Chicago summer avg is definitely higher than that (try about 88-95F) and the winters are colder (10-20F)

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