There may be no bigger decision for a new college graduate than where to settle down and start their career.
How should they go about reaching that decision and ensuring that they're putting themselves in the right position to build the life they've always wanted? It all starts with location, location, location.
Today, GOBankingRates released a comprehensive study ranking the best and worst states for new college graduates to plant roots and begin their careers. The results may surprise you.
Top 5 States For Recent College Graduates:
4. North Dakota
The top 5 states are not isolated to one geographic area. What sets these states apart is the number of college graduates already living there. In all but one state out of the top 10, the share of the population aged 25 or older with a Bachelor's degree is 20 percent or higher.
Bottom 5 States For College Graduates:
The bottom 5 are spread out geographically as well but they mostly have one thing in common. They're weighed down by expensive costs of living or smaller numbers of college graduates. For example, California—ranked the 9th worst state in the study— has 20 percent of 25-year-olds and older with a Bachelor's degree. But they're saddled with high home prices and high rents, which means it takes a lot longer to buy a home or rents are astronomical, consuming much larger chunks of income than in other states.
Unemployment among college graduates runs higher-than-average in these lower-ranked states as well. Not to mention livability scores are also on the lower side, hovering around 50 or below.
The study used a comprehensive methodology that included:
- Median income for someone who earned a bachelor's degree
- Rent-to-income ratio
- Median home price
- Number of years it will take a college graduate to stop renting and own a home
- Job availability, unemployment rates among college grads
- Percent of jobs available for college grads
- Livability and quality of life
In this in-depth study, GOBankingRates provides a useful guide for college students approaching graduation as well as recent college graduates, showing them the best and worst areas to settle in while also giving them the criteria they should be considering when making this monumental decision.
A complete breakdown of the study, including the complete methodology, can be found here: https://www.gobankingrates.com/making-money/economy/best-states-new-college-graduates-start-life/.
GOBankingRates.com is a money lifestyle website dedicated to helping visitors Live Richer™. From tips on saving money to investing for retirement or finding a good interest rate, GOBankingRates helps turn financial goals into milestones and money dreams into realities. Its content is regularly featured on top-tier media outlets, including MSN, Yahoo! Finance, AOL, Fox Business, CNBC, USA Today and dozens of others.