I recently stumbled upon an article in my favorite news aggregator, The Daily Beast, called 25 Best Cities for College Grads by Richard Florida. An accompanying slide show provides most of the relevant information (and more importantly vivid, eye-catching photographs), while the article itself nails down the finer points:
It begins with your typical doom and gloom job prospects for recent college grads:
Unemployment for people between the ages of 15 and 24 has passed 20%. You won’t just be competing with your peers—all 1.6 million of them—but with people your parents’ ages too, who lost their savings in the crash and have had to postpone their retirements for pretty much forever.
Then meanders over to reality with a few encouraging statistics:
That 20 percent plus unemployment rate includes high school dropouts and people who didn’t finish college. The unemployment rate for college graduates is actually less than 5 percent. And the unemployment rate in the professional and technical fields where you’re most likely to work—science and engineering, business and management, education and health care—is just under 4 percent.
Phew, close call. But then the article falls through a black hole and arrives, shaken and disoriented, in an alternate dimension where the subject of the piece is not about employment at all, but is actually about what twenty-somethings look for in a city (and it was all a dreeeeeam).
So what do twenty-somethings want in a community? To get at this, my team and I analyzed the results of a Gallup survey of some 28,000 Americans in their twenties.
In the end, the article does tie together employment statistics with the places college grads are most drawn to. The results are interesting, if not surprising; the top cities include college towns and the typical centers of cultural activity (Seattle, Austin, New York, San Fran).
The list also takes into account statistics such as the number of singles and “youth-oriented amenities” (read: bars) per capita. So if you’re looking for a place where the beer flows like wine, and beautiful women instinctively flock like the salmon of Capistrano—and what recent college grad isn’t—this list promises that and, if you’re lucky, a job.
Photo courtesy of jerryfurgusonphotography via Flickr.