For grads: Best places to start career

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Congratulations to this year’s grads who have left academia just when the economy is booming, employers are hiring, and unemployment is historically low.

The question is where to start the new career. A new study by WalletHub ranks 180 cities based on 27 metrics, including number of entry-level jobs, average salary, housing affordability, and friendliness to singles and families.

At the top of the list with the overall best rank was Salt Lake City, Utah, with a number one quality of life rank and a number three professional opportunities rank.

Coming in second overall was Orlando, FL, ranking number one in professional opportunities and number six in quality of life.

Rounding out the top 10, the next top cities in order are Atlanta, GA, Charleston, SC, Tempe, AZ, Austin, TX, Columbia, SC, Denver, CO, Raleigh, NC, and Grand Rapids, MI.

Affordable housing considerations took California locations down on the list, with all but one of the least affordable cities located in California (Oakland, Los Angeles, Glendale and San Francisco.) The lone non-California location ranked as least affordable was New York City.

Meanwhile, Iowa ranked most affordable twice (Cedar Rapids and Des Moines), with other cities including Overland Park, KS, Sioux Falls, SD, and Garland, TX.

Grads are most likely to be able to get jobs in Charleston, SC, Orlando, FL, Columbia, SC, Salt Lake City, UT, and Atlanta, GA. Cities with the least available entry-level jobs were Bridgeport, CT, Santa Clarita, CA, Garden Grove, CA, North Las Vegas, NV, and New York City. To see the full results, visit WalletHub.com.

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