Welcome Grads

Where should new college grads settle down? Houston, of course.

Where should new college grads settle down? Houston, of course.

downtown Houston skyline at dusk
New grads should head to Houston, according to this study. Photo by Jim Olive/Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau

Not a surprise: Young professionals love Houston. It's not just the cosmopolitan vibe that attracts recent grads but Houston's healthy job prospects and low cost of living. 

All of this is reinforced by a new report that names Houston the No. 3 big city for new grads. For the study, OnlineDegrees.com ranked 40 U.S. cities on eight factors: median rent, renter-occupied housing, percent of the population between ages 20 and 34, median earnings, cost of living, arts and entertainment options, state-level job growth, and unemployment. 

H-Town is the most populous city in Texas and is also home to more Fortune 500 company headquarters than any other city in the U.S. except New York. Local bachelor's degree holders can expect to earn a median income of $57,366, while job growth statewide is projected to grow 21.5 percent between 2012-2022.

Austin comes in at No. 1, with San Antonio (No. 5) and Dallas (No. 7) also scoring high marks. Austin has the lowest unemployment rate, and Dallas revels in its status as a "travel hub," thanks to Southwest Airlines and Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport. San Antonio gets a nod for being the second-most affordable place to live in terms of cost of living, and for having the third-lowest unemployment rate on the list.

California also shows well, with San Francisco, San Diego, and San Jose all making the top 10.