With U.S. unemployment soaring amid the coronavirus pandemic, first-time job hunters are seeking any edge they can gain. One helpful resource might be a new report that ranks Houston among the country’s top U.S. metro areas for launching your career.
The report, released May 20 by career website LinkedIn, places Houston at No. 10 on a list of the places in the U.S. that are best suited for new college graduates who are diving into the job market. The list comes out as recent grads confront a job market that’s “shaping up to become one of the worst in recent memory,” according to The Hechinger Report, a nonprofit news outlet that covers education.
LinkedIn considered three factors for its ranking: affordable rent, good starting salaries, and job availability. Houston’s median rent sits at $1,377 per month (all types and sizes of rental properties), LinkedIn says, while its median annual salary for entry-level “career starter” jobs stands at $69,800.
Two other Texas metros appear in the top 15:
- No. 13 San Antonio, where the median rent is $1,219 and the entry-level salary is $59,900
- No. 15 Dallas-Fort Worth, where the median rent is $1,423 and the entry-level salary is $65,300
Austin, consistently touted as a magnet for college grads, failed to make the LinkedIn cut.
“What you [also] won’t find on this list are the traditional coastal job magnets — New York, the Washington, D.C. area, the San Francisco Bay Area, and Los Angeles,” LinkedIn points out. “Those cities may still offer some of the highest starting salaries, but their sky-high rents mean income doesn’t stretch nearly as far.”
Among the top occupations in the metro areas on LinkedIn’s list are software engineer, registered nurse, teacher, project manager, project engineer, consultant, and analyst.
It might be difficult to find those jobs, though. The Conference Board, a research group that monitors business trends, says the number of new job postings in Texas declined from 255,000 in March to 175,000 in April.
To deal with the current economic realities, some new college grads are making sacrifices. In a survey by Monster.com and Wakefield Research, 55 percent of graduating seniors indicated they’d applied for a job they knew wasn’t a good fit, and 52 percent said they would accept a lower salary.
“They’re feeling desperate,” Vicki Salemi, a career expert at Monster.com, told The Hill news website.