New Degree, New City

Houston earns valedictorian status as the best city for new grads

Houston earns valedictorian status as the best city for new grads

Houston skyline
New grads should head to Houston. Photo by Tim Leviston/Getty Images

Hurricane Harvey can't dim Houston's attractiveness, especially for new grads. Once again, H-Town is at the top of's ranking of the best big cities for U.S. college graduates, thanks to several inviting factors.

The learning website profiled 59 metro areas with a population of more than 750,000, ranking them on a 10-point scale for factors such as average rent, cost of living, nightlife, percentage of young people, median earnings, and the job market.

"Although Houston recently suffered considerable damage due to flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey, several factors kept it at the top of our list," says the study. "Not only does it boast a diverse culture, but it is home to numerous Fortune 500 company headquarters and offers excellent potential for job growth in the future. Houston also features low rent and high earnings — a combination every new graduate looks for in their future city."

Nearly a quarter of Houston's population is between the ages of 20 and 34, and the median rent in 2015 was only $764. Those with a bachelor's degree can expect to earn around $58,244, while state-wide job growth is projected to be nearly 18 percent.

And don't forget about sports (and how could you, with the Astros' recent World Series win?). Houston's abundance of athletics is highlighted with shout-outs to its pro football, soccer, basketball, and baseball teams. NASA's Johnson Space Center also gets a nod, for residents who are "interested in things far above ground."

But Houston isn't the only Texas city to top the list. Austin and San Antonio tie for second place, as both boast a low cost of living, high job growth, and plenty of cultural activities that appeal to a younger crowd.