Fast-growing suburbs and college towns topped Money magazine’s list of the ten best places to launch a career in the United States.
To create the list, Money filtered through their Best Places to Live database to identify locations that “offer the best blend of affordability and strong economic performance,” Kerri Anne Renzulli writes in an article accompanying the ranking. Researchers considered factors such as cost of living, local amenities, commute time, job growth, and unemployment rates. Money considered locations with populations between 10,000 and 100,000 people and limited results to one destination per state.
According to Money, the top ten cities for new grads to start their careers are:
- Carmel, IN
- Allen, TX
- Brentwood, TN
- Olive Branch, MS
- Fond du Lac, WI
- Lone Tree, CO
- St. Peters, MO
- Orem, UT
- Dickinson, ND
- Fayetteville, AR
Nearly all of the locations on the list are suburbs of large metropolitan centers, offering many of the amenities of a big city without the high costs of living.
A majority of the destinations are also home to large company headquarters or manufacturing hubs that contribute to rapid economic growth, including soap manufacturer Marietta American Inc. in Olive Branch, Mississippi and GEICO in Carmel, Indiana. Three of the top ten locations are also home to universities that serve as the towns’ top employers: Utah Valley University in Orem, Utah; Dickinson State University in Dickinson, North Dakota; and the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville.
Money also praises locations on the list for their plenitude of outdoor recreation activities and cultural attractions, as well as other quality-of-life factors that make them desirable destinations, such as highly rated school districts in Allen, Texas and St. Peters, Missouri (Renzulli, Money, 3/12).