Seniors On the Go: A Look at Where and Where Not to Live After Graduation


Melanie Quintanilla, Web Editor-in-Chief

In a little less than 60 days you will be packing up your dorm room or apartment with a college degree in hand.

Hopefully at that point, most of you know where you will be heading to next.

There are many cities throughout the nation that are great “starter-cities.” Places like these usually have a wide variety of entry-level jobs available, choices of affordable housing and also many other college graduates nearby.

Researchers from Trulia, an online residential real estate state site for home buyers, sellers, renters, and professionals, and LinkedIn, a business and employment-oriented social networking site, joined forces to put together data on affordable housing and current hob listing to create a starter city list.

According to those researchers the best city to move to is:

Pittsburgh, PA

The Steel City offers an affordable cost of living, a large percent of college graduates, and a high availability of jobs.

Let me start with how much it would cost to reside in Pittsburgh. The numbers fluctuate from starting as low as $688 dollars for a furnished studio apartment up to the $1,000 range for a fully furnished 900 square foot apartment.

The great part about this area is that salary starts at around $47,000 for a college graduate with less than one year of experience.

Also more than five percent of the population is made up of recent college grads. This means you will be able to mingle with them and make new friends who are going through the same things you are.

So not only will you be able to afford the apartment that you live in; you will likely get a good pay that affords a little extra spending money or saving money, depending on the type of person you are.

The only downside to Pittsburgh is that the unemployment rate has spiked  from at 4.6% to a 6.3% in just one year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Do not let that percentage bring you down because that will not be you, stay positive!

Now I am going to move onto the worst place that you can move to straight after graduation.

I decided to do a little research on Miami FL., because half of my family lives in that area. It always seems like a magical destination to some people, or maybe even a never-ending vacation. However, to my surprise, Miami fell under one of the worst places to move if you are a recent college graduate. I am providing you with this information to make sure you will not make the mistake of packing up your bags and moving to an area you might end up not being able to afford.

Off we go.

Miami, FL.

According to Trulia and LinkedIn, Miami has very few jobs available for graduates, the cost to live there is very high, and there aren’t many peers  living in the area.

Miami is mainly an area for retirees, and so there are few jobs to be had.

The cost of living is pretty high: a small studio apartment costs about $970 a month. If you want a nicer apartment, you would have to scrabble up to about $2,400 a month.

The unemployment rate, unfortunately, is on the higher side at 5.5%.  However, if you do manage to find a job, you might be happy that the pay is also on the higher side. Recent college graduates with less than one year of experience earn around $47,000 a year.

Do not let that bring your hopes up because, remember, that cost of living, will cut that paycheck in more than half.

On the plus side, Miami is a beautiful place with many wonderful beaches where you can sit back and relax. On the downside, there will not be much relaxing time because you are a grad with a “real job” that comes with “real job” demands, or you are constantly stressing out about working three different jobs to make enough money to pay those hefty bills.

Let’s just keep Miami as a vacation destination instead of a place to call home.