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Here are some of the best places for recent grads to put their diplomas to use. Photo: Flickr

Graduation is over and it’s time for the newly educated to put their skills to work; but deciding the best place to launch a (hopefully) long and prosperous career can sometimes feel like it takes a master’s degree in and of itself.

Luckily, the Class of 2017 has the data nerds at WalletHub to crunch the numbers on all the factors that matter when job hunting: job-market saturation, housing affordability and commuter friendliness, to name a few.

To determine the overall livability of the 150 largest U.S. cities, WalletHub examined 23 separate metrics ranging from the availability of entry-level jobs to monthly average starting salary to workforce diversity.

The best place for a recent college grad to go to incubate a successful career?


1. Salt Lake City
2. Orlando
3. Austin
4. Grand Rapids
5. Tempe
6. Atlanta
7. Miami
8. Denver
9. Irving
10. Madison

Boston landed at No. 13 on the list, Philadelphia barely made it on the radar at No. 127. New York City is apparently living up to it's "if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere" reputation, landing at No. 129 on the list.

While WalletHub crunched the raw data, experts warned there’s more to landing your dream career than the availability of entry level jobs and cheap housing: you have to make sure the market exists for your chosen field.

“The city depends on the work. If you want to specialize in social or public policy, select cities that have a lot of government offices, and often consulting companies that serve them,” Professor Richard E. Boyatzis of Case Western Reserve University, said in a statement. “If you want healthcare, select cities that have a a lot of hospitals and medical care centers which are highly regarded. If you want technology and/or innovation, select cities with major technical universities like Boston, Silicon Valley, L.A., Atlanta or Pittsburgh.”

Data also can’t actually get you a job, Professor Adrienne O’Rourke of American University said it’s often who you know that helps you edge into the professional world.

“Choose a city where you have a network, even if it’s only one or two people, especially if you are moving without a job. We tell out students 80 percent of jobs are found through networking, and it is most likely you will get a position through that network,” she said.

View the full list of WalletHub’s, “2017’s Best & Worst Places to Start a Career.

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