This graduation cap on top of a job application illustrates the path of recent graduate pursuing career goals.

These cities can help recent grads meet their career goals

When it comes to career prospects, cities with growing job opportunities and higher--or at least livable--wages top the list

A return on investment is increasingly important for students as they evaluate their higher-ed options. A new report from WalletHub details 2020’s best cities to find a job–cities where recent graduates can lay the groundwork to meet their career goals.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ jobs report notes that the most recent unemployment rate of 3.6 percent is only a bit higher than September 2019’s rate of 3.5 percent–a 50-year low, notes WalletHub’s Adam McCann.

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This low unemployment rate means many recent college grads may have more employment possibilities available to them–and they may also have freedom to pick and choose the career and location that best aligns with their long-term employment goals.

WalletHub’s survey notes that, according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, “employers plan to hire 5.8 percent more members from the Class of 2020 than from the previous graduating cohort.”

“Health care, long term care, medical devices, life sciences, and data analytics jobs will continue to grow,” says Anoshua Chaudhuri, Ph.D. Chadhuri is one of a panel of experts consulted for the survey and is Professor & Chair, Department of Economics, Faculty Advisor, MBA-Health Care Administration, Affiliate Faculty, Health Equity Institute, San Francisco State University.

“Based on past trends and patterns, it seems that healthcare is going to be one of the largest areas of growth, partially due to our aging population and that people are living longer. As technology continues to develop and evolve, more and more organizations are looking for people to interpret data, develop social media content, create websites, etc.,” says Beth Settje, Associate Director, College to Career Transitions and Alumni Engagement, University of Connecticut. “There also appears to be a shift to certain roles being phased out or using AI, so certain jobs may be eliminated; that stated, it has also been reinforced that the human factor is critical and cannot be replaced. So even if a job is converted to automation, there need to be people to oversee processes, communicate effectively, train, etc. New jobs are also being created to complement the AI. There are also jobs not yet known, so there is growth due to new opportunities being formed.”

Overall, the best places to find a job include:

1. Scottsdale, AZ
2. South Burlington, VT
3. San Francisco, CA
4. Austin, TX
5. Fremont, CA
6. Chandler, AZ
7. Boston, MA
8. Tempe, AZ
9. Portland, ME
10. Boise, ID

Cities with the most job opportunities are Charleston, SC; Orlando, FL; Columbia, SC; Salt Lake City, UT; and Cincinnati, OH. The highest employment growth can be found in Reno, NV; Glendale, AZ; Boise, ID; Phoenix, AZ; and Columbus, GA.

On the flip side, the fewest job opportunities can be found in Newark, NJ; Brownsville, TX; Bridgeport, CT; Stockton, CA; and Detroit, MI. The lowest employment growth is found in Fargo, ND; Irvine, CA; Omaha, NE; Fayetteville, NC; Bismarck, ND; and Santa Clarita, CA.

Laura Ascione