#1 - Cambridge, MA – Top 10 Best Cities for New College Grads, 2014 | Livability

Harvard Square in Cambridge, Mass., draws more than eight million people annually.
Harvard Square in Cambridge, Mass., draws more than eight million people annually.

Few cities offer young job seekers the opportunities they'll find in Cambridge, Mass., our pick as the best city for new college grads. More than 600 companies located in this Boston suburb provide an ample supply of jobs, most of which are high-paying when compared to the average American salary. Two internationally renowned educational institutions in Cambridge – Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology – draw thousands of college students to the area, but it's the city's eclectic mix of cultural amenities and exciting entertainment options that appeal to a high number of residents between the ages of 25 and 34.

Among that demographic, nearly 88 percent hold bachelor's degrees or higher. Housing, while in high demand and somewhat more expensive than the national average, isn't too difficult to find. More than 63 percent of homes in Cambridge are rental properties.

An impressive waterfront and well-maintained historical buildings mix with more modern architecture to create an urban feel that attracts more of the Birkenstock crowd than the suit-and-tie types. The city's flat and compact layout makes it easy to bike and walk in. The Red Line subway system lets riders get on and off at five stops throughout the city, and 26 bus routes take passengers to and from Cambridge's diverse neighborhoods. About 33 percent of residents use public transportation on a daily basis here, and city leaders actively promote energy conservation and lowering carbon emissions, which many new college grads like. These efforts helped Cambridge rank No. 1 for air quality in Massachusetts.

During warm months, farmers markets in Cambridge operate every day of the week and on Saturdays during the winter. Food trucks make routine stops near the riverfront, where many residents go to take long walks or just soak in the sunshine. Downtown Cambridge has a vibrant arts scene with unique shops and an assortment of eclectic restaurants. A variety of festivals, concerts and special events are held in the downtown area, which features period lighting and fresh paintings along with recently restored building facades.

Snapshot

Number of 25- to 34-year-olds: 29,238

*Number of available jobs: 57,756

Hot jobs: biotechnology, research and development, health care

Top employers: Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research, Sanofi-Genzyme BioVentures, Biogen Idec

*According to Indeed.com