2021 Best Places for Education & Career Opportunities
Opportunity is everywhere if you know where to look. But some communities offer their residents a slight edge when it comes to opportunity — from high-paying jobs to top-notch college degrees and everything in between.
Now more than ever, people are on the hunt for communities where they can thrive, both personally and professionally. This means the ability to advance up the corporate ladder, launch the company they’ve always dreamed of starting, go back to school or land that coveted first job out of college — all while maintaining a high quality of life and a good work-life balance.
And though affordability plays a big role in these opportunities, so does the presence of major employers, colleges and universities, coworking spaces, business accelerators and other economic anchors.
With more and more people working remotely outside of a traditional corporate office, cities that offer opportunities for people to network, socialize, volunteer and learn new skills are in demand. Millions of remote workers are looking for new places to call home, which means being a “remote-ready” community has never been more important. People are looking for cities with reliable high-speed broadband (or fiber-optic!) internet, plenty of welcoming coworking spaces, and opportunities to learn and connect with other professionals.
Millennials, in particular, are looking for job opportunities in the communities they’re considering for relocation. In Livability’s national survey of millennials, more than half of respondents listed career options and job opportunities as a key factor in deciding where to live. This should come as no surprise since many Millennials graduated during the Great Recession, when jobs were scarce. Show them job opportunities and a strong economy, and Millennials will gladly consider moving to your community.
Though there’s no such thing as a truly “recession-proof” city, some are better poised to overcome economic challenges than others. These communities support startups, have diversified economies and often have a steady real estate market.
Educational opportunities are also extremely attractive to prospective residents. Whether the goal is boosting skills on their resume, going back to school to earn a graduate degree or just picking up a few classes for the fun of lifelong learning, people are eager to take courses and better themselves. Families are greatly concerned with the performance of local school districts, the availability of private schools and the proliferation of extracurricular activities.
For this reason, many of the cities on Livability’s Top 100 Best Places to Live lists are home to two-year and four-year colleges and universities, plus continuing education opportunities for non-traditional students like startup accelerators and art centers.