2011 10 Best Cities for College Grads

No need to pull an all-nighter hoping to find the best cities for new college grads. We've already done the homework for you.

Consider it our graduation gift to you. You were probably hoping for cash or a flat-screen TV. Sorry :)

If you're not a recent grad but you know someone who is (or you're really hoping will be soon) steer them here. We've got some advice to share ...

Congratulations. You did it. Yeah. You're finished with college. Welcome to the real world. A world full of bills to pay, responsibility, and harder decisions than whether or not to take a study break at the bar. Yes, full-on adulthood is in front of you, but with that comes something William Wallace would certainly urge you to fight for: FREEDOM!

The freedom to choose what you want to do and where you want to be. Seems like a daunting task, so we've compiled a list to help make searching for the perfect city a little easier. We looked at some of the best cities around the country, based on job opportunities, salaries, population age and of course, night life and cultural scenes. We're essentially presenting you a guide to some of the best places to live if you're a recent college graduate. So don't despair, because as a friend who watched Braveheart once said, "They can take our kegs, but they can't take our freedom."

Ranking Criteria
Number of job opportunities
Competitive salaries,
High ratio of single residents
Lively cultural scene
  • 10

    Nashville, TN

    Population: 634,512

    The draw for country crooners and record labels is obvious: Nashville, TN, has some serious music connections. But there's far more to Music City than its famous saloons, honky tonks and neon signs. The city offers plenty of opportunities to recent college grads including jobs and fun. Nashville is led by a health-care industry with more than 250 companies in the vicinity, and also ranks high in sales and business/finance and features an emerging technology scene.

    Median resident age: 36

    Married: 34%

    Single: 66%

    Median household income: $45,408

    Median rent for a two-bedroom apartment: $822

    Median travel time to work: 18 minutes

    Total workforce: 393,419

    White collar jobs: 79%

    Blue collar jobs: 21%

    Bachelor's degree: 25%

    Masters degree: 14%