Top Cities for Entry-Level Jobs

Some career advice from the 1800s included the famous quote "Go West young man." The 2010 version of that quote should be "Go South young man."

According to a new survey by Businessweek.com, many of the best cities for recent college students to look for work are in the South. And, if you are heading to many cities on the top 30 list, you might want to start shopping for cowboy boots.

Houston is at the top of the list this year, based on a compilation of job openings for new college grads. Growth in energy and health-related jobs have fueled the hiring boom there. Of the top 30 cities for jobs, 13 of the cities are new from the year before, and five of those cities are in Texas. Not only are southern towns fueling more new grad jobs, they are also praised for having much lower costs of living than their counterparts on the coasts, which is more good news for first-time workers.

Not surprisingly, the second city on the list is Washington, D.C., which marginally can be considered a southern town. The expansion of the federal government has fueled both public and private sector jobs.

Cities like Chicago, which were on the top 30 list last year, have dropped off the list, thanks to the ongoing effects of the recession.

Of course, some people take a more practical look at the rankings of cities for recent grads, focused on more than just a job. The Daily Beast recently put together its own list of the top 25 cities for college graduates. The list was based on a Gallup survey of 28,000 20-somethings and included factors such as sense of community and long-term desire to stay in the town. The list is a lot different than the Business Week list. Many of the cities are college towns such as Ithaca, N.Y. (No. 1 on the list) and Madison, Wisc.

One city that pops up on almost all of these lists is Austin, Texas ( No. 5 on both the Daily Beast and Business Week surveys). The combination of job availability, college-town atmosphere and overall hipness make this one of the best places for recent grads to head.

Of course, the best town for any person is the one where you actually get a job.

Next: Best Places to Work for College Grads

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