10 Happiest Cities For Young People To Live And Work

cities for college grads

Many young, entry-level workers assume that the big cities -- New York, Chicago, Los Angeles -- hold the best job opportunities and therefore the best chance for having a happy life.

But a new survey by CareerBliss.com suggests that recent college graduates might do better in considering second- or third-tier cities -- where costs of living are often cheaper and competition is less fierce.

The employment website analyzed data based on reviews from 14,000 college grads with less than two years experience, who were asked to assess 10 factors that affect happiness, such as work-life balance and growth opportunities, and assigned each factor up to five points.

To determine the best cities, CareerBliss also factored in the cost-of-living-adjusted salary, resulting in an overall "BlissScore." And the conclusion? The less-populated, slightly off-the-beaten-path cities often offered a better shot at happiness than the big ones.

Caveat: The number of job openings wasn't taken into account in compiling the list. But less competition, along with low unemployment rates in some of the cities, may give some recent grads the edge in finding the jobs of their dreams -- or at least, the job of their needs.

Check out CareerBliss' 10 Happiest Cities for Job-Seeking College Grads in the gallery below.

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David Schepp

Staff Writer

David Schepp has spent more than a dozen years covering business news for the electronic and print media, including Dow Jones Newswires, BBC News, Gannett Co., and most recently at AOL's DailyFinance. Nearly 10 years ago, he started writing a weekly People@Work column, looking in depth at issues facing workers in today's workplace. The syndicated column appeared in newspapers and websites nationwide before it made its debut on DailyFinance in 2010. Schepp now continues that tradition at Aol Jobs, covering the jobs beat and providing readers insight and analysis into the nation's challenging employment scene.

Schepp holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism from Metropolitan State College of Denver.

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