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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