As the Class of 2012 Leaves Campus Life, and CareerBuilder Reveal the "Top 15 Best Cities for Recent College Graduates"

Washington DC Claims Top Spot in Fifth Annual List

May 24, 2012, 05:00 ET from

CHICAGO, May 24, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- With statistics showing that more than one million bachelor's degrees are conferred each year,* eager grads of the class of 2012 emerging from colleges across the country this spring are being faced by some real-life changing decisions—where to work and where to live. While more than half of employers (54 percent) surveyed by CareerBuilder reported they plan to hire recent college grads in 2012, up from 46 percent last year, the competition for jobs is still stiff in this recovering economy. The current job situation combined with the lowest apartment vacancy rates in recent history and increasing rents nationwide make it more important for recent grads to evaluate their prospective career and living opportunities on a holistic level. For the fifth year, and CareerBuilder have compiled the "Top 15 Best Cities for Recent College Graduates" list to identify those cities that offer the best overall opportunity. 

Recent grads, and in fact many people today, are willing to relocate for work as evidenced in a recent survey where respondents said relocating for employment opportunities was the number one reason they were planning to move in 2012. However, in today's tight rental market the cost of living needs to be an integral part of the decision equation.

"When starting out, it can be tempting to focus on only one aspect of a city," said Tammy Kotula, public relations and promotions manager for "However, it's important to carefully evaluate a variety of options before choosing where to settle down. The first step should be identifying cities that offer the most professional opportunities while affording you a lifestyle you can enjoy. If you relocate to an area of the country with high apartment occupancy, you may find yourself paying more in rent in response to a competitive market. However, if this same city offers a wealth of opportunities for your career, you may find it's something that evens out. It is tough decisions like this that have motivated the teams at and CareerBuilder to collaborate and generate this list that measures job opportunity, average salary and rent." 

Even after graduation, savvy grads find they still have some homework to do to identify the cities that afford them the best opportunity for employment, the best place to live and the best quality of life as a young professional.

"While the competition remains tough, job prospects for recent college graduates have improved this year," said Michael Erwin, director of Corporate Communications for CareerBuilder. "Job listings on CareerBuilder are up across industries and company sizes. The key is pinpointing those markets that not only have the greatest demand for your skill sets, but match areas of interest."

The and CareerBuilder "Top 15 Best Cities for Recent College Graduates" list is a resource that helps identify the best places in the country for newly minted grads to begin their new lives, taking into account employment opportunities, salary and rent for a one bedroom apartment. and CareerBuilder, backed by their expertise as two leading national online resources for apartments and jobs, present the 2012 "Top 15 Best Cities for Recent College Graduates" list along with average rent for a one bedroom apartment:

Top 15 Best  Cities for Recent College

Average Rent for 1 Bedroom

1.     Washington DC

$ 1,696

2.     New York

$ 1,789

3.     Boston

$ 1,814

4.     Minneapolis

$  974

5.     Dallas

$  912

6.     Atlanta

$  855

7.     Chicago

$ 1,224

8.     Houston

$  910

9.     Philadelphia

$ 1,070

10.  Baltimore

$ 1,235

11.  Denver

$ 1,089

12.  Salt Lake City

$  772

13.  San Francisco

$ 1,653

14.  Seattle

$ 1,199

15.  Oklahoma City, OK

$  676

The and CareerBuilder "Top 15 Best Cities for Recent College Graduates" list was culled from US cities in the top 100 Designated Market Areas based on the inventory of entry level jobs from CareerBuilder and CareerRookie (January-April 2012), average entry level salary (CareerBuilder April 2012) and the average rent for a one bedroom apartment (rents from April 2012). Inventory of entry level jobs was weighted heaviest as that is of most importance to recent graduates, alongside unemployment as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (March 2012), eliminating markets where the average rate of unemployment was above 10 percent.

About CareerBuilder
CareerBuilder is the global leader in human capital solutions, helping companies target and attract their most important asset - their people. Its online career site,®, is the largest in the United States with more than 24 million unique visitors, 1 million jobs and 40 million resumes. CareerBuilder works with the world's top employers, providing resources for everything from employment branding and data analysis to recruitment support. More than 9,000 websites, including 140 newspapers and broadband portals such as MSN and AOL, feature CareerBuilder's proprietary job search technology on their career sites. Owned by Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE: GCI), Tribune Company and The McClatchy Company (NYSE: MNI), CareerBuilder and its subsidiaries operate in the United States, Europe, South America, Canada and Asia. For more information, visit

About ( is a leading national apartment Internet listing subscription service with more than 50,000 unique addresses representing millions of rental units from managed properties, newspaper classifieds and for-rent-by-owner properties. By incorporating the most relevant products to reach renters including personalized searches and highly visual ads featuring live chat, real-time rent, online video walk-through demonstrations, professional photography, a mobile website and iPhone and Android app, creates easy access to its listings. Providing unmatched exposure to its advertisers through an intuitive name, strategic search engine placements, featured partnerships including Yahoo! Real Estate, Univision and more than 120 newspaper websites and innovative emerging media, reaches millions of renters nationwide, driving both qualified traffic and highly-engaged renters to leasing offices nationwide. is a division of Chicago-based Classified Ventures, LLC. The network of apartment rental websites includes Apartment Home Living (, a leading social media apartment website distinguished by a "live for fun" community experience, proprietary lifestyle matching and local living guides to help renters find their perfect place to live.

*SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. (2011) Digest of Education Statistics, 2010 (NCES 2010-015),Chapter 3.