Atlanta is one of the best cities for new graduates

by Rincey Abraham

School is back in session across the country, but many new graduates are still figuring out where they want to settle for the next chapter of their lives. NerdWallet recently listed the top cities for new graduates, and Atlanta is toward the top of the list.

NerdWallet looked at a number of factors, including the percentage of the population between the ages of 20 to 29 and how many of those age 25 and older have a bachelor’s degree or higher. It also looked at median income for residents with a bachelor’s degree, median rent and the labor market.

Coming in at No. 9, Atlanta ranked highly due to its affordability, with the median rent making up only 22 percent of income for those with a bachelor’s degree. Workers in the city also have relatively high earnings, with a median of of $53,581.

Additionally, the city had the 10th-largest percentage of workers in management, business, science and arts occupations, at 51.2 percent. NerdWallet credits this high percentage as a result of being home to Georgia Tech.

Another college town, Madison, Wisconsin, topped the list due to its low unemployment rate, high percentage of workers in management, business, science or arts jobs and extremely affordable cost of living, with median gross rent of $981. That means rent makes up only 25 percent of residents’ income – the lowest among cities in the top 10 of the NerdWallet list.

City Bachelor’s degree or higher for population
25 & older
Median earnings with bachelor’s degree 25 & older Rent as a percentage of income for those with a bachelor’s degree Percentage of workers in management, business, science or
arts jobs
Madison, WI 31.6% $46,275 25.4% 52.3%
Arlington, VA 34.5% $75,025 29.5% 68.0%
Seattle, WA 36.7% $60,476 26.9% 56.6%
Minneapolis, MN 28.1% $50,341 21.7% 48.5%
Boston, MA 26.1% $56,853 30.0% 47.5%
Washington, D.C. 23.8% $64,142 26.5% 60.9%
San Francisco, CA 33.2% $72,016 27.6% 53.4%
Austin, TX 30.9% $50,379 27.1% 46.5%
Atlanta, GA 27.0% $53,581 22.0% 51.2%
Raleigh, NC 31.7% $48,034 24.2% 46.3%