The 5 Best Cities to Hire Recent Graduates

Alexander Huls

If you want your small business to succeed these days, you can’t just hire top talent when the time comes. You have to hire young talent – ideally fresh out of school. But how do you find yourself recent grads? Or maybe the better question is, where do you find them? The answer: “Well-educated young adults are disproportionately found in a few metropolitan areas.”

Which cities in particular? Well, we’ve selected five of the top cities where you will find the kind of young talent that will boost your small business.

San Francisco, California

No surprise here. Any place that tech giants like Google, Apple, and Facebook call home will attract young talent eager to make their mark in the world of technology. 34% of new residents in 2013 were recent college grads, an impressively highly number given how expensive the city is. This means there’s more young talent looking for a salary, which means that if your small business is tech-oriented, this is where you want to be.

Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota

This Midwest metropolis has become a hotspot thanks to its ability to “attract young job seekers by offering a … stable economy, high wages and affordable rental properties.” And those young job seekers are here in big numbers. 40% of new residents are recent grads, with 22.8% of the city’s population  comprised of people between 20-29. Most of them are drawn by the fact that “the Greater Minneapolis-St. Paul region has 19 Fortune 500 companies, the highest per capita mark of all metropolitan areas in the country.” Companies include Target, 3M, General Mills and Wells Fargo and ensure that the city is particularly a draw for recent grads looking to work in retail or banking. If that’s your small business’s industry too, Minneapolis is the place for you.

Austin, Texas

The famously small-business friendly Austin is also a friendly place for young talent. The city offers cheap living and a low unemployment rate that draws huge numbers of 25- to 34-year-olds (170,00 to be precise) from afar and from the city’s 27 public and private colleges. Most funnel right into Austin’s powerful economy and thriving tech industries. The city is also a draw for engineering and research and development grads  who would benefit any small business that wants to make its mark in those fields with great talent.

Washington, D.C.
A lot of young talent value stability when it comes to their career options. That’s why so many are headed to Washington. “The high number of government opportunities also ensures that the job market in Washington, D.C. is relatively more immune to economic recessions.” The result is that 21.3% of the population is 20- to 29-year-olds who are drawn to stable government jobs and healthy salaries (averaging $60, 104 a year). That’s also why 40% of new residents in the city are recent college grads. That’s a whole lot of talent your business could snap up.

Cambridge/Boston, Massachusetts

With Harvard and MIT here, you can imagine the quality of talent that awaits. Especially since a lot of young people come to study here and then, well, never leave thanks to the strong representation of health care, biotechnology, and R&D industries nearby. That’s why this area has the greatest proportion of young professionals of all large cities: 25.5% of its population is between 20-29. In other words, there are few better places to find amazing talent coming right out of school, even if you may have to fight off some competition to get them.


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