Graduates must decide where their lives are going after getting a college degree. Literally, one of the big choices they face is where to live.
“The most mobile age group is 18 to 29 year olds,” Alison Fields, chief of the Census Bureau’s Journey-to-Work and Migration Statistics Branch, said.
“It stands to reason that single people and renters, whose roots are not yet so deep, find it much easier to relocate for a job. People in their early twenties are three to five times more likely to move than a mid-career person,” Richard Florida, director of the Martin Prosperity Institute at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management, said.
Quality of life — in the form of great restaurants and night life, museums, diversity and street energy — is also important to people who are seeking to move. Fortunately, he said, cities with those attributes tend to be places that also provide a lot of economic opportunity.
San Francisco, CA- The “Golden State” has several top playing metro cities. The annual median wage of a public relations specialist working in San Francisco is $84,000, which is $30,000 more than the average pay in the profession, according to the 2013 U.S. News & World Report. Though rent is high, San Francisco is ranked as one of the easiest cities to live in without a car by WalkScore.com.
Additionally, the Bridge City comes in at seventh for the most Twitter users, according to research done by Marketwire. This statistic contributed to San Francisco being listed as one of the 10 Social Media Meccas Worldwide by CommPRO.biz. With nearby Silicon Valley and downtown SOMA, computer-savvy grads can find plenty of tech companies to work with, including big names such as Google, Facebook and Apple.
Listed as the fifth best city for sports fans by NerdWallet.com, San Francisco averages almost 100 percent attendance at games for all four major sports— MLB, NFL, NHL and NBA. Attending the games is affordable for sports fans as tickets for Giants and Warriors games run about $30 each.
Chicago, IL- After a devastating fire in 1871, Daniel Burnham redesigned Chicago so every citizen could be walking distance from a park, streets could be wider and buildings could be taller. These factors make the average commute shorter, at 35 minutes vs. 40 minutes, according to Business Insider. The “Windy City” hosts a high density of political, healthcare and financial PR jobs.
“We currently have over 400 Liberty University students and alumni in the Greater Chicago area, with a solid percentage of them being in the fields of communications and public relations specifically. They work in organizations such as Christianity Today, Brand Be Collective, Plan B Advertising Agency, and The Chicago International Movies & Music Festival. As one of the top 25 cities for recent graduates and starting place of Edelman, the world’s largest independently owned PR firm, Chicago certainly has a lot to offer”, Liberty University Career Counselor Reggie Leonard said.
Austin, TX- Forbes listed Austin as one of the best job markets for finding work. Many of the jobs in this booming city are sprouting from the real growth in well-paying social media positions. The average salary for PR specialists is $60 thousand in Austin, well above the national average. Yet, Austin has the lowest cost of living on this list so residence will actually be able to hold on to some of your paycheck.
Austin is emerging particularly quickly in the tech industry, as Dell and IBM are headquartered here. At fewer than six percent, Austin has the lowest unemployment rate of any city on this list. Known as the “Live Music Capital”, Austin has so much for young professionals to do. For those not fond of the cold, Texas’ capital may be the ideal city. To top it off, Keplinger lists Austin as the #1 city to live in for the next decade.
Boston, MA- AdAge named the Boston agency Allen & Gerristen its “2011 #1 Place to Work.” For more experience before committing to a job, their internship program has been recognized as a “magnet for millennial talent.” At a rate of less than seven percent, unemployment is not a high concern for those living in Boston.
Consulting and venture capital are the major industries here. With a wealth of museums and historical sites such as the Paul Revere House, America’s past still lives on in this city. Beantown, as it is affectionately known, has the most 18 to 24 year olds of any U.S. city.
It’s crawling with college students and welcomes a young crowd. Sports lovers especially enjoy this town because “Boston has some of the most iconic franchises in sports and one of the most hallowed ballparks in Fenway Park”, NerdWallet.com reports.
Washington, D.C. – Employment opportunities are three-fold greater here than compared to the national average, according to Show Me the Money. At $81 thousand, the average salary for PR specialists in D.C. is almost double the overall national average of $46 thousand. The U.S. capital’s unemployment rate is less than six percent. Not only are lots of attractions, like the Smithsonians, free to the public, but specialty interests groups constantly invite young professionals to their events.
“Washington, D.C. is probably best known for politics and government; however, there is a diverse and vibrant community that makes this area unique. Almost every organization in the world has a presence here and that creates numerous opportunities for public relations professionals. In addition, the region offers a perfect mix of history combined with vast modern amenities for dining, shopping, entertainment, touring, sports and other activities both in and around our nation’s capital,” Senior Vice President of Edelman David Almacy said.
New York City, NY- The Big Apple is home to multiple worldwide agency headquarters. NYC based Edelman has the highest fees of any top PR firms with major U.S. operations, according to an Odwyer report released in March of 2013. With almost 5 thousand employees, their net fees have reached $656 thousand.
Keep an eye out for the small agencies too. For instance, Mr. Youth was voted the second best place to work by Crain’s New York Business in 2011. The “if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere” attitude is prevalent in this highly competitive environment. The city also embraces “work hard, play hard” as most things are open 24-hours.
“New York City, of course, is the premier place to work if you can get a job. It’s where the best in PR are brought up, for the most part,” Jon Negroni, creator of The Pixar Theory and 2012 public relations graduate of Liberty University, said.
“When it comes to a career in the marketing industry, which includes PR professionals, the location and the field you choose can have an immense impact on your future satisfaction and salary,” Anne Webster, president of the staffing agency Aquent, said in a press release.
Extensive research is available for those attempting to make an educated decision as to where they should work and live. “When in doubt, go where you have the most connections,” Liberty University Public Relations Professor Amy Bonebright advises.