New grads should take notice of OKC
Graduating college is an exciting milestone, but the best may be yet to come. Once you're done earning your college degree, you get the opportunity to spread your wings, ease into adulthood, and build the life you've been dreaming of.
Part of the journey includes deciding where you'll live. While some people might choose their new city based on their job search alone, others might choose a destination based on recreation activities, additional educational opportunities, or their appreciation of the arts. And no matter what, almost every new graduate has to look at any city they're considering through the lens of affordability. Even if they want to live in a specific destination, can they actually afford to?
If you're currently weighing your options, OnlineDegrees.com has ranked the best cities for U.S. college graduates in terms of affordability, employment opportunities, nightlife, and other factors. For 2018, we once again compiled three different rankings for small, midsize, and big cities, depending on what size urban environment might best suit you.
In this particular ranking, we profiled 59 U.S. metropolitan areas with a population of more than 750,000. Taking the largest city in each of those metro areas, we then ranked the cities on a 10-point scale for factors such as average rent, cost of living, nightlife, percentage of young people, median earnings, and the job market. Whether you're looking for a place to settle down now or once you graduate from college, explore our list of the best big cities for new college graduates.
Out of all the places in this "best big cities" ranking, Oklahoma City took the No. 1 spot for its overall affordable cost of living. Cost-conscious new grads can enjoy the lowest average rents of all the big cities we profiled, along with low costs for everything else including food, insurance and medical care. Oklahoma City also claims the No. 2 spot — out of all 59 metro areas analyzed — for its low unemployment rate, no doubt helped by the city's diversified economic base, which includes aerospace, biotech, energy and logistics.
This Midwestern capital is also home to numerous museums such as the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, gorgeous parks, and plenty of opportunities for nightlife.
- Percent of population between 20 and 34, 2015: 22.7%
- Median rent, 2015: $611
- Median earnings for bachelor's degree holders, 2015: $45,024
- Average projected job growth statewide, 2014-24: 7.78%
To keep up with all the latest accolades about OKC, check out the accolades section of the Greater Chamber of Oklahoma City website.