A fresh college degree can open a world of possibilities. One of the first decisions you often make as a young professional with a new degree is where you wish to live and work.
Career opportunities are important to consider, but you also may have additional priorities. For example, you might wish to choose a city in which to raise a young family, or you may prefer a city with more entertainment venues.
You may also want to live close to loved ones or have easy access to certain other specific amenities. It might also feel important to live in an area where you are surrounded by people of a similar age and with similar interests.
Whatever your criteria are, here are six growing cities for young professionals to add to your list.
1. Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Although technically not one city, the entire area that includes Chapel Hill, Durham, and Raleigh, North Carolina is one of the most rapidly growing areas for technology-based careers in the entire country.
Known as the “Triangle Area,” it is also a place that has recently become quite popular for young remote workers. The area is also known for its many fun activities for singles and young families.
Some of these include:
- Various entertainment and concert venues
- Outdoor sports opportunities
- Science and history museums
- Art galleries
The Triangle Area offers easy access to continuing education opportunities. There are multiple accredited universities in the area with excellent reputations, including Duke University.
Therefore, it can be a great place to hone your professional skills and stay informed about new educational opportunities in your field.
Additionally, it is a relatively easy area to live in because the cost of living in the region tends to be lower than in many other cities throughout the United States.
2. Nashville, Tennessee
The “Birthplace of Country Music”is still a mecca for country music enthusiasts today. However, it has also experienced a major business boom in the last several years.
That has led to a boom in new residents. The city’s population increased by 4.53 percent from 2016 to 2021, according to one survey. Many prominent companies also now call it home, including Pilot and AllianceBernstein LP.
It is also an especially popular city among young medical professionals in the field of health care, or technology production related to health care.
The average Nashville resident spends approximately 23% of earned income on cost-of-living expenses. That is lower than the cost of living in many larger prominent cities, such as New York City.
Therefore, you can expect to have an affordable living experience if you move there. You can also enjoy easy access to many different entertainment opportunities. The city has a thriving nightlife scene, as well as excellent artistic and cultural centers.
3. Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas
Approximately 1,198,700 people between the ages of 20 and 34 reside in Dallas, Texas. Within the Dallas-Fort Worth area, there are approximately 7.4 million residents.
The average age among those residents is 35. This can make it an appealing destination if you are looking to start a new career as a young professional.
Networking is a key part of building that career. The Dallas area offers many opportunities for you to network in both professional and social environments.
Dallas is a beautiful city with many fun things to do. There is ample access to restaurants, public transport, museums, and shopping venues. Also, the costs of living there are relatively low.
Residents spend an average of 24 percent of earned income on housing. Therefore, it may be easier to settle there without worrying about living beyond your means.
4. Boulder, Colorado
Boulder is ranked fourth on the U.S. News and World Report list of Best Places to Live for 2022-2023. It is an extremely popular city for young professionals, with a few caveats.
The area is not widely known for its nightlife or big city experiences. Instead, it is coveted for its proximity to nature and beautiful views.
Residents in Boulder, especially those working in tech industries, value it for its higher-than-average annual salary statistics and its laid-back work schedule culture. It is common for young Boulder professionals to take days off for outdoor activities like skiing or hiking.
Many of them also work from home and set their own schedules to accommodate other outdoor hobbies, such as biking or climbing.
5. Fayetteville, Arkansas
The median age of residents in Fayetteville, Arkansas is 34.2, and it has one of the lowest cost of housing percentages on this list, coming in at an average of 20.56 percent of salary.
Job opportunities abound in the area. One of the largest companies to call it home is Tyson Foods. The University of Arkansas is also located in Fayetteville.
As a young professional, you can pursue additional educational opportunities there, or perhaps apply to work for the institution. Other incentives to potentially move to Fayetteville include:
- Active nightlife
- Ozark mountain views
- Live music performances
- Unique restaurants
- Art museums
- Year-Round farmer’s markets
- Potential cash incentives for relocating remote workers
6. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina is one of the most popular vacation destinations on the east coast of the United States. It is also an up-and-coming destination on the list of popular permanent homes for young professionals.
It has the fastest-growing metropolitan region among the 150 cities in the U.S. News and World Report Best Places to Live 2022-2023 list. Specifically, it experienced a population increase of 17.72 percent from 2016 to 2021.
The possibility of working within walking or biking distance of the sandy shores of Myrtle Beach may appeal to you. Myrtle Beach nightlife, restaurants, and other attractions also abound.
However, there are some key factors to consider. For instance, the median age in Myrtle Beach is a bit high, at 48.8 years of age. Also, the cost of living is higher than that of the other destinations on this list.
However, the area is experiencing rapid growth, which may present new and innovative business opportunities in the near future. It may be a wonderful place to live if you are a young professional who does not mind taking a bit of a gamble.