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10 Best Cities for New Grads

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The world beyond campus can seem big and scary to new graduates, and finding where you belong in it can be daunting. But don't be discouraged. The best places to live and work after college often share certain traits, chief among them good-paying jobs, an affordable lifestyle and an active social scene. To make the transition from dorm life to real life easier, we identified ten promising cities for new grads.

Because those student loans won't pay themselves, we focused first and foremost on places where recent graduates are likely to take home above-average paychecks. Payscale, a compensation research firm, provided us with the median salaries of bachelor's-degree holders with up to three years of work experience in the nation's 200 largest metro areas.

Next we sought out the big cities that, relative to income potential, are friendly to young adults' budgets, based on average monthly living costs for renters, as tallied by the Council for Community and Economic Research. We also scanned for above-average concentrations of twentysomethings, according to Census Bureau counts. Finally, we screened for cities with low unemployment rates — both for the overall population and for people in their twenties.

Take a look at the ten best cities for new grads.

10 Best Cities for New Grads
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