Moving after College Graduation
Preparing for life after college
As the end of your undergraduate career approaches, there are choices to make. What do you want to do? Where do you want to go? While these decisions may seem a little overwhelming, it can be exciting to have a blank slate. To help you develop a post-graduation plan, we’ve compiled some common choices and found the best cities to move to.
Not sure what you want to do? Check out the options below to decide which path to take.
Start a career
The traditional thing to do post-graduation is to start working. If you don’t have a job lined up, talk to the campus career center to see if they have lists of entry-level job openings, and ask them for help with resumes and cover letters. Online job sites and networking sites like LinkedIn are also great places to look.
Join a gap program
Gap programs are experiential years taken after college where you volunteer or work for a cause that you’re passionate about. These serve as opportunities to explore your interests before continuing education or finding a job. There are a wide range of programs ranging from teaching overseas to working with refugees or backpacking across the globe. Several opportunities can be found through the American Gap Association. Just note that some programs may require fundraising or paying your own way and others may be reserved for recent high school graduates.
Find an internship
Internships are ideal for those seeking a job in a competitive field because they provide experience and the potential to make connections. Many companies offer intern programs, but they may not be advertised online. Contact HR departments in potential workplaces to inquire about their internship programs, and keep in mind that positions may be unpaid.
Pursue more education
Another option is to continue your education. Whether starting over with an undergraduate degree in a different field or seeking a Master’s degree or doctorate, schooling is a great choice. Having another degree can make you more competitive in the job market and may result in higher pay for future jobs. Many higher-education programs allow you to take classes on the weekends or at night, so you could possibly pursue a degree while working.
Become a nanny or au pair
One popular choice after college is to become a childcare provider. Typically, a nanny provides child care for pay, while an au pair provides live-in childcare in exchange for room and board. These options will allow exploration of a new city when doing activities with the children — which is perfect if you’re unsure what you want to do in the future. If this is a short-term job, you’ll most likely have the opportunity to apply for jobs or take night classes in your free time.
Best cities for college grads
Want to leave your city or state? We’ve taken the options above and found the best cities for college grads pursuing one of those choices:
Best cities to find a job
- Plano, TX — This Dallas suburb was named the best city to find a job in 2016 by WalletHub. It has numerous job opportunities, business growth, and a cost of living lower than the national average.
- Chicago, IL — Chicago has a great mix of available jobs, affordable rent, and higher than average median earnings for those with a bachelor degree, according to NerdWallet.
- Seattle, WA — Seattle has a strong job market with low unemployment rate among bachelor’s degree holders. It’s also a top innovative city, according to Business Insider.
- Austin, TX — According the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Austin has a low unemployment rate and a weekly wage that’s higher than the national average. The private sector is also growing, with a 2.5 percent increase in jobs from 2015 to 2016.
- Overland Park, KS — This area is located just outside of Kansas City and is predicted to have almost 40 percent job growth over the next ten years. It’s also been ranked #26 on Money magazine’s best 6-figure towns list.
Top places for gap programs
Most gap programs are international, and you can typically find one in any location you desire. Whether it’s teaching sustainable farming in Latin America, teaching English in Asia, or learning about the culture in Morocco, the options are endless. You’ll likely be living out of a suitcase during these programs, so long-term storage for your belongings may be in order.
Top places for internships
- San Francisco, CA — As a technology hub, San Francisco is home to many companies like Adobe, Netflix and Apple. There are many internship programs at these companies for those pursuing technical careers. Many creative agencies are looking for marketing and online design interns as well.
- Washington, D.C. — Anyone interested in public policy, politics, or political journalism should head to our nation’s capital. Most politicians and policy offices have official internship programs and are eager to have workers come and learn.
- Dallas, TX — The Dallas area is home to 12 Fortune 500 companies and most offer business internships. Dallas is also a good place for people interested in sports careers because it’s home to six major sports teams.
- San Diego, CA — Because of the local influence from the Navy, there are many engineering companies in the San Diego area. Many of them offer intern programs to give hands-on experience.
- Minneapolis, MN — With recent growth in technology and advertising, Minneapolis has several opportunities. It’s also an ideal location for internships in the retail industry since it’s the home of Target.
Best cities for education
- Atlanta, GA — The Atlanta area has almost endless options for education including public and private colleges, universities and technical colleges. Some of the more notable institutions include Georgia State University, Emory University and Georgia Tech.
- Nashville, TN — Along with being home to institutions like Vanderbilt, Belmont, and Lipscomb, Nashville has lower than average rent and grocery prices.
- Boulder, CO — Boulder was ranked as the best college town in America by Best College Reviews. It’s home to the University of Colorado and has multiple entertainment sources for residents.
- Louisville, KY —Louisville is ranked as one of the most affordable college towns, according to Great Value Colleges. It’s home to the University of Louisville, which offers Master’s and doctoral programs along with schools of medicine, dentistry and law.
- Chapel Hill, NC — Chapel Hill is home to the University of North Carolina, and is located in the “Research Triangle,” which is a term associated with the region that houses research facilities, and numerous high-tech enterprises. This proximity may present you with plenty of job opportunities after you graduate.
Best cities for nanny jobs
- Boston, MA — The nanny community is active in Boston, with several placement agencies helping candidates find jobs.
- Austin, TX — With the growing population, more and more people are moving to Austin. And with more than 2/3 of women working in the city, there is a growing need for household help.
- San Francisco, CA — According to Care.com, nannies in San Francisco make the most money per hour!
- New York City, NY — The Big Apple has the most families who pay nanny employment taxes, meaning there are many families who use nanny services. New York is also home to endless cultural activities, so you can explore the city with the kids.
- Washington, D.C. — Nannies in the D.C. area can join a professional association that provides training, job placement, and events.
How to move after college
There are several steps to check off before moving. To help keep everything straight, we recommend using a moving checklist. And if you’re moving out for the first time, this apartment moving checklist will help make sure you have everything you need.
No matter where you’re moving to, you’ll need an easy, reliable solution. That’s where U-Pack comes in. U-Pack is a self-moving company where you do the loading and unloading, and we handle the driving. That means no navigating a long drive or new city in a rental truck! If you’re in the beginning stages of planning and are trying to determine the budget, get a free moving quote to see how much the move will cost.
What are your plans after graduation?
Where is your future taking you? To the mountains of Colorado to be a nanny? Or to the tech valley of California for an internship? We’d love to hear your plans and help with your move. Leave us a comment below!