Dec 042005
 
Authors: Brett Okamoto

Who is your typical college graduate? Let's say he/she is single, mid-twenties and unemployed. Oh and scared too, don't forget scared.

First thing he or she has to decide before going any further is where he or she is going to live. Isn't that probably the most important thing after you graduate? A good majority of graduates will find themselves looking for a place to hang their hat before they find a place to work.

Considering the qualities listed above, there are some options that would work well, and others that wouldn't. While New York sounds like a lot of fun, probably not the best place to fly off to once you've hung up your cap and gown.

The main question to ask yourself is what is most important in your life. According to Forbes.com, Austin, Texas, has been voted the coolest city to live and is inhabited by the most singles in the country. Unfortunately out of a list of 40 places, it ranks dead last in living costs. Broke and social, or rich and nerdy? It's your call.

Denver has been voted the number one place for singles to live for the second year in a row, according to Forbes.com. It's close to the college scenes, but it's far enough away that you're getting away a little bit. You're sheltered from the rest of the country there. The mountains are to the west, and the giant wasteland of the world, Nebraska, is to the east.

Our close second might surprise you – Raleigh-Durham, N.C. It is ranked sixth in big cities as far as living cost and seventh in job growth. It was also one of CNN.com's finalists as best places to live in the country. The area is growing and surrounded by college campuses, meaning plenty of new people to meet.

"It's growing, so they're opening new restaurants and bars everywhere," David Christie, a manager at a diner in Raleigh-Durham, told Forbes.com. "There are lots of people, lots of young college graduates around, so there are all sorts of people and places to hang out."

Of course the big city isn't for everyone, many of you will want to settle down in a small town where you can live forever and coach your kid's football team. In that case, we suggest State College, Pa. With a very low crime rate, high educational attainment and a steady but not overwhelming growth rate, State College is a good option to raise a family. It's also considered one of the best places in the country to start a business.

Finally, well under the radar is the city of Grand Haven, Mich. Grand Haven is a spring break destination in the warm seasons and a small, private one in the winter. Surrounded by the shores of Lake Michigan, Grand Haven offers social atmospheres unlike any in the country.

"There's a lot of festivals going on all the time, lots of beautiful young adults are always around," said Ben Gerloffs, 19, a Front Range student who lived there from the age of 10 to 18. "The beach and bars give it a kickin' nightlife."

Grand Haven's economy revolves around companies connected to the water and automotive services.

So there are a few ideas, but the main goal is to find a place and have your life turn it into home. It's like they say: Home is where the heart is.

ACCORDING TO FORBES.COM

Top Five Cities in Job Growth

1. McAllen, Texas

2. Fort Myers, Fla.

3. Las Vegas, Nev.

4. Fayetteville, Ariz.

5. Riverside, Calif.

Top Five Cities in Low Unemployment

1. Madison, Wis.

2. Fayetteville, Ariz.

3. Honolulu, Hawaii

4. Washington D.C.

5. Sarasota, Fla.

Best Five in Living Costs

1. Brownsville, Texas

2. McAllen, Texas

3. Peoria, Ill.

4. Fort Wayne, Texas

5. Davenport, Iowa

Worst Five in Living Costs

1. New York, N.Y.

2. Salinas, Calif.

3. Orange County, Calif.

4. San Jose, Calif.

5. San Francisco, Calif.

Best Cities for Singles

1. Denver, Colo.

2. Boston, Mass.

3. San Francisco, Calif.

4. Raleigh-Durham, N.C.

5. Washington-Baltimore, Md.

According to Careerbuilder.com

Top Fast Growing Jobs of 2005

Medical Assistants

Network Systems and Data Communications Analysts

Environmental Engineers

Physician Assistants

Social and Human Service Assistants

Postsecondary Teachers

Medical Records and Health Information Technicians

Computer Software Engineers

Fitness Trainers and Aerobics Instructors

Physical Therapist Assistants

* 15 of the top 30 are in the medical profession

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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