The 5 best cities for millennials to start their careers

Brian Roberts, Contributor
New York City, however, doesn't make the cut.
Andras Polonyi | Getty Images

Millennials don't have it like the boomer generation.

Compared to our predecessors, the cost of living is higher, taxes are higher and decent paying jobs are scarcer. Without the basics covered, it's that much harder for millennials to land ― let alone excel in ― leadership roles.

It's hard to want to put in extra effort at the office when you're feeling undervalued. For millennials who feel caged by constraints like this, the solution may be a lot simpler than you think: Pack your bags.

That's right. Move.

Growella, a media site that helps millennials make smart money, career and lifestyle choices, conducted a comprehensive study on the best cities for millennials in the U.S. The cities were ranked by pulling data from more than 70 public, available resources.

Professionals in these cities take home the most money after rent and taxes

They looked at everything from availability of entry-level jobs to take home pay and more. Ultimately, the study boiled down to answering this question: Is it possible to earn a living, have a life and still set aside money for your future? And if so, where?

For instance, New York City wages are higher compared to a lot of places, but net income ― what you take home ― isn't.

"What you make isn't always 'what you make.' Favorable tax rates and a low cost of living can be the great equalizer in some cities," says Dan Green, the founder and CEO of Growella.

In short: Cities with greater career opportunities and less expenses might afford millennials opportunities they crave. These include the ability to focus on bigger goals and become leaders in fields they're passionate about.

"Each of the top five has a character and prevailing industry, from technology and robotics to finance and other fields," he says.

According to the study, these are the top five cities for millennials and their prevailing industries:

1. Durham, North Carolina

An office complex in Durham, North Carolina
Barry Winiker | Getty Images

Industries: Life sciences and IT

For millennials with leadership aspirations in the life sciences or IT sector, go to Durham. The city is home to Duke University and Research Triangle Park, a preeminent high-tech research hub. Plus, with over 100,000 residents between the ages of 18 to 34, there's no shortage of other ambitious millennials to connect with.

2. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Danita Delmont | Getty Images

Industries: Tech and robotics

When people first think of Pittsburgh, they think of steel. But the 'Steel City', once known as a vibrant steel manufacturing city, is now buzzing with "technology and robotics" according to Dan Green. Ambitious millennials will also love Pittsburgh for it's rich art and cultural scene, and with over 346,400 people between the ages of 18 to 34 in Pittsburgh, there's no shortage of folks to enjoy it with.

3. Nashville, Tennessee

The Nashville, Tennessee skyline
Danita Delmont | Getty Images

Industries: Healthcare and publishing

If you're looking to make a name for yourself in healthcare, publishing ― and we can't forget music ― then Nashville may be the place for you. Having just spent a week there with other young professionals, I can attest to the opportunities Nashville has for anyone looking to make a name, regardless of the industry. Although you may know it as "Music City" my one Lyft driver referred to it as "Crane City" due to the sheer number of cranes dotting the skyline, office buildings and apartments.

4. Des Moines, Iowa

Urbandale is outside of Des Moines, Iowa
Jeremy Woodhouse | Getty Images

Industry: Insurance

This city, although not as popular as the other names on this list, is one of the best places for leaders in America. Business costs are far below the national average, and it's been a hotbed of economic growth since 2010. Insurance is a key industry here.

5. Charlotte, North Carolina

Charlotte, North Carolina
Walter Bibikow | Getty Images

Industry: Finance

When you think of finance, you probably think of Wall Street, but you should probably be thinking about the city of Charlotte instead. Boasting almost 300,000 people between the ages of 18 to 34, it's the second largest banking center in the United States and the perfect place for millennials looking to rise the financial ranks.

Check out the full list here.

Brian J. Roberts is a former fashion entrepreneur who's been awarded by Congress, the Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives for his work with students and businesses. As a writer, he's been featured in Time, Business Insider, Inc., Huffington Post, Entrepreneur and others, and is the author of a short e-commerce guide for rookie online entrepreneurs.

Best places for working women