It's a Catch-22 for many college grads: The fattest starting salaries are often in least affordable places, making the road to independence riddled with obstacles.
It's no wonder young adults increasingly are moving back in with their parents, even if they have a job.
In fact, more 18-to-34-year-olds live at home with their parents than in any other arrangement, according to a study by the Pew Research Center.
In 2014, just over 32 percent of millennials were living in their parents' home, slightly more than the number living with a spouse or partner, according to Pew's analysis of the most recent census data. Just 14 percent were living alone or with roommates.
While there is no perfect spot for high-paying job prospects and budget-friendly apartments, some cities offer a far more favorable combination of jobs and housing possibilities for those newly armed with a diploma who want to buck the boomerang trend, according to a recent report by real estate site Trulia. Here the best bets: