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The 10 best states to start a career in post-graduation, according to a new report

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Inflation has accelerated swiftly this year, with high rent prices and increased cost of living becoming a new normal for many. However, young people are still opting to put down roots in expensive cities like New York City and Los Angeles.

In fact, despite looming concerns of a recession, New York and California were ranked the top two states for college graduates to start their careers, according to a recent study from, a student resource website.

"While New York and California's sky-high rents and pricey living expenses may be deterrents for those just starting out on their own after college, there are many reasons to move to these states, especially beyond their popular cities," said Jessica Bryant, an analyst for BestColleges, in a statement.

BestColleges ranked all 50 states on nine metrics, based on publicly available data, including average rent price, cost of living, average entry-level salary, number of job openings, racial/ethnic diversity and level of fun. These metrics were also weighed by level of importance.

Based on the findings, these are the top 10 best states to start your career:

  1. New York
  2. California
  3. Illinois
  4. Texas
  5. Colorado
  6. Virginia
  7. Washington
  8. Michigan
  9. Oklahoma
  10. Maryland

New York is known for its historic landmarks, performing arts and vibrant nightlife, making it unsurprising that young people would enjoy living there post-graduation. In addition to these perks, those starting careers in New York can anticipate higher entry-level salaries, more job openings and increased diversity across variables like ethnicity, age and gender, BestColleges reports.

Similarly, California also ranked highly for its large number of jobs and diversity, in addition to equitable opportunities for women and access to higher education. The Golden State lost points for its average rent price and cost of living, which is 4.3% higher than New York. In San Jose, California, for example, the average worker would have to work 77.4 hours to pay a median monthly rent of $2,232.

Illinois was praised for having the lowest cost of living for all states in the top five, while Texas had better rankings for overall fun. Colorado was ranked highly for equitable opportunities for women but fell flat in areas like cost of living.

BestColleges also advises recent graduates to consider other factors not mentioned in their study when deciding where to start a career.

"Variables like political climate, crime and safety, and weather can all play an important role in your decision to move somewhere new."

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