Tampa parents have commencement on the brain so the best cities for grads to start a career is a worthwhile conversation. Let’s face it a cap and gown will make mom and dad tear up every time. However if you have a career, fresh out of college, both parents will cry like newborn babies. I was always told “a job is good but a career is great!” A job is what you’re doing but a career is what you do.

WalletHub, a personal finance site, did an extensive search covering the best of 182 cities to begin your employment.  The site analyzed over 20 metrics divided into 2 categories.  Profession opportunities and quality of life!  Factors such as starting salary, rate of unemployment, and embrace of entrepreneurial spirit fueled one category. The latter leaned on housing prices, projected population increase, commute times, and median yearly income for the reported scores.

Based in Miami, the site had to add their city on the list.  Yet, there are other southern cities who offer much more opportunity for new work force. It’s not a shock that zero state tax, in our state of Florida is a big point for us finding the most slots on the list.  Distinguished class of 2023, may we present your best cities for grads to start a career.



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    Chocolate City to many, Motown of the South, or simply “ATL Shawty”, don’t let the artist base or tales of Freak-Nik scare you from Georgia’s finest. Atop the list at #1, this capital city offers culture and incorporation. The urban mecca is not all city without extras. Stone Mountain, the largest area of exposed granite and the Chattahoochee River rolling through downtown give southern comfort vibes. CNN headquarters, Alliance Theater and the Atlanta Aquarium which is the largest in the United States are a few nods to this city being one of the best.  Hip Hop and Hollywood work and play in the “A”, so after graduation, you can too.



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    Home to the happiest place on Earth and roughly 35 other locations in competition for that title, Orlando, Florida is the highest ranking sunshine state entry, according to WalletHub math. When looking for a new career, you want to be in a city making progress. One that will grow as you grow. Nothing speaks to that more than the Brightline train. Orlando to Miami, to West Palm etc. It’s not high speed rail but imagine going to South Beach without a flight or a drive. Progress. With the Orlando Magic, the cultural offerings in the realm of arts and entertainment and influx of corporations, Orlando is a great spot to begin your next chapter.



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    Number 3 is one of the only cities, inside the top 5, that Tampa grads might not want to try Allegiant Air. Utah is far! However for this rank to land on a city that’s 8% higher than the national average on the cost of living index, it must be awesome. The land of the Mormons enjoys serious powder for the winter sports fans. Skiing is a win but sinshine is a part of your time on the lake, as well.  Pretty popular with young professionals, and families seeking more house and open spaces “SL.UT” as it’s affectionately called is a thriving job market and if tech is your scene, it’s a place for graduates to seriously consider.



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    The last thing grads are thinking about is back to a college campus but number 4 is a city where you’ll DEFINTELY be led to say the name “Gamecocks”. Columbia, SC is oak trees, magnolia trees and pecan trees. It’s population is just over 800k so it’s a capital city with small city vibes. That’s making it’s quality of life score shoot through the roof. Kayaking, hiking and nature are big lures to this haven. The planetarium is a big draw as well. If you’re starting, industry is strong and a campus of Gamecocks makes for sweet entertainment as well.



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    Our own city of Tampa is always a party. Dubbed “Champa Bay” for the long list of sports achievements, every celebration is punctuated with a boat parade. With celebrations such as Gasparilla (see: Jose Gaspar), the party and pillage vibe is strong in the growing collection of cities. St. Petersburg and Clearwater are separated by bridges that transport you to some of the most pristine sand in the United States. With a post-pandemic migration of companies and families, Tampa is a perfect place to begin your foray into the work space, if I do say so myself. Did I mention Buccaneers football, Rays baseball and our Tampa Bay Lightning? This cities cultural offering surpass most Florida cities. You can never go wrong with TPA!


    This is a beautiful city, with rich culture. For new grads, tech and aerospace options are a plenty, in Charleston. Companies like Mercedes Benz and Boeing are found in this city so don’t let the country town vibe fool ya. You can win here. Something that hasn’t been said about any of the cities, on the list, has been minimal crime. Charleston is a super safe city, for your family. Don’t sleep on the natural charm of this South Carolina gem.



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    Where do we begin? Miami Heat, Dolphins, University of Miami, South Beach, Prime 112, Liv and DJ Khaled are all Miami standards that will soak up all of your newly found wealth as a graduate. Yet, it’s SO MUCH FUN! Nightlife and culture is plenty but even larger is opportunity. Miami is a hub for many avenues of International business. Companies flourish with zero state tax, while in an entertainment mecca with access to every airport on the globe. On the levels of LA, New York and Chicago, Miami is the sexiest of them all. Real estate is insanely priced but that’s what Fort Lauderdale is for. It may be number 7, but for many areas of employment its a strong number 1. Beinvenidos a Miami!

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