With graduation approaching, it’s time for students to pack their bags, say farewell to their college towns and dive into the real world. If you’re choosing to move to a new city, the experience can be a daunting but exhilarating life change. Though this renewal may be intimidating, don’t fret. With some planning and perseverance, you’ll be laying the foundation for your new life and career in a different city. The biggest question is: where do you start?
Young black professionals need to settle in cities that inspire their work and provide them with the opportunities they need to thrive. To find the cities that offer young professionals the best of both worlds, I evaluated a number of cities on average salary, millennial appeal, diversity, black population, and the strength of the job market. Here are the standouts.
New York, NY: While the cost of living is quite expensive, The Big Apple is arguably one of the countries’ most opportune cities. It’s a hub for virtually every industry! Fast paced and ever-changing, NYC is perfect for those who love to constantly be on the move and in the mix of things.
As one of the world’s biggest fashion capitals, aspiring fashion designers and models will be able to find their stride here.
Washington D.C.: Although it has a bad reputation due to its crime rate, Washington D.C. is actually one of the best places for African Americans to live. Ranking as one of the best paying and millennial friendly cities, D.C. is responsible for more black internships than any other city in the U.S. Plus, Washington D.C. is the place to be if you want to rub elbows with some of America’s most influential people.
Especially great for those interested in a career in Politics or Public Affairs.
Atlanta, GA: With the second highest percentage of African-Americans with college degrees (D.C. is the first), Atlanta is definitely one of America’s most educated and fastest growing (Atlanta attracts more AAs than Dallas and Houston combined) African-American cities. As it expands, jobs and opportunities continue to increase.
Popularly known as ‘Black Hollywood,’ Atlanta is perfect for aspiring rappers, actors, and entertainers.
Houston, TX: As the fourth largest city in America, Houston boasts a large Black middle class, and a solid economy, it is also one of the most affordable cities in the nation. Phrases like “the new Black Mecca” and “the next Atlanta” have been used as if Houston is currently the best kept secret in Black America.
Energy is the primary factor in the Houston economy. Geoscientist and Petroleum Engineers, for example, are highly paid.
Dallas, TX: More African-American people than ever are moving to Dallas – but not without apprehension. Many claim Dallas is not as progressive as other popular African American cities, but it is swiftly growing into a professional African American magnet due to massive opportunity and low cost of living.
Technological industries lead in Dallas.
Seattle, WA: While this city may raise a few doubtful eyebrows, its true, Seattle is definitely a place African-Americans should want to live. Not only does Seattle consistently rank as one of America’s highest paid and employment friendly cities, it is also great for millennials. If you value diversity you’ll appreciate Seattle as some of its area lead the country.
Techies love Seattle. Plus, the growth in aerospace and high-tech employment creates precisely the kinds of high-wage jobs, including for blue-collar workers, that are lacking in many parts of the country.
Oakland, CA and the Bay Area: Many feel there’s a revolution of sorts brewing in the bay area – especially in edgier neighborhood of Oakland. As this list’s highest paid and most diverse area, there’s no wonder many are flocking to the Bay. Millennials will love the cities’ bar, club, and restaurant scene and residents describe it as “less cynical and self-conscious” than neighboring San Francisco. In other words, “Oakland has heart.”
Artists and creative entrepreneurs will find Oakland particularly supportive.