The 10 best places where you can launch a successful career

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Deciding where to start your career after college can be overwhelming.

Alan Michael, who moved to New York after earning an architecture degree from the University of Tennessee, remembers starting with a set of preferences and making a short list of cities. He wanted a strong job market and enough public transit so he wouldn’t need a car. Even then, he needed a push from a friend.

The best cities for recent college grads | Photos courtesy of Alan Michael

“He was sort of a cheerleader for me and said, ‘You need to be in New York, because that’s where things are happening,'” Michael says. “So I just … hoped for the best, and ended up staying.”

College graduates are uniquely positioned to make a deliberate choice of where to move, says David Albouy, associate professor of economics at the University of Illinois.

“They’re building their careers, and they’re also in this kind of exciting period in their lives when they don’t have a lot of responsibilities,” he says.

For recent graduates, Bankrate has determined the top 100 American cities for launching a career, based on jobs, pay, quality of life, career advancement and social factors.

Here, in ascending order, are the top 10 cities for launching a career. 

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