Tallahassee and Gainesville among best U.S. cities for college grads to begin careers
Gainesville among best cities for college grads to start a career. Image via Fresh Take Florida/WUFT.

Sun Belt cities dominated a LinkedIn top 10 list of best cities to begin a career after college.

Florida has two of the hottest job market cities for new college graduates, according to a new study by LinkedIn.

The analysis recently published by LinkedIn provided a ranking 10 cities with the highest year-over-year change in the share of new hires. Tallahassee and Gainesville ranked second and third on the list, respectively.

Tucson, Arizona, was ranked the best up-and-coming city for college grads. But Tucson was the only U.S. city in the west that made the top 10 list. Six of the top 10 were from Southeastern states. Des Moines, Iowa (No. 6), Harrisburg, Pennsylvania (No. 8), and Hartford, Connecticut (No. 10), were the northern locales in the top 10.

The LinkedIn study showed Tallahassee had a 14.1% increase in hires from 2022 to 2023. Tallahassee also was a prime location for government administrative jobs, which is a natural product of being the state’s capital.

Gainesville saw an 11.7% jump in year-over-year share of hires between 2022 to 2023. Gainesville was highly ranked because of its wealth of educational jobs for young professionals in the home of the University of Florida and Santa Fe College.

The Tallahassee and Gainesville job markets also received high rankings for specific job industries. Education was ranked the best industry for graduates to enter. That field saw a 15.3% increase in hiring recent college grads with a bachelor’s degree, according to the LinkedIn data. Teachers and admissions counselors were the jobs in that field in most demand.

Government administration was ranked second on that list of fastest growing industries. That sector saw a 14.4% increase in hiring across the U.S. between 2022 and 2023, with jobs as police officer and administrative assistant leading the way.

Two other Sun Belt cities rounded out the top 5 on the list of best cities for college grads to start their careers. Chattanooga, Tennessee, and Savannah, Georgia, were ranked fourth and fifth, respectively. They were both ranked highly for their availability of manufacturing jobs in both of those job markets.

Jobs in construction, consumer services and financial services rounded out the top 5 industries on the rise for new college graduates, according to the LinkedIn findings.

LinkedIn compiled the report using analysis by their scientists, who reviewed posts on the LinkedIn platform and looked at members of the network and their profile information, along with job postings.

Drew Dixon

Drew Dixon is a journalist of 40 years who has reported in print and broadcast throughout Florida, starting in Ohio in the 1980s. He is also an adjunct professor of philosophy and ethics at three colleges, Jacksonville University, University of North Florida and Florida State College at Jacksonville. You can reach him at [email protected].


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