Site ranks best cities to find jobs: Seattle named best city in WalletHub rankings

“2015’s Best and Worst Cities to Find a Job.”

The cities were analyzed across 16 metrics divided into two categories: job market and socio-economic environment. The city could earn 10 points in the job market category, which included factors like job opportunities, employment growth and monthly median starting salary. The socio-economic environment category, worth five points, included factors like time spent working and commuting, social life and housing affordability.

Prioritizing these factors is one of the first steps to the job search, Travis Railsback, executive director for the Career Center, said. Last year, 6,500 students met individually with career consultants at the Career Center, and more than 16,000 students participated in other Career Center programs.

“In addition to career exploration type discussions, [individual appointments are] helping students with their résumés, helping them do mock interviews or prepare for interviews,” Railsback said. “We’re also assisting [students] with job search strategies, during which is sometimes where the topic of the [WalletHub] article comes up, in terms of the process of thinking through where to go and where the job opportunities are.”

According to WalletHub, Seattle is the best city to find a job, followed by Des Moines, Iowa; Gilbert, Arizona; Sioux Falls, South Dakota; and Fremont, California, for the top 5 spots. “Hot” cities are often determined by the career field and the job growth in the city, Railsback said. Engineering students who would like to work in the petrochemical industry may head to the Gulf Coast, while others may head to Texas due to the economic growth, he said.

“Nashville right now has sort of turned into the new Atlanta, in terms of being a desired destination of young professionals,” Railsback said.

WalletHub ranks Nashville, Tennessee, as No. 50 of the 150 cities, with Atlanta ranked at 51.

Kaitlyn Burgin, a graduate student in accounting, accepted a full-time job offer with Ernst & Young in Nashville that she will begin in the fall. The job opportunity arose when Burgin interned with the company after graduating from the University in Dec. 2013 with a Bachelor of Science in accounting and Spanish.

“I’m from Birmingham, so I wanted to branch out but still stay in the South,” Burgin said. “Nashville ended up being perfect for me. It’s still close to my family, but it’s new and fun.”

Maci Arms graduated from the University in May 2014 after completing her major in dance. She moved straight to New York City, fulfilling a dream that she said began when she first visited the city at 14.

“For me, it was a no-brainer. I was moving to New York City,” Arms said. “It was going to be the place that I’d make my career.”

New York City is ranked 90 of 150 cities by WalletHub, and is at the bottom for the number of job opportunities. New York City presents its own set of challenges and may require more sacrifices than other cities in order to find job security, but it is still the new home of many successful University alumni, Railsback said.

Arms attended a summer internship with Broadway Dance Center, which allowed her to get a foot in the door and network, she said. Through the internship, Arms was also able to sign with a dance agency, McDonald Selznick Associates, helping her find more auditions. She attended an audition through MSA to be a dancer for Celebrity Cruises Productions and will begin touring the Mediterranean with the cruise in the coming months.

“I think it’s just important for students to factor in the realities of what the job market looks like and where the jobs are at, understanding the expectations within a particular organization in terms of moving, and then it is important to factor in personal priorities,“ Railsback said. “If those things are important to you, they’re definitely important to factor into your decision making so that you can be happy and successful in what you choose to do career-wise.”