You have your diploma, and now it's time to start a career. So where are the cities with the greatest opportunities? According to a new study from WalletHub, North Texas — really, the entire state — is a good place to look.
Irving and Grand Prairie top the list of best places to start a career, a survey of the 150 largest U.S. metros that analyzed the relative strength of the cities' job markets as well as the attractiveness of their social scenes and other factors important to job market entrants. Factors — categorized under professional opportunity and quality of life — included number of entry-level jobs, median monthly salaries, workplace diversity, percentage of the population aged 25 to 34 and housing affordability.
Irving took top honors in professional opportunity but landed at No. 38 for quality of life. No. 2 Grand Prairie came in second for the more heavily weighted professional opportunity, but it also slipped in quality of life, with a No. 49 ranking.
No. 3 Austin, on the other hand, came in at No. 11 for opportunity but took the highest spot for quality of life. Other Texas spots in the top 10 overall were Houston (No. 5), Corpus Christi (No. 6) and Fort Worth (No. 8).
Ranking in the top five for housing affordability were Plano and Corpus Christi, at Nos. 1 and 2. Texas had four of the top five cities for highest starting salaries: Houston (No. 1), Arlington (No. 2), and Garland and Grand Prairie (tied at No. 4).
The only non-Texas locale in the top five was Denver, which came in at No. 4. Looking beyond the top 10 to the top 20, a few more Texas cities appeared: Arlington (No. 11), Dallas (No. 14) and Plano (No. 19).