Welcome to the unreal world

Dallas-Fort Worth earns mediocre grade in ranking of best metros for college grads

DFW earns mediocre grade in ranking of best metros for college grads

Graduates tossing their caps
Graduates are tossing their hats into an uncertain world right now. Photo by skynesher/Getty Images

This year’s college graduates are entering a real world that’s more unreal than any we’ve seen in our lifetimes. And they’re facing a world with uncertain prospects.

Against that jarring backdrop, the Apartment List website developed a ranking of the top U.S. metro areas for college graduates, and Dallas-Fort Worth sits in the middle of the pack. DFW ranks 21st among the country’s 50 largest metro areas.

The ranking, published May 13, takes into account six data points:

  • Average wages among recent college graduates
  • March 2020 unemployment rate
  • Rental costs for recent college graduates
  • Share of adult population with a college degree
  • Share of recent college graduates working in remote-friendly occupations
  • Share of workforce in high-risk industries

DFW fares well in terms of average wages among recent college graduates ($45,053) and college graduates working in remote-friendly occupations (76 percent), but doesn’t fare as well for the share of adults with a college degree (33 percent) and the share of full-time workers in high-risk industries (12 percent).

Austin appears at No. 6 on the list, with Houston at No. 26 and San Antonio at No. 43. Apartment List says Austin’s economic scores “are well-rounded across the board,” but the metro area stands out for its high share of college-educated adults (43 percent) and high share of college graduates working in remote-friendly occupations (77 percent).

“Each of the nation’s five largest metropolitan areas — New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, and Houston — failed to break the Top 10,” Apartment List notes. “The Class of 2020 is better off looking into smaller regions that strike a healthier balance between affordability and economic opportunity.”

San Jose, California, the epicenter of Silicon Valley, tops the ranking, followed by San Francisco; Washington, D.C.; Boston; and Milwaukee. 

Ranked last is Las Vegas, preceded by Riverside-San Bernardino, California; New Orleans; Miami; and Orlando, Florida.

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