Worst States to Start Your Post-College Life
by Gilbert Dawson, OnlineDegrees.com, August 5, 2015
There are many factors to consider when deciding where to live after college. Apart from proximity to family and friends, the perfect location should offer good employment opportunities and salary. It should also be a place in which buying a house is a realistic, affordable option.
Unfortunately, while the median listing price for a home has increased by six percent nationally since 2014, according to Realtor.com, the earning potential of many careers have not kept pace. That means college graduates may find themselves in a pinch when it comes to realizing the dream of home ownership.
To help graduates get started on the right foot, we've analyzed which states offer the best opportunities for degree holders, and which offer the worst. The states that top our list of worst places to settle in post-college are burdened by a combination of poor job prospects, low median salaries, and expensive housing markets. To see which states show the most promise for degree holders, check out the 25 Best States to Start Your Post-College Life.
For each of the top 25 degrees featured in OnlineDegrees.com's Most Employable Degrees 2015, we ranked every state on the four data points listed below:
- Average salary -- The median annual salary for graduates holding this specific degree in this state (based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and National Center for Education Statistics).
- Leftover salary -- How much money a degree holder can expect to have left over after mortgage payments on a median-priced home (based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, National Center for Education Statistics, and the American Community Survey, 2013).
- Job potential -- How many new jobs are projected for careers associated with this degree in the state between 2012 and 2022 (based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Projections Central, the Michigan Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives, and Workforce West Virginia).
- Cost of living -- How affordable the state is to live in overall (based on data from the Council for Community and Economic Research, 2014).
Each category was scored out of a possible 10 points, then added together for a total score of up to 40. Once we had a total score for each of the top 25 degrees, we averaged the state's scores together to see which scored highest overall across all degrees. The states in this list were ranked based on which had the lowest average out of 40 points.
Note: The median annual salaries listed for each state are only for careers related to the 25 degrees included in our study.
25 Worst States to Start Your Post-College Life
Hawaii tops the list of worst states for graduates to move to post-college, as the combination of one of the country's most expensive housing markets and relatively low employment opportunities means there is limited opportunity for degree holders to purchase a home. However, health care is an emerging and growing industry, one that offers solid career and earning potential in several areas, including dental hygiene and sonography.
- Average score: 4.10/40
- Median house value: $500,400
- Median annual salary: $58,070
- Cost of living: 50th
read ... 25 Worst States
Link: 25 Best States
SA: Hawaii is worst state for house-hunting grads