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Where are the best places for a college graduate to find a job? LinkedIn’s answers might surprise you

Where are the best places for a college graduate to find a job? LinkedIn's answers might surprise you


Where are the best places for a college graduate to find a job? LinkedIn’s answers might surprise you

These colleges have the highest employment rate after graduatingBuzz60’s Elizabeth Keatinge tells us about a report analyzing colleges with the highest post-graduation employment rate.Buzz60As the class of 2021 prepares to enter a job market rebounding from the COVID-19 pandemic, the first thought might be to head to a big coastal city such as Los Angeles or New York to land an entry-level position.Depending on the industry, the odds may be just as good farther off the beaten path, in smaller cities such as Waco, Texas; Burlington, Vermont; or Sarasota, Florida, according to research by job site LinkedIn given exclusively to USA TODAY.  Those cities are in regions that are among the fastest-growing for entry-level positions, spurred by the need to fill jobs in industries such as health care, IT, transportation and retail. “For those just starting a career, finding a job opportunity with potential for career growth in a place like Waco, Texas, or Sarasota, Florida, will allow them to get experience and develop their skills while maintaining a lower cost of living,” says Dan Roth, editor in chief of LinkedIn. “This is a big advantage for recent graduates, especially those with student loans.”The drawback? “The smaller, fast-growing regions could have more limited employment options overall depending on your industry,” Roth says, and New York, Los Angeles and Washington remain the places with the largest number of entry-level positions.Finding a job in the middle of a pandemic was no easy task, says Audrey Brown, 21, a psychology major who graduated from the University of Michigan. After three rounds of interviews, she got a position working for a health care and technical recruiting firm in Chicago, near her hometown. She starts this summer. Brown is one of the lucky ones.Grad gifts: 22 personalized graduation gifts they’ll lovePandemic presents opportunity for restaurant industry: ‘There were six. And now there’s zero’: Restaurant industry grapples with lack of diversity in executive ranks“I know a lot of my friends are still very apprehensive about the job market and are still actively searching for jobs,” Brown says, adding that the Class of 2021 competes with the Class of 2020, whose job searches were similarly upended by the pandemic.   Many of her peers want to go to bigger cities. “A lot of people are attracted to New York, to Los Angeles, and Chicago is also a big one,” she says.Brown hasn’t ruled out living in a smaller city down the line.“Because of the pandemic, it made things easier to move closer to home and stay within my comfort zone at least for the time being,” she says. “I would have loved to move somewhere new, and maybe I still will in the future.”Here are the fastest-growing areas for entry-level jobs in the USA, according to LinkedIn.Greater Morgantown area, West VirginiaHottest sectors: Retail, health care, transportation and logistics.Greater Watertown-Fort Drum area, New YorkHottest sectors: Software and IT services, health care, transportation and logistics.San Angelo area, TexasHottest sectors: Health care, retail, transportation and logistics.Greater Tampa Bay area, FloridaHottest sectors: Finance, software and IT services, health care.Greater Burlington area, VermontHottest sectors: Health care, public administration, transportation and logistics.Greater Wheeling area, OhioHottest sectors: Transportation and logistics, health care, retail.Waco area, TexasHottest sectors: Manufacturing, retail, transportation and logistics.North Port Sarasota area, FloridaHottest sectors: Consumer goods, retail, health care.Austin metropolitan area, TexasHottest sectors: Retail, software and IT services, health care.Cape Coral metropolitan area, FloridaHottest sectors: Recreation and travel, health care, consumer goods.Follow Charisse Jones on Twitter @charissejones

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