Half of America's top graduates do one of the same six jobs after graduation. Indeed, over half of the nation's best and brightest go to medical school, law school, or graduate school -- or they go into consulting, finance... or Teach for America (~2%), a program I'm not totally on-board with.
This is sad. Because, yes, medicine is important, as is research and innovation. But do we really want our finest young minds going into law, consulting or finance -- fields where they are not necessarily creating jobs or value? Where they may just be moving money around?
That is why I think it is so cool that so many graduates, including the now-infamous (and recently unemployed) Talia Jane, want to work at startups. Startups are risky. They could fail. BUT! You could build something no one's ever built before. You can solve the world's problems. You can create jobs and literally change the word.
Besides, no one ever got rich off a salary. Working at a startup, you could end up with great stock options and real ownership over the company. The things you do in your daily life could make a real difference in the company.
But, as so unfortunately outlined by Tahlia Jane, it is nearly impossible to survive (much less live) in the Silicon Valley, New York City, and even Boston, on an entry-level startup salary.
Of course, there are several things Tahlia could have done differently, as I wrote in my developmental feedback for her. But even the CEO of Yelp acknowledged that entry-level employees can't make enough money to live in San Francisco -- hence Eat24/Yelp opening a new customer service office in Phoenix.
So. What's a good solution for recent graduates who want to work at a startup but also, you know -- savings. Investments. To pay off their student loans. A better quality of life?
Start by checking out some of these hot startups in emerging cities like Denver, Providence, Miami, and New Orleans. Because, believe it or not, there are places to live OTHER than San Francisco and New York.
Sure, you're going to be landlocked. But you've got a beautiful Mile High City, with mountain biking, hiking, rock climbing, and whitewater rafting in the summer, and world-class skiing, snowboarding and snowshoeing in the winter. Not to mention a cool startup scene, including companies like:
Live and work in paradise. Snorkel, scuba dive, kayak and explore the vibrant food and nightlife of Miami.
3. New Orleans
Music. Nightlife. And one of the most vibrant neighborhoods in America.
Just an hour from Boston and not too far from New York City, Providence is a fun college town with great career opportunities.
Are there are hot emerging cities or startups I missed? Let me know in the comments.
Or check out my recommended reading for all recent graduates -- these books will change your life.
Smart People Should Build Things: How to Restore Our Culture of Achievement, Build a Path for Entrepreneurs and Create Jobs in America, by Andrew Yang
What I Wish I Knew When I Was 20: A Crash Course in Making Your Place in the World, by Tina Seelig
The Defining Decade: Why Your 20s Matter, and How to Make the Most of Them Now, by Meg Jay
And, of course:
Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, by Carol Dweck
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Eva is a content specialist with a passion for play, travel... and a little bit of girl power. Read more >
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