Best states to start your post-college life

Adult life seems scary. You are now done with college and it’s time to talk about the best states to start your post-college life. Don’t be scared, this is very exciting. You get to choose where you will start this exciting, new chapter of your life. Master Moving Guide is here to give you some ideas and help you make the best decision. Join us while we travel through some states and explain why they could be a good fit for you.

How do you decide which state is the best for you?

Many factors come into account when choosing where to start your post-college life. Not every state is the best choice for everyone. Some individuals might fit great into Texas, others might be better off in California or Arizona. But, good thing is that there is a place for everyone. No matter if you are single, dating, engaged, or married, you will find a good home in one of the states. We’ll mention top states and top US cities for singles, for those who are thinking far ahead and planning retirement, and for others who are wandering.

Explore the US map to find the best states to start your post-college life
Explore all the states and look for information that is most important for you and together with our recommendations you can make up your mind.

Be careful and honest with yourself. Are you thinking five or fifty years in advance? Of course, nobody knows how much time they have, but it’s important to decide how long ahead you’re planning. There is nothing wrong with short-term planning and changing your mind later on. You are not sentenced to stay in one place for the rest of your life. But, if you already have a goal and idea in mind for the long run, why not start now while you’re young and full of spirit? Residential movers help a lot of fresh graduates move around in the US and they say these are the most exciting moves. You will experience stress and anxiety, which is completely normal, but you will feel excited more than anything.

Factors important for our list of the best states to start your post-college life

Before we officially start listing what we believe are the best states to start your post-college life, let’s see what we took into account. Adult life is a bit more serious now, so we based this list on some “real life” factors. Those are average salary, leftover salary, job potential, and cost of living. With these factors in mind, we will explore the best states and mention the best cities for millennials in the USA. We will give you plenty of options to choose from and together with your standards and ideas, we hope to help you make the best decision possible. 

Two hands making a heart with the US flag inside
It’s important to be well informed about places that are potentially your home for the rest of your life. We will explore important factors and match them with the best states to start your post-college life.

Another piece of advice: be realistic. You are a young adult and you’ve watched movies where 20-year-olds are making millions of dollars and living in penthouses in NYC or LA, but this is not how most of your peers live. Of course, the good thing about the USA is that this is not an impossible scenario. However, start safe and look for the best state to start your post-college life based on your degree and your possibilities at this moment. So, let’s take a trip!


One of Tennessee’s best assets is the low cost of living. More and more young people are deciding to move to Tennessee for this reason. Other than that, TN is a growing state with popular cities such as Nashville, Knoxville, and Memphis. Tennessee is also a vibrant state with a lot of festivals and different events, so your life would not be stale. Job growth is very present in this state, especially for occupations with lower pay. If you have a degree in surgical technology or occupational therapy, you should consider moving to Tennessee. And, if you love music in addition to your degree, TN is a perfect spot for you.


This state is in the nation’s top 10 when it comes to affordability. The low cost of living has attracted many young people to settle in Kansas. Most of them are in the field of health care and business, technology. These are the industries that are experiencing huge growth. The median annual salary in this state is $56,790. When you think of “fun states” you might not think of Kansas first. But if you are thinking about comfortable and affordable living, it’s a place to consider.

An American style home
The sub-median home value in Kansas is $150,000


With degrees in osteopathy and occupational therapy, you are likely to find a good job in Florida. This is due to these two occupations experiencing major growth in this state. When it comes to salaries and the cost of living, FL is somewhere in the middle. With a median annual salary of $61,070 (compared to the cost of living), Florida is still affordable. What adds a lot of value to this state is its great weather. Together with top states with the best weather year round, Florida is a great vacation spot even for its residents.
Be aware that not everybody can afford a house in FL right after graduating. This can be a downside, but the quality of life can still be good if you decide to wait some time before investing in that. 


This might seem surprising since we all know Cali is not cheap. However, if you have a degree in the technology sector, you might make yourself a good living out on the West Coast. With the median annual salary being $71,943, CA is placed 46th on the “cost of living” list.  However, many professional opportunities are right there in the state of California. If you are thinking of a tech startup or anything related to information science, top job opportunities for you are in this state. Alongside Florida and some other states that we will mention later, CA also has some of the best weather in the USA.

Beach with palm trees in California
With great weather and top job opportunities in the tech industry, California is the right place for all young information technology professionals.


This can be a good place to start your post-college life. Pennsylvania offers recent graduates very affordable housing and good potential to earn. Many industries are growing in PA so job opportunities are all around. What’s looking like the biggest academic area for Pennsylvania’s future is marketing, so if that is what you have studied, you are good to go. This state is very good for studying itself and many young people from all over the nation move to PA for school. It’s also very eventful and entertaining to spend time in. It can offer you a great work vs social life balance. If you love sports and you are thinking about the best US cities to retire to, PA is the place for you.


With the large growth in the business and technology sector, this state is becoming more and more famous. Even though the cost of living is a bit high compared to some other states, the growing job market and a median salary of $69,902 make it work. The annual salary is enough for one to live comfortably in comparison with costs and prices in MA.


You might be surprised to see this one on the list, but hold on. Indiana is a Midwest state that offers great job success to recent graduates. If you’ve studied in any health-related field, you might want to think seriously about Indiana. This state also has a growing job market, especially in health care, of course. Indiana is 11th on the list nationally when it comes to health-related study fields. The cost of living is quite affordable and life relaxed and less stressful than it is in more “popular” and crowded states.

Young doctor in his uniform
Indiana is a very good place to start your career after studying medicine or any health-related study.


Another state that offers a relatively affordable cost of living and very good salaries is Illinois. Most famous for its city of Chicago, this state is growing in many fiends day by day, Jobs that are experiencing the most growth in this state at this time are in the business sector, such as retail management. However, industries like technology, computer programming, and software development are also growing rapidly in this region.

New Jersey

When it comes to the cost of living, NJ has a higher than average one but it is first in the nation when it comes to the median salary. Many fields are seeing growth in this East Coast state. Some of them are business administration, marketing, and technology. But, like everywhere, jobs in computer science and information technology are experiencing the biggest boom. If you’ve studied in those fields and you enjoy quality beach time, you might want to settle on the Jersey shore.


If your field of expertise is in business administration or accounting, Arizona can be the spot for you. These are the two fastest-growing several industries in this state. When it comes to the cost of living and economy, Arizona is somewhere in the middle compared to other states. There are also many job opportunities in the technology sector. And if you like hiking and mountains, you already know you would enjoy Arizona.

Top 5 best states to start your post-college life

We’ve introduced you to a number of good states to settle in. Now let’s see what are the top 5 best states to start your post-college life. This does not mean that other states listed above should be disregarded. All the states we spoke about offer good opportunities for college graduates, but let’s see which ones made the top 5.

Please note that these five states are not listed in order from “best to worse” but they are rather equal in quality. That’s why they made it to the top of the list. There is something you might want to keep in mind as a recent college graduate. There are a few states that pay you to move there. This can be a good addition to your moving budget.

You can start your post-college life in one of these five states

  1. Washington – This state has a very diverse economy that is growing rapidly. 47% percent of job ads in this state say that they are looking for college graduates. Companies that are hiring recent college graduates in this state are big companies such as Amazon, Microsoft, and others. Jobs that are hiring most graduates in WA are nursing and computer science together with software development.
  2. Colorado – Cities of Denver, Boulder, and Collins are centers for tech startups in this state. CO is experiencing growth in entrepreneurship and accounting. A lot of employers, including the State of Colorado, are hiring college graduates for a number of several jobs.
  3. Minnesota – Another Midwest state that made the list. Although it’s a bit more expensive than its neighbors, MN has great earning potential. Some of the employers in this state that are hiring graduates are the University of Minnesota and the Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research.
  4. Virginia – With an affordable housing market and growing economy, this state is very “college graduate friendly”. More than 7000 jobs in the technology sector were expected by the end of this year.
  5. Texas – Seems like most lists of best cities to start your post-college life include Texas. When it comes to the housing market, this is where your dollar will go further than in any other state. Some of the fastest growing cities in the nation are in TX. Some of them are San Antonio, Austin, and Houston. Texas is also one of the most eventful, diverse, and biggest states in the nation. Close to 50% of job ads in Texas are looking to hire college graduates.
Research for best cities to start your post-college life
When it comes to the best cities to start your post-college life, you must research and decide based on your goals and wishes. Try to find the best match for your career and private life

Do your research about the best states to start your post-college life and make the best decision

Now that you have quite a few states in mind, it’s time to make the big decision. Starting this chapter in your life is not simple, but it is important and exciting. Moving will add a bit of stress to it all but just make sure you do it with reliable and professional people. This will allow you to focus on other things that are important for you to find the best states to start your post-college life. Make sure you get the best moving insurance and start your move.

We hope that we were able to help you in making this hard decision. Keep in mind that there are millions of your peers going through the same all around the world. If you ever feel overwhelmed or lost, you can find online groups where college graduates discuss topics like this and share tips. This could help you immensely when deciding on the best sites to start your post-college life and other topics. We wish you the best of luck and may you flourish out there! 

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