The best city to start your career in each state

 

Where you start your career can have a lasting impact on your professional trajectory. Geography can impact your opportunities, earning potential and your ability to save money.
But just because a city offers amazing opportunities doesn't mean that it's the perfect fit for everyone or every young professional. Career services site Zippia combed through data from the American Community Survey as well as median income figures from the U.S. Census to find the best platform for young professionals.
The site analyzed 831 of the country's biggest cities based on factors such as unemployment, population, age and cost of living in order to determine which places were best for young people starting their careers. Surprisingly, it found that smaller, less talked about cities offered the affordability and opportunity that could get new professionals the right jump start.
In its ranking, Zippia found Fargo, North Dakota offered the best combination of professional opportunity, affordability and quality of life. The median rent in Fargo is about $727 and the unemployment rate is just 2.2 percent.
The ranking also considered population—and the share of millennials living in each city. Unsurprisingly, several of the best cities for young people also had large student populations thanks to large state universities. For instance, Lawrence, Kansas, Lincoln, Nebraska and Madison, Wisconsin are all home to flagship state universities and have slots in the top ten.
Several major cities are noticeably missing from the list including New York and Los Angeles. While cities like these do have a large number of young people and often offer higher salaries, an equally high cost of living keeps these cities off the list.
Here are the best cities to kick-start your career in each state:
Huntsville, Alabama
 James Deitsch | Getty Images
Huntsville, Alabama

Alabama

Huntsville
Median income: $51,441

Alaska

Anchorage
Median income: $80,862

Arizona

Tempe
Median income: $50,474

Arkansas

Conway
Median income: $47,190

California

Berkeley
Median income: $70,393

Colorado

Fort Collins
Median income: $57,831

Connecticut

New Haven
Median income: $38,126

Delaware

Wilmington
Median income: $40,065

Florida

Gainesville
Median income: $32,716

Georgia

Sandy Springs
Median income: $68,629

Hawaii

Kalaoa
Median income: $65,922

Idaho

Pocatello
Median income: $41,172

Illinois

Normal
Median income: $54,496

Indiana

Lafayette
Median income: $42,641

Iowa

Cedar Rapids
Median income: $55,359

Kansas

Lawrence
Median income: $47,938

Kentucky

Louisville
Median income: $46,881

Louisiana

Lafayette
Median income: $47,940

Maine

Portland
Median income: $48,259

Maryland

Towson
Median income: $77,680
Cambridge
Brooks Kraft | Getty Images
Cambridge

Massachusetts

Cambridge
Median income: $83,122

Michigan

Ann Arbor
Median income: $57,697

Minnesota

Duluth
Median income: $45,950

Mississippi

Jackson
Median income: $32,866

Missouri

Columbia
Median income: $45,221

Montana

Billings
Median income: $52,944

Nebraska

Lincoln
Median income: $51,126

Nevada

Reno
Median income: $48,815

New Hampshire

Manchester
Median income: $54,899

New Jersey

Jersey City
Median income: $60,703
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Education Images/UIG via Getty Images
Albuquerque, New Mexico

New Mexico

Albuquerque
Median income: $48,127

New York

Cheektowaga
Median income: $48,994

North Carolina

Chapel Hill
Median income: $65,373

North Dakota

Fargo
Median income: $48,060
The Fargo Theatre is an art deco movie theatre in downtown Fargo, North Dakota. It was built in 1926. It was restored in 1999 to its historic appearance and now is a center for the arts in the Fargo-Moorhead metropolitan area. The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
 Davoud Davies / Getty Images
The Fargo Theatre is an art deco movie theatre in downtown Fargo, North Dakota. It was built in 1926. It was restored in 1999 to its historic appearance and now is a center for the arts in the Fargo-Moorhead metropolitan area. The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Ohio

Columbus
Median income: $47,156

Oklahoma

Norman
Median income: $52,484

Oregon

Eugene
Median income: $44,859

Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh
Median income: $42,450

Rhode Island

Providence
Median income: $37,366

South Carolina

Charleston
Median income: $57,603

South Dakota

Sioux Falls
Median income: $54,110

Tennessee

Nashville
Median income: $49,891

Texas

Midland
Median income: $71,500

Utah

Provo
Median income: $42,600

Vermont

Burlington
Median income: $46,754

Virginia

Arlington
Median income: $108,706

Washington

Seattle
Median income: $74,458

West Virginia

Charleston
Median income: $46,720

Wisconsin

Madison
Median income: $56,464

Wyoming

Casper
Median income: $57,964
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