College Students’ Most- Desired Geographical Work Locations

by Cayla Nava

Geographical Location

Finding the right job can be challenging. Many factors come with applying for a new position. These include salary, commute time, benefits and overall work environment. One factor, however, often stands out above the rest: geographical location.

For many students, location may have a dramatic impact on job satisfaction. For example, if you want to pursue a career in New York but dislike cold weather, the Big Apple may not be for you after all. There are many aspects to consider when looking for the right location, including climate, whether the population is youthful or aging, cost of living, and the kind of after-work activities that are available. It is especially important to find a location you’ll enjoy for your first job out of college, since this is often the place where you’ll continue to live well after that first job.

We interviewed some local university students to see what their most desired geographical locations were. From the Bay Area and beyond, the answers reflected these future college graduates’ hopes and dreams, and provide insight into where young people want to begin a career once their school days have concluded:

  • “I would prefer to live in Southern California when I find my first job, in either LA or San Diego. After I graduate, my dream job is to become a creative director, and I feel that there are so many opportunities in LA where I can pursue that passion. I believe it’s more affordable to live down there, and I enjoy the weather as well.” – Mikey, Danville, California, Senior, Communications major
  • “Seattle is where I would want to work after I’m finished with college, because I like the rainy weather, and there are women’s professional soccer teams up there as well. Also, the art scene in Seattle is huge, which is perfect for my major.” – Haley, Livermore, California, Senior, Art major
  • “I’m trying to work in San Francisco because I have a strong interest in business analytics and financial analytics. I’m keen on working in a financial institution, such as a bank, and the city has many opportunities. Also, I would be able to live at home and save money in the process.” – Rakshitha, San Ramon, California, Senior, Economics major
  • “I would want to work in the Phoenix area because so many companies are moving out there and growing. It seems that the tech companies and the insurance industryare coming out here and booming. It is also an affordable place to live, which makes it a bonus.” – Sasha, San Ramon, California, Senior, Political Science major
  • “After college, I would want to work in the Bay Area to ensure I stay close to my family. Jobs are in high demand in the Bay and although the cost of living is high, the great weather, food and people make up for it. I can’t leave the Bay Area.” – Irene, Santa Rosa, California, Senior, Communications major
  • “The best place for me to work at would be Santa Barbara, since it has nice weather and it’s calm and peaceful down there. It doesn’t seem like a stressful place to me, compared to places like San Francisco. I would try to find a marketing job down there.” – Alex, Whittier, California, Senior, Business major
  • “I want to work at the Monterey Bay Aquarium as an aquarist, part of their conservation teams, or in their lab. It’s one of the best places to work, as far as marine biology goes, and they’re doing some meaningful work there to help protect and restore populations of at-risk species. So, I would prefer to live in the Monterey area.” – Rebecca, Windsor, California, Junior, Marine Biology major

From the San Francisco Bay Area to Southern California or out of state, the desired geographical locations of future college graduates are vast and diverse. The reasons for hoping to work in these places vary from the weather to cost of living to family proximity. Clearly, location is a major consideration when searching for your first job out of college. Make sure you do not underestimate just how much of an impact the right location can have on enjoying — and succeeding in — your first job after graduating.