Report: San Francisco provides opportunity for college grads

College grads
Photo: Emily Ranquist via Pexels

San Francisco’s booming tech industry and rich cultural offerings make it a top choice for new graduates, according CoworkingCafe’s updated study on the best cities for 2024 college graduates.

Ranked #1 among large U.S. cities, San Francisco stands out with its high median income and strong employer-based health insurance coverage, offering young professionals unparalleled opportunities to advance their careers while enjoying a vibrant, big city lifestyle. 

Taking into consideration eight metrics, the analysis dives deep into employment opportunities, financial health, and lifestyle quality across U.S. cities. It highlights the top destinations where young professionals can thrive, ranking cities according to three population brackets: small, large and medium.

San Francisco is the only large city that provides a six-figure income for graduates, with 79% of its population also benefiting from health insurance. Even so, San Francisco remains an expensive city: its 18% above the national average cost of living sets it apart from its urban counterparts. Nevertheless, it continues to be a hotspot for industries such as technology, finance, healthcare, and professional services.

San Francisco landed in the top spot this year after placing second in 2023, despite a lower overall score in 2024. 

  • San Francisco was the only large city to provide a six-figure income for workers with a higher education, at $106,552/year – increased from $99,929/year in last year’s study;
  • It also led the way with a 71.6% share of the population holding a bachelor’s degree – up from 69.6% in last year’s study
  • Additionally, San Francisco topped the list with 78.9% of its residents benefitting from employer-based health insurance – up from 76.3% in last year’s study
  • San Francisco remains an expensive city: its 18% above the national average cost of living sets it apart from its urban counterparts
  • Santa Clara and San Mateo ranked among the best small U.S. cities for starting a career after college, landing in 5th and 8th place, respectively

More on where the class of 2024 should consider starting their careers:

grad map


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