Milwaukee Named Third Best City for New College Grads

Author: Carroll University

Published Date: 4/14/2020

Categories: Alumni Social Students University News

Downtown Milwaukee as seen from the Lake Michigan lakefront
For the fourth straight year, Milwaukee appeared on SmartAsset's list of best cities for new college graduates. Carroll University is located in Waukesha, Wisconsin, only 20 minutes west of downtown Milwaukee.

Great news for Carroll students and alumni: the City of Milwaukee is the third best city in the nation for new college graduates, according to online financial resources firm SmartAsset

As the spring semester winds down, and Carroll University students prepare for their May 9 commencement, those on the precipice of graduation can rest assured that they will be moving forward into one of nation's top regions for new college graduates. According to SmartAsset, the City of Milwaukee and the broader Midwest region are some of the brightest spots in the nation. 

Metro Milwaukee also ranks highly for new business success. Learn more here. > 

To compile their results, SmartAsset analyzed data for the 115 largest U.S. cities, looking specifically at 10 metrics across three categories: jobs, affordability and fun.

  • The job score included overall unemployment rate, unemployment rate for bachelor’s degree holders, average earnings for college graduates and number of job listings on Indeed.
  • Affordability scores included median monthly rent and cost of living.
  • The fun score included data on dining and entertainment establishments as a percentage of all establishments, percentage of the population from the ages of 20 to 29, average Yelp rating for restaurants in the area and average Yelp rating for bars in the area. 

Milwaukee Rates High for Affordability and Fun
For 2020, SmartAsset found that Milwaukee had  the 13th-best fun score and the 28th-best affordability score of the 115 cities we analyzed in this study. With a large percentage of residents between 20-29 years old and a well-earned reputation Midwestern hospitality, Milwaukee's high fun score played large in moving the city up in the study's rankings for the third year running. The city also did well in the affordability category in part because average monthly rents of $708, the 18th-lowest in the national rankings. In the 2019 edition of the study, in which Milwaukee ranked fourth, SmartAssets noted that the unemployment rate for bachelor's degree holders stood at just 1.90%, ensuring graduates shouldn't have too hard of a time finding a job. A 2018 survey by ZipRecruiter found Milwaukee to be particularly favorable for humanities majors, due to its vibrant arts and entertainment scene.

Carroll University is proud to call the Milwaukee metropolitan area home. Explore other Carroll University rankings here. >

Wisconsin and Broader "Midwestern Momentum"
Madison, Wisconsin,  located just one hour west of Carroll's Waukesha campus, also appeared in the top 10, claiming the study's seventh position. In total, seven of the top 10 cities for new college grads are located in the Midwestern states of Indiana, Missouri, Ohio and Wisconsin—bucking the Midwest's "Rust Belt" repuatation—and showing promise in the region's future.

Read the full 2020 study here

Milwaukee Rankings

Fun Fact

Happy Milwaukee Day (April 14...ummm, or should we say 4/14?) everyone! For the history buffs out there, did you know the City of Milwaukee and Carroll University were created on the same day, January 31, 1846, by the Wisconsin Territorial Legislature?

Discover more Carroll University history


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