With summer almost here, recent high school and college graduates are busy crossing the stage, about to strike out on their own. But now comes the real tough choice - where to begin your career.

Here to help, the consumer finance company WalletHub. They're out with their yearly ranking of the best cities in which to begin a career. And the big winner for 2018 is - Salt Lake City, followed by Orlando and then Atlanta.

All three cities were found to have plenty of entry-level jobs for graduates just entering the work force. At the bottom of this year's list - Oxnard, California, Shreveport, Louisiana and Santa Clarita, California.

By comparison, WalletHub found that for the parents and grandparents of the Class of 2018, it was places like New York City and Los Angeles that were the "go-to" places.

According to Jill Gonzalez of WalletHub, entrepreneurs are getting smarter. "First of all, you can work remotely; second of all, office space is a lot cheaper in a place like Orlando than it is in the major coastal areas."

Gonzalez says while job availability and salary are major considerations, graduates need to keep in mind that money isn't everything. "You not only have to work in these communities, you have to live there too."

For example, of all the 182 cities that were surveyed, Honolulu was found to have the lowest average monthly salary of any city, while at the same time getting high marks for quality of life.

So how did the cities in our area rank?

  • Denver #8
  • Minneapolis #11
  • Fargo #22
  • St. Paul #28
  • Des Moines #30
  • Sioux Falls #34
  • Bismark #46
  • Omaha #55
  • Lincoln #65
  • Cheyenne #77
  • Cedar Rapids #98
  • Billings #100
  • Casper #103
  • Rapid City #120

To see the entire list of cities, go to the WalletHub website listed below.

Source: WalletHub

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