Manhattan among top 40 cities to live in post-graduation

The sun sets over Manhattan Hill. (File Photo by Nathan Jones | The Collegian)

ValuePenguin, a personal finance company, recently named Manhattan the 29th overall best city for recent graduates, according to the ValuePenguin website.

ValuePenguin ranked 382 cities off of 27 different job-relating factors and city demographics. It grouped these factors into three main categories: lifestyle, affordability and jobs, Andrew Pentis, an associate editor for ValuePenguin, said.

Manhattan ranked 65th in lifestyle, 279th in affordability and 33rd in jobs.

In the jobs category, ValuePenguin looked at factors that included average student debt, employment rates and job benefits. In the lifestyle category, factors included entertainment, housing prices and price of public transportation. In the affordability category, factors included unemployment rates and health care coverage, according to the ValuePenguin website.

Pentis said there were even more factors and cities they wanted to put in, but those turned out to be unreliable or incomprehensive.

“We had to find a balance of including as much good, reputable data as we could while including as many cities as we could,” Pentis said.

To find all of the rankings, Pentis said first they ranked how each city did in each of the 27 factors. To find the different categories of rankings, they then averaged how each city did in the factors in that specific category. Finally, they averaged out the category’s ranking to find the overall ranking for each city.

Pentis said a trend they found was that overall, cities with colleges in or near them ranked better than cities without.

“It’s not a surprising trend,” Pentis said. “It speaks to the fact that the city is not only a good place for a college student, but also a good place to get your first job or your second job.”

That trend is prevalent in Manhattan.

Andrew Kohls and Anthony YBarra, both coordinators at the Kansas State Career Center, said more entrepreneurial businesses are coming to Manhattan, and the incoming National Bio and Agro-defense Facility are increasing the opportunities for students to stay here in Manhattan.

On the other hand, both Kohls and Pentis said when deciding on staying or leaving a college town, it is definitely a case to case basis for a student.

“(Graduates) are stuck in this web of ‘What are you looking for?’ (and) ‘Does Manhattan offer it?’ sort of thing,” Kohls said.

YBarra said there is a, “variety of opportunities across all majors,” for the ever-growing job market in Manhattan.

Whether a graduate decides to stay or leave, YBarra said to make sure to think long-term when looking for jobs and cities.

“The opportunities that they may want may not be in a particular area or particular field at the time, but it doesn’t mean that they won’t get there,” YBarra said.

YBarra and Kohls both said they can use this ranking from ValuePenguin to help them establish even more relationships with employers across Manhattan.

“It is definitely an employer benefit to be able to see that the area is a nice growing area for graduates,” YBarra said.