Top opp for new grads: North Dakota
A new study rates the 10 best states for the 20-to-24 demographic. The lineup may surprise you.
Hey, all you newly minted college grads: Any luck with the job search? If not, maybe you're looking in the wrong places.
Top opps can be found in North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa and other states that might not be everyone's first choice. Or so says "10 States Where Youth Rules," a new study from MoneyRates.com.
The Dakotas? Really?
Study author Richard Barrington considered nine factors: the employment rate for people ages 20 to 24, car insurance costs, affordability and availability of housing, youth-oriented retailing, college costs, nightlife, healthfulness and the state's youthfulness. Post continues below video.
North Dakota's wide-open, oil-driven economy gave it a major advantage, and it did "just well enough in the lifestyles categories to grab the top spot," Barrington writes.
The other seven best states are Montana, Nebraska, Delaware, Vermont, Alaska, Utah and New Hampshire.
Barrington's work could give hope to new grads who feel it's impossible to get a job in this economy. Things aren't the same everywhere, he notes. While the national unemployment rate for the 20-to-24 age group is nearly 14%, it's only 3.3% in North Dakota.
So if the job search in Alabama (20.2% youth unemployment) or Mississippi (22.2%) makes you feel like banging your head against a wall, "try a different wall," Barrington suggests. "You shouldn't look at your career path too narrowly."
Improving your chances
Never pictured yourself in North Dakota or Utah? Get out of your comfort zone. Your degree does not define you. Getting your foot in the door -- any door -- can lead to opportunities you could never have imagined.
Barrington himself is a good example. He majored in communications and English, graduating in an era of 10% unemployment. Eventually he got what was essentially an entry-level bookkeeping job at an investment management firm; within two years he'd moved to the marketing side of the company.
During that time he made it his business to get trained as a chartered financial analyst. Now he's a senior finance analyst at MoneyRates.com.
Who knows what chances await you in one of those 10 states? Consider all options instead of putting on "My destiny is in New York" blinders.
Direct your employment search toward one or more of those 10 states vs. just striking out toward where you think the work might be. A man interviewed in the video accompanying this article drove from Pennsylvania to North Dakota because he'd heard that jobs were plentiful. He found he didn't have the right experience to get hired.
But there's more than one kind of work in North Dakota and in the other nine states, too. Taking a job in what you might consider the hinterlands isn't settling for less. It's positioning yourself for the next stage of your life.
It's a living
Going to a place where you stand a better chance of success – job opps, lower cost of living -- means you can start paying down any student loans and/or consumer debt.
You'll avoid the dreaded résumé gaps, too. If no jobs in your field are to be had right now, then a job -- any job -- could do more than pay the bills. It may show future employers that you have initiative and a sense of responsibility.
Pretend you're a human resources manager. Your first interviewee spent 18 months sending out e-résumés and tweeting about the impossibility of finding the "right" job. The second is a young person who did what needed to be done: She took the best gig she could find in a place she'd never been, and she succeeded.
You can keep looking for work in your field, networking through social media and sites like LinkedIn. You can also spend long weekends or entire vacations in the cities where you want to work, meeting with people in your preferred profession.
After all, you'll actually be able to afford a vacation -- you'll be working.
Incidentally, you might just find that you like where you land. And if not? Well, choosing Delaware means you're close to Philadelphia, New York and Washington, D.C. From New Hampshire and Vermont it's fairly easy to get to Boston; from North Dakota, the Twin Cities beckon.
And the other states? They all have airports.
Readers: Would you look for work in one of these states? Why or why not?
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I was born and raised in North Dakota its not that bad however I dont plan to live here after school. North Dakota offer low crime rate, good schools, and LOTS OF JOBS. however because of everyone coming here for all the jobs the housing market cant keep up. And its Cold during the winter negative 3 is the average, and snow drifts have been know to be higher then even the tallest of people.
This "news" was filmed six months ago!
It's summer in the Dakotas and the weather is warm.
Microsoft (MSN) is just filling space and wasting my time.
In my younger days I went to where the work was. Sometimes I slept on the ground and under job trailers from Lindon NJ to Rio Grand City TX.. In doing so I learned many trades from driving rivets to welding, with carpentry, pipe fitting, and heavy equipment operating along the way. When i got older the wide open spaces didn't look to good with kids and a wife in tow. However my multi-skill training pave the way where I could find a good paying job anywhere. I saved my money even when it was hard. Today I don't have to work as I prepared for my retirement when I was younger. No 401K, N0 pension, just my own saving and investing with my Social Security I can make it. My concerned now is with inflated money by too much government debt my proceeds may not last as long as I do. Why? Because the Democrats are destroying our well being with the help of the "Monkey see, Monkey do" republicans. No one has put meat into the problems facing the nation. All we get is lip service from both side of the Isle. Starting in 2007 How many of the democrat spending proposals were signed into law with out a single Veto. How many "Monkey see Monkey do" republican got on the band wagon of spend, spend, spend. How Many "Monkey see Monkey do" Republicans said a single word about shipping our jobs over seas tax free where there is no FICA, no OSHA, no Workmans comp, no unemployment tax, no EPA. This didn't start with the King-fish now in office. Remember the Alaskan pipeline? it was built using Jap made pipe while American steel mills set idle. It the same old story. Politicians dance with the ones that brung-UM. Today with wealthy moguls paying the campaign bill,, guess who the politicians are going to listen too. sure and hell not you and me.
Don't get foolled and move there employers will work you 110 hours a week no days of more months and months.I worked all day got sent out on a job all night got back to the shop that morning and worked all day then was sent home for 3 hours and then sent out for another job.;One guy I worked with had a nurvouse breakdown from all the hours he had to work.
20 million unemployed...15million illegals and importing more ...just like oil do the math
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