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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Living in ND I would like to share with those who are considering moving here. People come from all over the world looking for jobs. Some find them, some do not. All jobs do not pay well. Low paying jobs combined with the now high prices for places to rent can also be a problem...if you can even find a place. Living in your vehicle does not cut it as the authorities do not like it and North Dakota is very cold in the winter. Driving can be hazardous due to ice and storms, and there are also the trucks on the oil fields where they drive the best they can, but the roads for them are dangerous (unless this has changed in the past 6 months). Then there are those come here to run their illegal business: drugs, prostitution, etc as well as the murders, rapes and thefts. People here are now having trouble trusting strangers due to the crime in ND MT and Canada. Please keep our law enforcement in your prayers. All that glitters is not gold. The jobs are rough when they are available, and the life can be crazy. From what I have heard from those who work oil, they do not get paid as much as is reported here. There are pros and cons to everything in life. To simply react does not work. Consider, pray, and then if you really believe that you are to be here-check out the jobs and the dynamics that go with a move.
Hope this helps.
I have tried before commenting on the previous articles telling people there aren't jobs here but people just thought I was being rude or something or didn't listen. Either way they come up here looking for jobs and then all they end up doing is looking for handouts and complaining. I don't feel sorry for those idiots one bit. Do your research first cause there isn't jobs here.
Yes, the winters can be cold and windy so if you're a whiner and wimpy don't show up.......we'll pull you out of the ditch a couple times but after that you're on your own. You know it wasn't THAT long ago the people came through here with no elect., plumbing, etc. so if you prepare yourself you'll probably enjoy it. There is work.............I'm always looking for good help and I know many business owners are in the same boat. Check the help wanted ads. In ND by the oil fields housing is an issue but work is plentiful..........places like McDonalds, Taco Johns, even have a signing bonus of $500 to $1200.
There's PLENTY of work up here.................plenty of guns too as almost everyone hunts.
In reference to the comment that SD has the poorest counties in the US.that is correct but they're in the middle of Fed. Indian Reservations with low population. They receive fed. assistance so the per capita average is gloomy because of the low population.
I have lived in South Dakota all my life. I think it is God's secret. It isn't crowded except for Sioux Falls. I have traveled all over the United States except for Alaska and the New England states. I have been to Europe, Canada and Mexico. But I am always glad to come back to South Dakota. The part I live in has a very low crime rate, good schools and overall good, kind people. Many people come to this state for the Sturgis rally and also to see Mount Rushmore. I think they can attest to the hospitality we offer. South Dakota is also well known for very strict drug laws and you will get the book thrown at you. The saying is that if you brings drugs into South Dakota, you come in on vacation and leave on probation. I think it is a great place to raise a family, but that is my opinion. Anywhere you live is what you make of it. I just like living here. Again, I love to travel, and my job has taken me most recently to Houston, Phoenix, and St. Louis. They are wonderful places to visit, but the driving would lead me to road rage. Jobs aren't handed out to you here, you do have to look and be willing to work hard.
Do what you have to do. A dream life isn't waiting on the other side of graduation. You have to put a life together one piece at a time and a degree just makes it possible, it doesn't make it happen for you. Welcome to the real world.
My husband and I took low paying jobs out of college that had nothing to do with our majors. It wasn't ideal, but we had to eat. He kept accepting difficult jobs in less than ideal locations, but each offer was better than the last. It took about 10 years to get where we wanted to be. There is no instant gratification.
Be sure you have housing lined up before you come here! The western part of the state has very limited places to buy/rent. There are so many people showing up here in ND that they have to live in their cars. My property value here in Bismarck is now 80% more than when we bought our house 10 years ago. With winter and -40 temps coming, you don't want to be on of those people living in a tent!
Lots of people are just showing up from other states. The infrastructure couldn't handle the influx of people. There is a lot of building going on, hopefully in a couple of years, there will be enough places built to house the influx of people. But right now, it is a BIG problem. And yes, there are a lot of jobs available for hard workers!
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