Ladder Climbers Sweet On The Big Apple

Matt Woolsey
June 22, 2007

It's expensive, the subways smell and the Yankees trail the Red Sox in the American League East, but New York is still the place of choice for those looking to advance their careers, according to our study of the best cities for young professionals.

Its high cost of living and negative overall migration figures aside, ask any 20- or 30-something or recent grad to name a city in which they want to live and the discussion undoubtedly involves New York. Young professionals don't usually choose a city based on a fully rationed calculus of cost of living to salary to Department of Labor job creation statistics. Often it's an impulse, a decision that a particular city is the place to go to make it big. New York is that city.

Still, we consulted hard data in compiling our list. We tracked Class of 1997 graduates from elite schools nationwide--Harvard, Princeton, Duke, Stanford, Rice and Northwestern--to see where they settled. Because of its close geographic proximity, Princeton graduates were excluded from counting toward New York's totals. Ten years after graduation, students who had the skills and credentials to go anywhere and do anything overwhelmingly picked New York as their home.