Tempe ranked best city in Arizona to start a career

Zippia ranked Tempe the best city in the state to begin a career after graduation

Tempe is the top city in Arizona to start a career in 2018, according to a new study by career service site Zippia.

Zippia ranked U.S. cities with populations of over 50,000 people in every state using census data in four areas: population, unemployment, cost of living and the percentage of the population that are millennials. 

Tempe has a population of around 185,000, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, with a median age of 28.5 years old, which is partly due to it being home to ASU.

The unemployment rate in Tempe is currently at 3.7 percent, lower than nine of the top 10 ranked cities in the study. 

The cost of living in Tempe is slightly above the state average, according to BestPlaces.net, a site which ranks the cost of living in U.S. cities. Scores above 100 mean a city is more expensive than average where scores below 100 mean they are less costly on average. Tempe comes in at 108.5, while the Phoenix metro area ranks at 105 and Arizona overall at 103.

Zippia compared Tempe's median annual income, which is $50,474, and the median rent in Tempe, which is $1,200, to determine the affordability of living in the city. 


Jill Buschbacher, economic development program manager for the City of Tempe, said ASU's presence makes a big difference in the city.

“Having the resources of a large university in your backyard provides companies and their employees access to a wealth of benefits such as interns, graduates, professors, research and data to tackle business and societal challenges in ways that communities without them cannot,” she said.

Besides being close to campus, the city is attractive to the millennial crowd because of the entertainment, arts and culture, and large events held within the city, Buschbacher said.

Tempe also offers multi-modal transportation, including the light rail, buses, and shareable bikes and scooters. 

Likewise, ASU students specifically can benefit from the growth of the city.

Katherine Perez, a senior career specialist at ASU, said employers are interested in recruiting ASU students because of the caliber of education that they receive and how prepared they are to enter the workforce.

"With the economy booming, many high-profile companies are locating themselves here due to the quality of life and the access to the qualified and diverse workforce they need and that Tempe provides, which, likewise, impacts ASU alumni wanting to stay in the Valley," Perez said.

Melinda Cota, an ASU alumna who graduated in 2016, said that even after graduation, Tempe provides a good working and living environment for young professionals. She said being near ASU provides networking events and a lot of career development opportunities.

“Tempe offers preferred opportunities in my field, and others I graduated with experienced this as well without having to relocate very far,” Cota said. 

The city also thrives in its diversity of job opportunities. 

"One of the most attractive features of Tempe is the mixture of industries it offers,"  Buschbacher said.  "The community has a strong financial services sector, a healthy number of tech companies and a few hundred manufacturing companies."

As stated in the charter, ASU is "measured not by whom it excludes, but by whom it includes and how they succeed; advancing research and discovery of public value; and assuming fundamental responsibility for the economic, social, cultural and overall health of the communities it serves."

"As part of the ASU community, this study represents the importance to continue to prepare students for their post-graduation goals," Perez said.

 Reach the reporter at mfaulkn2@asu.edu or follow @mfaulkn2 on Twitter.

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