Albany NY view at twilight

Ideal for College Grads: New York’s Capital Region

Commencement’s over; now what? Summer’s the time when recent college graduates are looking for must-haves – including well-paying jobs, dynamic downtowns, and ample nature to explore. More than just a stepping stone, they are searching for the best place to live, start and ground their careers.   

Ranked highly among multiple outlets indexing ideal cities for new grads, Albany and the Capital Region are checking many of the boxes, blending professional opportunity that features all the perks of urban living with unparalleled outdoor beauty and recreation that are practically right next door.  

Albany has become a chart-topping city for young professionals seeking relocation, featured in the Top 10 of Zillow’s Best U.S. Cities for Recent Grads  — based on rent-to-income ratio, average salary, job openings and number of people in their 20s. Ranked by as the 11th best city for young adults and professionals and by WalletHub among the top 20 most educated cities in the country, Albany also is among the 25 Best Places to Live for Quality of Life, according to a recent U.S. News ranking.

Worker on Plug Power factory floor

One of the key factors in drawing recent grads:  the area has also become a destination for high-growth and cutting- edge industries, from semiconductors to clean energy to digital game development, supported by a number of colleges and universities that fuel innovative R&D and act as a talent pipeline.     

Noteworthy leaders in the Capital Region’s diverse industry growth include:  

  • Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), a top-tier university and home to a Center of Excellence in Digital Game Development  
  • Regeneron, a leading biotech company on the cutting edge of disease prevention and treatment 
  • Plug Power, an innovative hydrogen fuel cell producer on the cutting-edge of green technology  
  • Multiple power players in the nanotech industry, including leading companies like GlobalFoundries 
Groundbreaking of Clinton Market Initiative

Statewide, New York State’s city centers are also benefitting from Downtown Revitalization Initiative projects that are breathing new life into urban spaces. Albany is no exception – from plans for the city’s Clinton Square gateway, that will complement the completion of the transformational Albany Skyway, the city is profiting from a continued investment into its future.

Newly minted grads also know the importance of finding a place that supports a healthy work-life balance—and the Capital Region offers no shortage of activities for achieving that balance.

Row of Adirondack chairs in front of a lake

Whether at theaters and music venues both in-town or in nearby arts hubs, cultural activities are plentiful. Albany boasts the MVP Arena, Empire Live and The Egg – and the renowned Proctors Theatre in nearby Schenectady hosts national tours of Broadway shows and other world class performances. Not far from the capital, the city of Saratoga Springs houses world-class entertainment ranging from the Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC) to the Saratoga Race Course.  

Outdoor enthusiasts can find easy access to parks and scenic destinations for all-season recreation – either close by, or within a day’s drive. Stunning ski resorts like Windham and Hunter Mountain are nearby for snow sports enthusiasts, and canoeists, kayakers and hikers can find an endless supply of lakes, rivers, and trails from Saratoga State Park to the Mohawk-Hudson Bike Hike Trail and the Adirondack High Peaks.

Given the region’s unique mix of promising career opportunities and plenty of fun things to do, it’s no wonder Albany is top-ranked as a post-college capital city!