Dec 6, 2018 at 12:00am ET By Alyssa Walker

Think college degrees are a dime a dozen? Think again. Magnify Money recently unveiled data showing having a degree in certain places has a disproportionate advantage. 

Let's explore at the seven cities across the US where having a degree matters the most...

1. San Jose, California

San Jose takes the cake in rankings, and with good reason. In the heart of Silicon Valley, San Jose boasts 300 days of sunshine a year, plenty to do for both singles and families, fantastic neighborhoods, and a very strong jobs market for the college educated. From science and technology, to nature and open spaces, San Jose has it all, and awaits you and your shiny new degree.

2. WashingtonD.C.

Taking the #2 spot, Washington, D.C., is a great place to have your degree if you plan to live and work there comfortably. The nation's capital offers distinctly different suburbs, a bevy of high-paying tech and political jobs, world-class history, and the modern-day political machine. In addition to a great job scene, there's a ton to do, too, like explore the great outdoors, visit the museums, visit the monuments, and enjoy the diverse D.C. neighborhoods.

3. San Francisco, California

One of the US's most booming cities, San Francisco has something for everyone. It's the birthplace of the 1960s counterculture revolution, home of the Golden Gate Bridge, and a stone's throw from San Jose's Silicon Valley. It's outdoorsy. It's hip. It's modern. And it's a culinary delight. 

4. Raleigh, North Carolina

Coming in at number four, Raleigh, North Carolina is just the place for the recent college grad seeking the technology hub of the US South. It's family friendly, fun, boasts plenty of cultural and natural activities, and has a young, hip community of highly-paid, college-educated professionals.

5. Austin, Texas

One of the fastest growing cities in the US, Austin has a lot to offer. It's 'green and fit', has an excellent public education system, phenomenal employment opportunities --including those for budding start-ups -- and is home to a hotbed of tech hubs like AMD, Facebook, Google, and Intel. It has more microbreweries than one can count and also has great food and music scenes, hosting the world-famous South by Southwest (SXSW) music festival every year. Get your drawl on and head to the great state of Texas!

6. Atlanta, Georgia

Atlanta joins Raleigh in terms of hip southern cities to start your career. If you find plenty of sunshine, an affordable cost of living, incredible business opportunities, a great food and art scene, and a dose of that southern hospitality at all appealing, check out all that Atlanta has to offer. Rich in history and with many international companies, Atlanta has something for everybody.

7. Houston, Texas

A few hours east of Austin is Houston, one of the US' biggest and most attractive cities. It's been a progressive millennial destination for a while now, but recent Generation Z grads shouldn't write it off. It's hip, it's happening, and it's Houston. Houston has a need for nearly every career path, from energy and aerospace to life science and technology. It's great for singles, couples, and families!

Learn more about higher education options in the US

Alyssa Walker is a freelance writer, educator, and nonprofit consultant. She lives in the White Mountains of New Hampshire with her family.

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