2015 | Schools

Bethesda Named One of the Best Cities for College Grads

Website places Bethesda alongside Austin and Cambridge as a good place for young people to live

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Downtown Bethesda

Aaron Kraut

Recent college grads may want to consider moving to Bethesda, according to a list of “10 Best Cities for College Grads” by college recruiting website Plexuss that was released in late May.

The article advised recent grads to think about factors other than “sunshine, fun weekend hangouts and great scenery.” The list was compiled based upon the number of young people who live in the city, the selection of rental housing, whether or not the city is creating jobs, the percentage of the workforce with a college education and the city’s mean annual earnings. 

Bethesda was one of three cities on the East Coast that made the list. The others were Hoboken, New Jersey, and Cambridge, Massachusetts, which both have health care listed as one of their “hot job markets.”

According to Plexuus, there are 6,987 people aged 25 to 34 living in Bethesda and 83,201 available jobs. Hot job markets include information technology, hospitality, research and development and life sciences and top employers are National Institutes of Health, Lockheed Martin, Marriott International. Nearby colleges include Marymount University, Georgetown University, University of The Potomac, University of Maryland

Bethesda’s number of available jobs greatly exceeded that of Austin, Texas, which Forbes has consistently ranked as one of America’s fastest-growing cities, and of Mountain View, California, whose top employers are software companies such as Google, LinkedIn and Symantec. The large amount of available jobs may partly be explained by Bethesda’s lack of young people, as it was the only city on the list with fewer than 10,000 people aged 25 to 34 who live there.

Between the Plexuss ranking and the Forbes ranking of Washington, D.C., as the best city for new college grads, young people in the area should be in good shape—as long as they can pay their rent.

The median rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Bethesda is $1,990 per month—among the most expensive in the D.C. region—which may account for the small number of young people actually living in the community.